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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Thursday-Being Great

 

being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

 

Colossians 1:11,12

 

It seems like we can’t get enough of it. It comes up during every sporting event broadcast or talk show. It’s also talked about during the news and on interviews. We seem to have an appetite for it that just won’t be satisfied.

 

And that appetite is only satisfied by one thing. When all the votes have been counted, when all the statistics have been put into a calculation. When all the video has been watched. Then and only then can we decide the greatest of all time. Or, as we like to call them, the GOAT.

 

In my limited number of years and exposure to life, the first person I heard say this about themselves was Mohamad Ali. Then known as Casius Clay, he predicted his victory over world champion Sunny Liston with the now famous words, “I am the greatest[1]. Now I’m going to go out on a limb here. I bet that no one reading these words has ever been told that they were the greatest of all time. I’ll go even further, I’ll double that bet that no one reading these words has ever claimed to be the greatest of all time.

 

But there is a way to be called great by the one who made you. The one who loves you. The one who died for you. It’s right here. God says that you can have great endurance and patience.

 

Did you ever think of yourself as being capable of great endurance and patience? Have you ever lived a year in your life with great endurance and patience? How about a day? What would you say about an hour? How about 15 minutes?

 

Remember back in verse 15, Paul and his friends were praying that God would fill the Colossians with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.

 

That brings us here where that prayer continues with the Colossians being strengthened with God’s power so they can have that great endurance and patience. Not just regular endurance and patience that we’re so used to being disappointed with and let down by. Not just your run-of-the-mill patience. Not the human endurance and patience. But God’s kind of endurance and patience.

 

The kind of endurance and patience that didn’t throw Adam and Eve away after they turned away from him, even through they lived in a perfect place, had a perfect relationship with God and each other. They had everything anyone could have wanted, and they threw it all away on a lie. And how did God respond? With great endurance and patience.

 

The kind of endurance and patience that saved Noah and his family when the world was so full of evil that it made God sorry that he ever made us[2]. The kind of endurance and patience that God would not let Lot be killed when he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah[3]. The kind of endurance and patience to keep his promise to a lying, cheat of a man named Jacob that failed him again and again.

 

And then there’s God’s endurance and patience with the nation of Israel. There’s just not enough room or time to go through all the times that they failed God. That they turned on God. Over and over, time after time, they saw God’s goodness and they just turned away from God.

 

Or what about David. God had given David so many wins over the enemies of the nation. And then God continued to shower David with victory over the people that wanted him dead. God gave him the crown, making him king of the nation. And with all that going for him, he turns on God by turning towards Bathsheba[4].

 

The examples of God’s endurance and patience is as long as the Bible itself. But it’s even longer than that because it includes every person ever born on planet Earth. All of us have disappointed God. Disobeyed him. Destroyed what he’s given And what was his reaction? He could have come down on us like an eternal ton of bricks. He had all the right in the world to drop us like a bad habit. He could have said, “Fine. Have it your way. Live by yourselves and see what that leads to.”

 

But he didn’t. As a matter of fact, he did just the opposite. Instead of giving us what we deserved, he took what we deserved and put it on himself. That’s what the cross of Jesus is all about. While we were still sinners and his enemy, he came down and took the punishment we deserved. Paid the price we should have paid.

 

Now, that’s really great endurance and patience! And if he was willing to do that for us, we should be willing to do that for others. And even ourselves. Great endurance and patience is exactly what we need right now. In our country. In our neighborhoods. In our lives. Forgiving others with great endurance and patience. Now that’s really being great.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • How likely are you to brag on yourself? Explain.

  • How has God recently been extremely patient with you?

  • What’s stopping us from living humbly like Jesus did?


[2] Genesis 6:5-8

[3] Genesis 19:12-22

[4] 2 Samuel 11:1-17

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