Getting Ready for the Harvest

Getting Ready for the Harvest

Scripture: James 5:8, 1 Corinthians 3:13, Romans 13:11
Date: 12/13/2014  Lesson: 11
"In Greco-Roman times (as in some places still today), a flurry of activity preceded the coming of a visiting dignitary. If such preparations preceded the arrival of earthly rulers, should we not make every effort to make our hearts ready for the coming of our Lord and Savior?"

7000 Year Pattern by Doug Batchelor

7000 Year Pattern by Doug Batchelor
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Good morning, friends, and welcome again to Sabbath School Study Hour. Now, of course, things are a little different here on the set - not our typical Sabbath school study hour set - the reason being is we're in albuquerque, New Mexico filming the landmarks of Bible prophecy. Our afcoe students are here and they're the audience for today. And today we have a very special presenter for our study together. It's evangelist and teacher chuck holtry who will be leading us through our study of the lesson quarterly.

Now the lesson today, that we'll be looking at, is lesson #11, if you have your lesson quarterly, on the book of James. And it's talking about preparing for the harvest. So if you'd like to follow along you can do so. To our friends joining us, you can download today's lesson by going to the Granite Bay church website - that's 'granitebaysda.org' or you can go the Amazing Facts website. You can download a copy of today's lesson and follow along with us.

We have a free offer that goes along with our study for today: it's Amazing Facts study guide entitled 'the ultimate deliverance.' And we'll be happy to send that to anyone who calls and asks. The number to call for our free offer is 866-788-3966. Again, that is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #105 entitled 'the ultimate deliverance' and we'll be happy to send that to you. All you have to do is call and ask. Well, before we get started with our study today, let's bow our heads and ask God's blessing upon our time together.

Dear Father, we thank you for the opportunity that we have to gather together once again to study Your Word. We'd like to ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill our hearts and our minds. Lord, guide us into a deeper and a fuller understanding of this very important subject that we're going to be studying about today, for we ask this in Jesus' name, amen. I'd like to invite our teacher to come out and join us this morning, chuck holtry. Thank you jëan.

Good morning. Happy Sabbath. On my way here this morning I was running into a lot of traffic. I was late, as I am sometimes, and I was in such a hurry and it seemed like every light was yellow about 300 feet before I got there. And I was waiting and waiting and waiting.

And I felt that I needed something called patience. You know, as I was looking at our study we're going to be jumping into just shortly, as I was looking at our study I realized that patience is probably one of the key issues that God is trying to teach us here in James chapter 5. So if you'd open up your Bibles with me to James chapter 5, and we're going to read verses 7 through 12 - the section of our reading for this lesson. James 5, we'll be reading 7 through 12. And then we'll kind of jump into our subject.

Now, patience is mentioned two places in the book of James. The first place is where? Chapter 1 right in the beginning, and the next place is here in chapter 5. Let's go ahead and read it. "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it until he receive the early and latter rain.

Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them" - what's that next word? - "Happy which endure." - Wow - "we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." This section really focuses on speaking to what group of people? Specifically, the brethren. If you look through the book of James, you find the brethren are mentioned 15 times. Of those 15 times, four of them are found in just this short section of six verses. This is a quarter of the times in the whole book, just in a short section. Brethren, I'm speaking to you.

The section we just looked at last week, we saw was speaking to the rich, right? Next week we're looking at a beautiful section talking about prayer - an admonition to pray, but today we're looking specifically at this section to the brethren - this admonition of character for the end of time. That being said, I'm going to pull out my notes here, and I'd like to look at a few elements here. James chapter 1, verses 3 to 4 - you can just turn there with me. James chapter 1, verses 3 to 4, the Bible says, "knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

" You get this very beginning statement saying you need to have what? Patience. And patience does something great for us. What does it do for us? It makes us perfect and entire, ultimately. So that is patience. And then, in the end of the book in James chapter 5, where we're looking at it here, it says, "be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.

" - And then it tells us that the husbandman does something very interesting. What kind of patience does the husbandman have? I'm looking at the King James version here, it says he has long patience. It's not just patience, it's long patience. Have you ever felt that you needed long patience? I think there are sometimes I feel like I need long patience. You know, before I got married I was a very patient man.

Then after a year or two of marriage, I became patient again. And then when I had children I started questioning whether I ever had patience. And I realize, as I go through stages, God is taking chuck and he's working specifically on patience. You know, I believe he's doing that with all of us. He wants us to be patient.

Now, the last part of James - James chapter 5, verse 11 - I'm not quite sure what it says in another version, I should have read that, but it says, "happy are ye who endure." Happy are ye that endure. I never really understood that. I'm going to spend some more time looking at that a little bit later this morning. But do these kind of sermons have any relevance to us today? I mean, I could understand it in the first century church when you're being persecuted and your life isn't easy and everything's difficult, but today, do we have to think about happiness and endurance? I guess not. Absolutely.

It is just as relevant today - this idea of patience, this idea of happy endurance is very important for us. There are four areas we're going to be looking at this morning. First area is what to have patience for. We're going to be looking at that in verse 7. Then we're going to be looking at how long do we have patience.

Then we're going to be looking at another part where I just forget. Do you mind if I look it up? Yes, who has patience? We have some examples that have been given us, in the Bible, of those who have patience. And finally, we're going to be looking at why. Why do we have patience? And so, with that in mind, do you mind opening up - let's look - read verse 7 together again. Verse 7, the Bible says, "be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord.

" - Then it says - "behold, the husbandman" - hold onto that thought. We're going to be coming back to that - "behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." Now, I know there's been a lot of focus on different elements, but patient, husbandman, the whole picture that's there. You've had gardens, right? I'm guessing most of you have probably had a garden. My daughter and I like gardening. She's four years old and she'll come out and she will join me as we garden.

And we have fun together. And we are always doing the same exact thing. The first thing we do when we get to the garden is not to water. The first thing we do when we get to the garden is not to pull weeds. The first thing we do when we get to the garden is to look for fruit.

'Daddy, where's the tomatoes?' 'Well, we've got two months to go.' 'Daddy, where's the squash?' 'It's not ready yet.' 'Daddy, can I see the potatoes?' 'You're not going to see them.' Right? So we have this long patient waiting because we're looking for fruit. Now sometimes my daughter and I maybe aren't the patient people waiting for fruit. You end up picking green tomatoes every now and then just hoping that they'll ripen up and you can say, 'at least I picked my first fruit.' Waiting. You know, waiting for something that you really, really want is what's hardest. Am I right? I find that waiting for things I don't care about is easy.

In fact, I like that. You can put it off as long as you want. But when it's something that I desire, something that I want, patience is hard. Can you agree with me? It's something that is just very difficult. You know, husbandman, who is this talking about? It's a great illustration, isn't it? But is there an application that God is bringing out here in the book of James? I believe so, without a question.

And I'm going to start in the very, very beginning if that's okay. Would you mind going back with me to the book of Genesis? Genesis chapter 2 and verse 8 - Genesis chapter 2 and verse 8, the Bible says, "and the Lord God" - did what? - "Planted" - who planted it? - "the Lord God planted." So we see from the very beginning - second chapter of the Bible, first part of the first book of the Bible, that God is a planter. Could I say farmer? Is that okay? Gardener? Could I even say husbandman? You know, the Bible calls him a husband already so I don't think I'm stretching too far out when I say that. So we see - very beginning - Jesus is a planter. I'd like to look at another passage, Isaiah chapter 5 - Isaiah chapter 5 - and this really ties in beautifully with what we're looking at here in James chapter 5.

We're going to go to Isaiah 5 and I'm going to start with verse 1. I'm going to start with verse 1 - James chapter 5 and we'll start with verse 1, "now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard." - Who is this speaking of? It's speaking of Jesus, right? It's speaking of God - God the son - "my wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth" - what? - "Wild grapes." So here it is, we see this picture of God planting a vineyard in a very fruitful hill; putting the very best plants he could put into it and he goes to find fruit and what does he find? Bad fruit. Oh, there's fruit alright, but it's bad fruit. Now, is it normal for gardeners to go looking for fruit? Absolutely, that's what I was illustrating with a little bit earlier. That's what we're waiting for.

As a gardener, what am I waiting for? Fruit - good fruit, thank you. "And now, o inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" He said, 'I've done everything I possibly can with my vineyard.' So I'm just trying to lay out the points here from Scripture that God is a husbandman. Would you actually like to see that? Let's turn to John chapter 15 - John chapter 15 and verse 1 - John chapter 15 - and you're probably, 'oh, yeah, that's right, I remember this passage - beautiful passage here in the book of John. Jesus is speaking to his disciples.

This is some of the final counsel he gives before his crucifixion. In John chapter 15, verse 1, Jesus says, "I am the true vine, and my father is" - what? Vinedresser. That's right, it says vinedresser but in my passage here it says, "husbandman." Wow, he is the one. Who is it? My father. God The Father is the husbandman.

Now, I'd like to emphasize one more point and then we'll continue on this. Matthew chapter 15, verse 3. While you're turning to Matthew , verse 3, I want to just emphasize one element from James that we looked at and that is the husbandman has what kind of patience when he's looking for fruit? Long. Long patience. And so we're seeing here that God The Father is a husbandman.

He has what kind of patience? Long patience. Matthew 15 and verse 13, "but he answered and said, every plant, which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. I want to emphasize Jesus is saying the Heavenly Father plants things. If it's not been planted by him, it's going to get rooted up. But if it's been planted by him it's a good thing, amen? Has God had patience with you? He's the husbandman, right? I like to say that the precious fruit we've been looking for is coming from you and i.

Is he waiting with long patience? You know, my children are quite young yet, so I haven't had the chance to experience long patience. Some of you who are parents may disagree with me and say, 'you've already experienced long patience.' But the reality is, I haven't had a chance. When I look at what Christ has done with me - and maybe you can say the same thing for yourselves, he has had what? Long patience. You know, I'm - I won't give you my age because this is being videoed, but I'm getting up there. And he's had long patience with me.

He still has to say, 'chuck, uh uh, no.' He still calls and works on my heart and says, 'this is where I like you to walk.' Doesn't he do that with all of us? He has long patience. What's this long patience for? Let's go back to James chapter . James chapter 5 - I like reading it from the Bible again, "be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain." What is the husbandman waiting for? The Bible says, what? Precious fruit - "precious fruit of the earth." What is fruit? You ready to do some more study? Proverbs chapter 12, verse 12 - Proverbs chapter 12 and verse 12 - what is this fruit? What we're focusing on in this first section - and there's four sections that we're looking at. What we're focusing on in this first section is this: what are we having patience for? In this case, what is God having patience for? Proverbs 12:12 says this, "the Wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth" - what? - "Fruit.

" So the root of the righteous yields fruit. So fruit is something that comes from righteous roots, if I could say that at this point. Let's look at another passage - Isaiah chapter 37 - Isaiah 37 and we'll be looking at verse . Isaiah 37 and verse 31- Isaiah's giving a prophecy of what will take place, to the children of Israel. "The remnant" - it says this - "and the remnant that is escaped of the house of judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:" so there's a desire that judah, the remnant of judah, will do what? Take root downward and bear fruit upward.

Now let's look at one more passage here - Galatians chapter and verse 22. You, of course, knew that this was a place we have to go when we're discussing fruit. Galatians chapter 5 and verse . I like to - what I really like about the Word of God is this: we can look that the righteous have fruit and we can realize that the remnant of judah have fruit. But it's nice when the Bible just spells things out, isn't it? And here we see it in Galatians chapter 5, verses 22 and 23, "but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is" - what? - "There is no law.

" So here is that kind of fruit. And my question for us today is 'is God waiting to see that fruit in our lives?' Absolutely. You know, he's waiting to see us be meek. Sometimes that's a hard thing, isn't it? Especially if you're a Seventh-day Adventist and you know everything. God is waiting for what? Meekness.

God is also waiting for love, isn't he? He's waiting for us to show to the world who he really is. John 4:8 says "...God is" - what? - "Love." And God is waiting for that to be seen. You know, I get amazed of what God's waiting for. Now, I don't believe it's just the husbandman, The Father, who's waiting for fruit. I think all of us need to wait.

The same exact patience that the Heavenly Father shows me, and you, is the patience I should be showing towards others. There's no 'amen' just if you're watching. The same exact patience that the Heavenly Father shows us is the kind of patience we should be sharing with other people. Amen. God tells us that we need what kind of patience? Long patience.

Now I'd better stop on this section or I will continue and we'll finish up with a sermon. We need to do a Bible study, okay? Let's go into our next verse - James chapter 5 and verse 8 - just like the husbandman, God The Father, is patient - I love the way it states it here - "be ye also patient;" - and, of course, that's what we just looked at - a great connection into verse 8 - "stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." Be ye patient also. Stablish your hearts - why? "For the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." How - how can chuck holtry be patient? How can you be patient? I believe it's in this verse. "Stablish your hearts:" - yes, we need to be patient for the coming of the Lord, amen. I need to stablish my heart.

That's kind of an interesting word. I'm used to seeing 'establish.' And maybe that's what it says in some, but king James is 'stablish.' What does it mean to 'stablish' one's heart? I like to look at a few places and then we'll go and look at what it means for the coming of the Lord drawing nigh. 'Stablish' - Romans chapter 16 - Romans chapter 16 and we're going to be looking at verse 25 - Romans 16, verse 25 - this is kind of an addendum that's being added here in the book of Romans. You have your amen in verse 24 and then you have another 'amen' in verse 27. Here in verse 25 it says, "now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the Revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began," - it continues in verse 26.

Verse 27 says, "to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen." Now to him that is God - that is of power to stablish you according to my Gospel. Who? How am I stablished? I'm stablished by who? God, according to the Gospel. You know, James 5, verse 8 said, "stablish your hearts." And sometimes we look and say, 'yeah, how is that going to happen? How can I stablish my heart? I'm a human being. I've got issues.

' That's right. God's going to stablish your heart. Romans chapter 16 - let's look at another passage here that connects with that. Thessalonians chapter 3 - Thessalonians, chapter 3 and we are going to look at verse 12. "And the Lord" - this is 1 Thessalonians 3 - I'm starting in verse 12 - I'll go through to verse 13, "and the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.

To the end he" - that is, the Lord - "may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints." There's an establishment that needs to be taking place - a stablishing of my heart, which, by the way, you may have seen this in your Sabbath school lesson. Stablish means what? To strengthen - to set firmly. 'God, I want you to strengthen my heart.' It says that God strengthens, in Romans 16, here it says that the Lord strengthens my heart - or stablishes - my heart. I've been trying to figure out how 'nigh' or 'near' fits in. James chapter 5, verse 8 says that "the coming of the Lord draweth" - what? - "Near" or "nigh.

" Have you ever wondered how he could say that 2,000 years ago? ,000 Years ago he said, 'the coming of the Lord draws near. How can that be? I was playing around with it a little bit this morning and we say, of course, the coming of Jesus is closer today than it was yesterday, amen? The coming is a whole lot closer this year in -whatever than it was last year. And in that way, yes, the coming of the Lord does draw nigh. But there's another way. You and I can look around us and we can see prophetic signs - I mean, we're sitting at a site of a prophecy seminar right now - and we can see signs all around us saying we are living when most of these signs are taking place - we are coming closer to than we've ever been to the second coming.

It is near, even at the doors. But there's also another way. I think, on an individual basis. Think about it. When we die, our next conscious thought is going to be the coming of the Lord.

So you know - I've heard people say, 'you know, it's not - it's not going to be in my lifetime.' And I have to disagree. I mean, you're right, it's not going to be in your lifetime, but in essence, you only have one lifetime to be ready for it. You only have one lifetime to let the Lord stablish you. It's kind of a neat thought, isn't it? For none of us is it going to be longer than one lifetime. It is, but you understand what I'm saying.

I was really looking at this saying, 'how can I say this to make sure I'm not saying the wrong thing. But you know what I'm saying? We have one lifetime, and then we sleep and rest patiently until the second coming of Jesus Christ. We have one lifetime. What a - let's do what we can in that lifetime, amen? And that's the picture we see. It is definitely drawing near.

Now, this next section in James, is a little bit more touchy. We've looked at what to have patience for - what do we have patience for - fruit, right? There's a patience that we're waiting for fruit and we're being patient also unto the coming of the Lord. We have these two patiences that are coming out. We've looked a little bit at how to have patience. How am I going to do that? I need to what? Stablish my heart.

We looked at that. And who does that stablishing? God does. Jesus does that. So now we're looking at this next passage in verse - James chapter 5, verse 9, "grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door." You know, when I looked I said, 'how does this fit in?' And there's a couple different ways it fits in, but I'd like to look at one, if that's okay. How many of you have a grudge? Don't raise your hand.

You ever had a grudge? You know, some people could hold grudges better than others. But I think that all of us struggle with grudging one way or another. Sometimes we have grudges against people who hold grudges, right? Grudging. Do you realize that if you have a grudge, it's a sure sign that you don't have patience. You ever thought about that? If I'm grudging someone, it's a sure sign that I don't have patience.

Because I was told that I needed to have long patience for fruit. And if someone is not showing the fruit - and I get grudging against them because they didn't show their fruit, I'm lacking what? Long patience. "Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door." Wow, what a picture - grudging. I was playing around with this a little bit. A friend of mine was looking into this passage in James chapter 5 and here's what she said, "we need, as Christians today, we need to have a lifestyle of patience.

" Have you ever thought of that? We need to have a what? A lifestyle of patience. It's one thing to say, 'okay, I'm going to be patient for my garden to grow.' 'I'm going to be patient for the second coming of Jesus Christ.' God gave me patience to wait, but this is not just simply patience theologically, this is patience in my life - a lifestyle of patience. It's not just saying, 'okay, I'm waiting for Jesus to come. I'm going to wait patiently.' It's more than that. God is asking for a lifestyle of patience.

Now, I can't ask you what it's doing to you, but when I think of lifestyle patience, I feel condemned. And I say, 'who needs to stablish my heart?' God, please help me, amen? My mom had this little plaque - I remember as a kid growing up seeing it sitting next to our toaster oven. And there was this mother who was coming from a clothesline with a big basket of clean clothes, and there was her son coming in covered with mud. And the caption on the plaque said, 'Lord, give me patience...but hurry!' And, you know, sometimes that's reality, isn't it? I was listening to a sermon recently and it was talking about a famous preacher. He was a very kind, loving man, but one day one of his friends walked into this pastor's office and he was pacing back and forth inside that office.

And his friend said, 'what's wrong?' Because he had never seen his friend so agitated before. And he said, 'I'm in a hurry and the Lord isn't.' You ever feel like that sometimes? We need to be having a lifestyle of patience. And part of that is grudging not. Now I'm going to take a little time dealing with grudging, just because it is something, I think, that we deal with sometimes. And it is a detriment to patience.

Do you mind just turning to a few texts with me? I like to look at Leviticus chapter 19 - Leviticus chapter 19 and verse 18 - Leviticus 19 and verse 18 - while you're turning there - you're almost there, you know it said that we're not supposed to judge because the judge - we're not supposed to grudge because the judge is standing at the door. You know what I believe that means? At least in application? I believe it says don't hold a grudge because the judge is there. It's for him to take care of and not you. Sit back and relax. You know, too many - you know, sometimes we look at it - 'don't grudge because you're going to be judged if you grudge.

' And I won't doubt that, but I also believe that another reason we don't need to grudge is because we're not in charge. Who's in charge? The judge is. Let him take care of it. Leviticus chapter 19 and verse , "thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord." Wow. Don't grudge, instead of grudging what are you supposed to do? Oh, not just love - love your neighbor as yourself.

That's the picture that's being pulled out here. Let's look at another passage. Samuel chapter 24 and we are going to be looking at verse 12 - 1 Samuel 24 and verse 12. This is David speaking to Saul when Saul caught up with him trying to kill him. And here's what David says: "the Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

" What a picture. It's not for me to do. God's in charge. Now I wish David kept that his whole life, amen? But at this point that is beautiful. What a beautiful picture he's giving us of God.

God's in charge, I'm not in charge. And, you know, I'm glad, aren't you? Because sometimes you and I can avenge ourselves on people that God would - is pulling and drawing to himself. And, as a result of us trying to avenge ourselves, they are pushed further away from God. Let God take care of it. The next one is found in Jeremiah chapter 15 and verse 15 - Jeremiah 15:15, "o Lord, thou knowest:" - I'll wait till you turn there, but those first four words are beautiful - oh Lord, you know - oh Lord, you know.

Does he? Does he know what you face? Does he know the struggle you're facing with patience right now? Does he know the people who are testing your patience right now? Does he know the struggle they're having? Oh Lord - what is that? - You know. "O Lord, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke." You know I used to read stuff like this from Jeremiah - especially David. You get these Psalms of David - 'kill him for me, God, please.' He doesn't quite say that, but what is - you have to realize that they understood that God knew all things. And if God knows all things, he's going to be righteous and he's going to do the right thing. It's a good thing.

'Oh God, you know.' Let's look at one last passage on this area and that's Romans chapter 12 and verse 19 - Romans 12 and verse , "dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath:" - in other words, don't get angry - "for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." Why is vengeance God's? Because he's the one who wants to hit somebody? Why is vengeance God's? Because he wants to make sure they get the proper punishment? Why is vengeance God's? 'Oh Lord, you know.' That's it. So when you're dealing with feeling like getting a grudge against someone, 'oh Lord, you know. You know what I'm facing, God. You know what they're facing, God, you know.' Let me be - can I use the word? - Patient. Let me be patient.

We have a good God, don't we? I get excited. I - when I was younger and I was starting to impatiently look for a spouse, as sometimes we do - 'God, please, is this the right person?' I would pray and beg God and pray and beg God - and God was quiet. You know why God's quiet sometimes, because he already told us and he doesn't need to tell us again. And then another time I'd pray and beg God, 'please, please' - and I was all impatient - 'God, I need this.' And God's just smiling - I don't know if he was smiling, but I felt like it sometimes. 'Just relax, chuck, have patience.

' I remember I was talking to my dad one time about it and he said, 'son, I hope you find a patient wife.' And I didn't know if that was a compliment or not. 'I hope you find a patient wife.' Well, I praise God I did. But I found out that patience is necessary. And I tell you that patience makes relationships work. Patience, I mean, I don't know if you knew this, but I was doing some research for this lesson and on - there are actually whole seminars for professionals - leaders - on how to be patient.

Professionals go to seminars and pay big money to learn how to be patient. And you got to be here for free today. This is fantastic. And I have to admit that the counsel in the Word of God is better than what they give. Would you say 'amen?' Patience is something that people realize is a key to success.

If you're not a patient man - if you're not a patient woman, pray that the Lord will stablish your heart. That he will come and give you the strength that is necessary. You know, James doesn't just tell me about what to have patience for. Yes, the coming of the Lord is part of it, but I'm having patience for fruit. And he doesn't just describe how to have patience, but he also tells me who has had patience in the past and I can look at them and get some ideas.

James chapter 5 - James chapter and we're going to look at our next verse, verse 10. "Take, my brethren, the prophets." - There it is - "take, my brethren," - I know this - 'my brethren, listen up. I've got an example for you - "take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example" - and if I just stop there we'd say, 'okay, good. We're supposed to go out and speak in the name of the Lord and everything's fine?' The prophets are our example. Let's just go out and give it to them.

But it doesn't say that's where we're supposed to take the example from. It says, "take, my brethren, the prophets," - my pages keep turning - "who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience." I would much rather have Elijah as my example so I can go out and blast away the sin. And he says, 'uh uh, example of what? Suffering affliction and of patience.' Oh, I want that. I don't want the suffering affliction. I want to clarify that.

But I'd love to have that kind of patience. The patience that my children would always see the character of God in their father. How about that? The kind of character - the kind of patience - so when I'm working with my friends they don't see my stressed out look when I'm like, 'uh uh, you pushed me too far.' I'm speaking to people who know me. I don't want that, I want to have patience. You know, it's a beautiful picture and if I was in a class where there's a lot of interaction, what I would say is, 'could you give me some examples of some prophets who suffered affliction and have given us an example of patience?' And you would probably be able to list dozens to me, from the Bible.

Am I right? Can you think of an old testament prophet who did not suffer affliction? I thought this was a little bit easier. You can't. When you are called to speak for God - when you're called to be a spokesman for God - when you're called to be an example for God, dare I say an ambassador, as Paul says - you will suffer affliction and you will need patience. Because I guarantee you it's patience and affliction that determines whether a person is a Christian or not. It is patience and affliction that determines when a person is a Christian or not.

I was out with my father. My father used to be a salesman. And we would go from place to place. And I remember I would in summertime I would go out and travel with my dad and my dad is a patient man. He's not perfect, but he's patient.

I appreciate that. And we were out and my dad was selling his product there at this local store and he walked in and the man started angrily yelling at my dad and cursing at him. And my little - I don't know what I was - 8 or 9 years old - my little heart was not patient and it was definitely not willing to suffer affliction. And I got up there and I said, 'how could you speak that way to my dad?' - I didn't say it, I was too scared. But I was feeling that inside.

And my dad just sat there and let this man just yell at him. And after about 15 - 20 minutes, my dad continued with what he was doing. The man ended up buying hundreds of - maybe thousands of dollars worth of product from my dad. Now, of course I didn't notice it at that point, I look back now and say, 'man, my dad's wise.' Patience, right? Now as I crawled back into the car and we're traveling back down the road, I looked at my dad and said, 'why didn't you say anything? How can you just stand there and let someone like - speak to you like that?' You know what my dad said, 'just because he got out on the wrong side of the bed doesn't mean I have to get out of the wrong side of bed.' You know what he was doing there? Two things. He was looking at that person and saying, 'this person is not normally like this, maybe.

Maybe they just had a bad day. Have mercy on them. And why should I be unkind to someone who's having a bad day? Makes sense, right? Patience. Long patience. You know, I like to - there are so many prophets, I can't take the time to look at them, but we're going to look at one person specifically.

Is that okay? Let's look at chapter 5 and verse 11 - chapter 5, verse 11 - there's a chinese proverb that says, 'patience is a bitter plant, but its fruit is sweet.' Patience is a bitter plant, but its fruit is sweet. James chapter 5 and verse 11, "behold we count them" - what's that next word? - "Happy which endure." Happy which endure. I'm going to stop with that. We'll go to our next sentence later. Behold, we count them happy which endure.

I like athletics. I like watching races - running, specifically - I am always amazed at people who run marathons and things like that. I have friends who do - are ultra-marathoners. And whenever you see a person running a marathon and you can see them pushing through that wall that you hit and you - I can't go another step - and only by sheer willpower does one foot go in front of the next foot. They're enduring.

And when you look at them right then, you don't think of happiness, do you? Do you think of happiness when you see a person at that point? Their body is ready to fall apart in pain and their muscles are giving up. Do you consider them happy? Happy are they which endure. But when they cross the finish line, when they finish and complete 26.2 miles, or whatever length of race they're running, happy are they which endure. Happiness in endurance most often takes place at the end. Now there is a joy in the journey and I'm not going to argue that, but most of the time we don't see the happiness until the end.

You know, if you want to do what's easy and fun now, and don't endure, most of the time you're going to find yourself unhappy. Is that right? Think of the amount of people who have done what was easy and fun when they were young, in their teenage years and their twenties - they did what was easy, what was simple to do and did not try to endure. Are they happy today? Most of them will look at you in the face and say, 'I tried and it didn't work. I'm not happy.' Happiness comes in endurance. Happiness comes when you push it as far as you can, trusting that God will take care of what you need.

Happy are they which endure. There's a story I like to share of a man by the name of shun fujimoto. I'll share it briefly. Shun fujimoto was a japanese gymnast in the 1976 olympics. He was a gifted man, probably one of the main leading gymnasts on the japanese team.

They were in a big battle between the russians - trying to see who was going to get the team gold medal - doing everything they possibly could. And shun fujimoto was the one who was needed to make it happen. However, shun fujimoto finished up his floor routine - he felt something pop in his leg - like air entered in. He found out later that he had cracked his patella - his kneecap - extreme pain. But he didn't want to tell anybody because they knew they needed him to win.

So he decided he was going to do what? Endure. So he went and did the pommel horse routine and finished with a great score. But by that time people started to notice. You know, what, this man's not doing well. But the final routine that he was supposed to do was an easy one until the dismount and that is the high rings.

His job was to go out and score the best he possibly could. Shun fujimoto hobbled up to the rings, was lifted up - you could see the pain etched on his face as he went through an almost spotless routine and did a double back on the way off and landed and held his stick. Incredible. Amazing. You know, he forgot - here's what he said, and I'm going to paraphrase it - 'I forgot my pain as I looked at my goal.

' I forgot my pain when I looked for my goal. Happy are them which - what? - Endure. Let's look at the last part of verse 11 here, "ye have heard of the patience of job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." In other words, you've seen what God - the end that the Lord gives to people. You've seen job, you've heard of his patience and you've seen the end that the Lord gives to people like that. And then it says, "the Lord is very" - what? - "Pitiful, and of tender mercy.

" Happy are ye which endure. Did job understand what was going on behind the scenes? You and I can look at it, right? We can look at job chapter 1 and job chapter 2 and we realize that there is this unseen great controversy going on behind the scenes. But did job know that? He didn't. And so he endured patiently, even though he couldn't see why. That's the hard part, isn't it? If I know that I can fight my race through and I get a crown at the end, yes, I can do it because I can see what the results of my patience are.

And I know the reason I'm struggling is because it's normal to struggle when you're running a race. But it's hard, sometimes, to have patience when you don't know why you are struggling. 'Why God?' How many times have we asked that question? 'Why me? Why this time?' Happy are ye that endure. That's pretty rough for James to connect 'happy are ye that endure' with the story of job. Isn't it? I don't know if job would appreciate that.

No, I think job'd understand, don't you? Now when - when - when God came down - condescended - to speak to job and said, 'job, let me explain to you why this all happened. First of all, satan came up to this council and he talked to me and then I said to satan you can do this but you can't do this.' Is that what God said to job? Is that what he said? What did he say? 'Where were you when I created the heavens? Were you around when I did this?' He never, ever said, 'job, here's why you went through it.' He just simply said, 'I'm in charge, job. Relax.' 'Thou Lord, you know.' I think that's our phrase for patience, isn't it? 'Thou Lord' - what? - 'You know.' James chapter 5, you see in verse 8 - verse 7 - being patient and how the husbandman waits for patience. We're waiting for what? Fruit. What kind of patience do we have while we're waiting for fruit? Long patience.

Then in verse 8, I realized that how I have patience is I need to do what? I need to stablish my heart. Patience is a lifestyle. Patience is not just something that's a little bit here or a little bit here. Patience is something that I have at all times. Not because chuck holtry has patience in and of himself - who is stablishing my heart? the Lord is.

God is. Then I look and, of course that takes in the grudging we saw in verse 9. Then I look and I see who has had patience, verse 10. Who's had patience? The prophets. And we realize that we can't even think of a prophet who didn't suffer affliction.

They all had patience. What an incredible picture we see laid out there. And then we find out that those who have patience - those who endure - I'm putting those two together even though they're not synonymous, they're close. Those that endure - those who have patience - end up being what? What's the description? Happy or blessed, right? I can say that? Patience, it's a beautiful thing. I'd like to comment briefly on James 5:12 if that's okay.

And you're saying, 'chuck where does this tie in?' Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Let me tell you something - James chapter 5, let's read it. "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay be nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." James - the book of James - is very closely connected with a specific sermon of Jesus. Where? What sermon of Jesus is almost reproduced in James, but a little bit more practical - not practical, but in another way. It's the sermon on the mount.

Matthew chapter 5, verses - Matthew 5:6 and 7 - that sermon on the mount - if you compare that with James chapter - James , 2, 3, 4, and 5 - the whole book of James - it's amazing. James is just taking that sermon on the mount and applying it to the early church in a very beautiful way. This call that we've seen in verses 7 through 11 for patience, then we see here, in verse 12, another quote actually, not quite direct from the sermon on the mount. There's this tie throughout it. How do I have patience? There's another way to have patience.

It's found in Revelation chapter . Revelation chapter 13 and verse . Revelation chapter 13 - the first section of Revelation 13, verses 1 through 9 is talking about what? About the first beast, right? This beast is going to rise up out of the sea that is going to challenge God's people and, dare I say, even persecute them. Do we have any verses here? Absolutely. Look at it.

In verse 5, "and there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months." So here is this power speaking against God - blaspheming. And then in verse 7 it says, "and it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations." Wow, I've got a power that's blaspheming God, fighting God's people and hurting them. Then, let's look at verse 11, "and I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him," - and some of you are saying, 'chuck, this is not supposed to be a prophecy seminar.' Hold on, there's a beautiful picture that's coming out here in Revelation chapter 13. It says in verse 15 that "he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

" My friends, those Christians that are faithful to Jesus Christ, who refuse to worship the image of the beast, will be tried to be killed - they will try to. I've got a persecuting power - beast number one - Revelation :1 through 9. I've got a persecuting power - beast number two - beast coming up out of the earth - Revelation chapter 13, verses 11 through 18. And in the midst of these two powers, notice what it says in verse 10, "he that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword." - Then notice this phrase - "here is the patience and the faith of the saints." When you're surrounded on all sides. When it seems like persecution is the cup that God has given you, here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

When it seems like there's no hope and that the world is against you - and it will be, my friends, if you remain faithful to Jesus Christ - here is the patience and the faith of the saints. What a picture is being laid out. Why faith? Why patience? You know that it's almost a repeat in Romans - excuse me, Revelation 14:12 14:12 says what? Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. At both places - in Revelation it's right after the Mark of the beast issue.

Here's the patience and the faith of the saints. Why? You cannot have patience if you don't have faith. The fruit of faith is patience. Right? I have faith that God's in charge. 'Oh Lord,' - what? - 'You know.

' So I have patience. I believe that God is the one who takes vengeance, because he's the righteous judge and does the best for everyone. So I have patience. I believe that God can do a miracle in the heart of us. I have faith that he will justify me and sanctify me by faith.

And because of that, I have patience. Sometimes, I believe, you and i, if we focus on ourselves, see all the battles at every side. We see the enemies attacking, either through our mind or through people or through circumstances and we say, how am I going to survive? And I want to say, 'here is the patience of the saints. Here are they that have faith. This is how you and I can make it.

' I'd like to close with this thought. 'Happy are ye that endure.' Happy are ye, because by faith you and I know that there is an end to what we're living in. There is an end to the suffering. I was speaking to a gentleman last night and he was just pouring out his heart to me. He was saying, 'chuck, you know what I'm going through.

' And I had no idea. As he shared what he was struggling with, my heart broke. I can't imagine what he's going through. Happy is he if he endures. I believe he will.

'Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.' I pray that for you. I pray that for me. May God give us patience. May God give us faith that has its fruit in patience. Let's pray as we ask the holy spirit to be with us.

Father, we pray you will draw close to each one of us here. Fill us with your spirit. Establish our hearts. And father, give us that grace to endure with patience because of our faith in you. We pray in Jesus' Name, amen.

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