Tuesday, April 15, 2014


According to a traditional Hebrew story, Abraham was sitting outside his tent one evening when he saw an old man; weary from age and journey, coming toward him. Abraham rushed out, greeted him, and then invited him into his tent. There he washed the old man's feet and gave him food and drink.
The old man immediately began eating without saying any prayer or blessing. So Abraham asked him, don't you worship God?
The old traveler replied, worship fire only and reverence no other god.
When he heard this, Abraham became incensed, grabbed the old man by the shoulders, and threw him out his tent into the cold night air.
When the old man had departed, God called to his friend Abraham and asked where the stranger was. Abraham replied, I forced him out because he did not worship You.
God answered, I have suffered him these eighty years although he dishonors Me. Could you not endure him one night?

It's hard to imagine the patience that God must have in order to deal with ALL of Creation including you and me. 
The Apostle Paul shared with Timothy his thanksgiving for not only God's patience, but also for God'mercy, love and grace. Paul was definitely a child of God who tested the Heavenly Father'patience and mercy. As an agent of the Jewish Council, Paul, known then as Saul of Tarsus, spoke evil of Jesus, and with others persecuted the followers of God'Son, Jesus Christ. The mercy and forgiveness granted to Saul of Tarsus was a bold and profound message for future generations of believers. What incredible patience our God has. Who among us could be so patient? Not only was God patient with Paul, but also showed mercy by making such an enemy as Saul into an important representative of Christian faith.
Yet, Paul was selected to serve Jesus and to be an important representative of the Christian faith -- to demonstrate the Good News of what God has done and continues to do for all people through Jesus Christ! The apostle'testimony is a powerful expression of this important message. Paul emphatically wrote, his is a true saying, to be completely accepted and believed: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I am the worst of them, but God was merciful to me in order that Christ Jesus might show his full patience in dealing with me, the worst of sinners, as an example for all those who would later believe in him and receive eternal life.
Today, Paul is recognized as one of the most important Christian leaders in history; but if Paul considered himself the worst of sinners what does that mean for us? Can you or I think we are better than the apostle? That we are not sinners? An important aspect of those questions is shown in the spiritual lives of the Jewish leadership, which was opposed to Jesus. It was THEIR belief that THEY somehow earned special consideration or love from God. The Jewish leadership equated being loved by God with being a person who fulfilled all the requirements of THEIR religious laws. It was abhorrent to them to even consider the possibility that God loved sinners. Because Jesus welcomed and loved unclean sinners and the untouchables of society, the religious leader's whole understanding of their relationship with God was insulted.
Christ focus on saving sinners continues to create great tension today. Most of us do not like thinking of ourselves as sinners, so coming to terms with the Gospel message means we must face the reality that we ALL are sinners and need forgiveness.
We are called to remember we are all sinners. We are ALL in need of God' grace, mercy, love and patience. If we are true followers of Jesus Christ, we are to welcome and follow our Savior'way of hospitality showing grace, mercy, love and patience toward all.
God'mercy and patience for all of us sinners has been shown powerfully in the suffering death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God'Son! Let us follow God'and Christ'examples of mercy, patience, grace and love in the way we treat one another and welcome all people. Amen.

 When you are Merciful and Patient like our Lord, your ministry work will be very happy and God will bless your work abundantly. Be blessed.

Yours in Christ,
 Tarrent-Arthur Henry

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