“How To Have Patience”—2 Corinthians 4:16-18

INTRODUCTION 

 

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16–18)

 

The patience of many people is running thin these days. Between the social distancing restrictions of COVID-19, the racial tensions, and the rioting that is tearing up cities across America—patience is a virtue that is in short supply. Patience is something all of us desperately need.

 

I made a list of all the benefits of patience that  I could think of:

  • Patience keeps us from worrying.
  • Patience reduces stress.
  • Patience keeps us from being bitter.
  • Patience helps us to listen to other people more.
  • Patience helps us love each other.
  • Patience keeps us from rushing ahead of God’s plan.
  • Patience helps us sleep at night instead of fretting.
  • Patience helps us make better decisions.

Patience is a critical virtue. As Christians, patience is especially important because our Lord is so patient with us. 

 

There’s an ancient Jewish legend that Abraham once invited an old man into his tent for a meal. The old man refused to give thanks to God for the meal. Furious that the man would dishonor God, Abraham kicked him out.

 

Later God came to Abraham and asked about the old man. “Where is he?” “Well Lord, he did not respect You or give thanks to You, so I drove him away.” Sadly God replied, “I have patiently endured him for eight decades, and you could not spend one night with him?”

 

O Lord, give us Your patience with others! Do you remember the kid’s song about patience? 

 

Have patience, Have patience, 

Don’t be in such a hurry.  

When you get impatient 

You only start to worry.  

 

Remember, Remember, 

That God is patient too. 

And think of all times 

When others have to wait on you!

 

I think sometimes us adults need to go back and review those Sunday School songs that we hammered into the kids!

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The War We All Fight—2 Corinthians 10:3-5

INTRODUCTION 

 

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Corinthians 10:3–5)

 

THE FACT OF THE WAR (10:3)

 

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh [as human beings], we do not war after the flesh [human standards]: 

 

Most of the time, people know whether or not if a war is going on. Can you imagine being a Polish citizen in September of 1939? The German Blitzkrieg was overwhelming the Polish from the West. From the East, the Soviet armies were marching in. Suddenly your town and home is being bombed, shelled, and overran. It seems so unfair, because of the desires of dictators in Berlin and Moscow, you no longer have a home. You have only the few possessions you can carry as you join hundreds of refugees walking down a road to a place that is safe (if there is a safe place). Most of the time, people know if there’s a war going on.

 

Did you know that, if you are a Christian, you are in the midst of a war? You might say, “Well, from time to time, it sure does feel like it!” Maybe when you’ve had a bad day at work, or a bad argument with your spouse, or an illness suddenly besets you. Those days do indeed feel like a war.

 

But our text tells us that we are in a war all the time.

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Be Prepared For Battle–2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Every Montanan knows, or should know, the story of Custer’s Last Stand. The Battle of the Little Bighorn took place 200 miles West of Baker. Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer was ordered to help get Sioux and Cheyenne Indians onto their new reservations. He led a battalion of 700 men attached to the 7th Cavalry. At the end of the day, Custer, his two brothers, a brother-in-law, a nephew, and 260 other men were dead. Historians have debated for years the causes of the massive defeat, but it really boils down to one thing: Custer and his men were not prepared.

 

1) He had been offered the use of Gatling guns, but declined, saying that they would slow his command.

 

2) He believed that 800 Indian warriors were in the area. The actual number is unknown, but conservative estimates start at 1,500 to 2,500 and range up to 5,000.

 

3) He was warned about the size of the Indian village they were approaching. A Crow scout said it was the largest village he had ever seen. But Custer was worried about the Indians scattering in small bands and having to chase them all down.

 

4) Custer had broken his battalion up into three companies—as a result, his men were widely scattered and unable to help one another. His company, the largest of the three, was completely wiped out. 

 

Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but it is evident that Custer was not as prepared for battle as he thought that he was. He thought that he could handle anything.

 

Christians today are, by and large, far worse prepared than Custer was for the battles that we face. We live in a time of a gathering storm, with our culture rapidly abandoning the Christian roots that are at the foundation. Are we ready to fight? Do we know how to fight this war? Do we even know that we are in a war? The first step in our preparation for battle is to realize that… Continue reading

What Happens Immediately After You Die?—2 Corinthians 5:6-8

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

What happens immediately after you die? I know that most people don’t like to think about dying, but really—we should. It is, after all, going to happen to every one of us. 

 

To help us in our thinking about what happens after we die, we can go to the Bible. The apostle Paul was one that thought a great deal about the afterlife, and one of his best passages is in 2 Corinthians 5.

 

Before we read our passage, you need to understand a little bit about the future. The bodies that we have now are doomed to decay and die. But if you believe in Jesus Christ, he has promised you a new body—a resurrection body.

 

This resurrection body will be given to every believer when Jesus returns. The Bible says—

 

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:51–53)

 

This is a promise that we can depend on, because it’s a promise from God. All believers will be given new, glorified resurrection bodies when Jesus returns.

 

But wait. What happens to you between the time you die and the time Jesus returns? What happens immediately after you die? To start to answer that question, we turn to Paul in 2 Corinthians 5—

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Sermon: We Are Weak, He Is Strong

 

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)

 

I. WE ARE WEAK 

 

In this passage we learn that even the great apostle Paul did not have an easy life given to him by God. To the contrary, the Lord even gave him a thorn—a hardship—to keep Paul from forgetting that he was weak—we all are weak.

 

2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 

2 Corinthians 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

 

Paul had been given much knowledge by God—he would write much of the New Testament—and to keep him from getting a big head about it, God allowed Satan to buffet him. 

 

Paul was made humble and humanly weak—and the Lord refused to take the thorn away because he wanted Paul humble and weak. We’ll see why later, but first, in verse 10, we see Paul gives a list of his weaknesses: 

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