December 28, 2018 Brethren Letter

Dear Brethren,

I’ll begin tonight’s letter with a paragraph taken from a book entitled, Illustrations Unlimited. The subject matter of this paragraph was given as an example of the word “patience.” I think the author gets his point across very well.

Illustrations Unlimited…

A man’s car stalled in the heavy traffic as the light turned green. All his efforts to start the engine failed, and a chorus of honking behind him made matters worse. He finally got out of his car and walked back to the first driver and said, “I’m sorry, but I can’t seem to get my car started. If you’ll go up there and give it a try, I’ll stay here and blow your horn for you.”

Perhaps you too chuckled a bit while reading that paragraph. Of course, if we really did find ourselves in that situation (being in a stalled car with others honking at us), we probably wouldn’t be chuckling.

Brethren, when it comes to PATIENCE, it’s no joke that God’s elect are to be growing in this attribute of God’s Spirit! “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], gentleness, goodness, faith… (Galatians 5:22).

Mr. Armstrong also wrote about the following in his booklet “What is Faith?”

God’s purpose in your life is to transform you from what you’ve been into the very image of His son — into the very character of God Himself. Part of this character is the learning of PATIENCE!

Sad to say, seemingly, there is very little patience in society. Having our own retail business often drives that point home. It has been said that we currently live in the time of the “ME” generation. “I WANT IT NOW” are common words we often hear.

As we realize… God’s people should be thinking like Christ and not like the world, with its self-absorbed, GET philosophy. We see in the book of I John, the following…

“[4] You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. [5] They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. [6] We are of God. He who knows God hears

us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (I John 4:4-6 [NKJV]).

The apostle Paul wrote, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5). Our minds are to be like Christ’s, through God’s Spirit!

Does it really matter if God’s people grow in GODLY patience when it comes to the Kingdom of God? Is it even possible for God’s people to become weary while waiting for the Kingdom of God? Ask yourself, have the words “end-time,” “soon,” “it won’t be long now,” or “time is short,” become old worn-out clichés that have little meaning anymore? Well, believing the day of Christ’s return to be “far-off” is nothing new. We’re told in II Peter 3:3-4, of something that would occur in the last days, just prior to Christ’s return.

[3] “knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, [4] and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (II Peter 3:3-4 – NKJV).

However, in verse 9 we read “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering [patient] to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9). No, God is not slack concerning His promises, He’s PATIENT toward you and me, not wanting us to perish. Keep in mind, God has been waiting far longer than any of us for His Kingdom to come to this earth!

Brethren, as I’ve said many times before, it’s important that we watch world events to know the time-frame we’re in (Luke 21:36). However, watching without GROWING is of little value. God knows where each of us stands, spiritually! All of us have probably known brethren who became weary while waiting for the Kingdom. Some have focused on the hurts that were caused by former pastors. Others have even chosen to go back into the “world” from where they came. But, be patient dear friends, there’s a POSITIVE FUTURE ahead for those who continually “hold-fast” and never let go of God’s TRUTH and vision. “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for He is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10:23).

Have a wonderful Sabbath! We look forward to fellowshipping with you tomorrow!

Your Brother in Christ,

Gary Liebold

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