October 8, 2021 Brethren Letter

Dear Brethren,

I’ll begin tonight’s letter with a paragraph quoted from a book entitled, Illustrations Unlimited. After I first read the paragraph, I quickly realized I could identify with similar experiences in my own life. The subject matter of this quote is an example of the word “patience.” To me, the author has an excellent way of getting his point across. Maybe I would personally entitle it, “Patience… and the lack thereof!” Here’s the paragraph…

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 many, if not most of us, chuckled while reading that brief example. But, if we really did find ourselves in that situation (being in a stalled car with others honking their horns), we probably wouldn’t be chuckling.

Brethren, when it comes to the subject of “PATIENCE”, it’s no joke when we consider that God’s elect must be growing in this very attribute of God’s Holy Spirit! Galatians 5:22 shows us the following about the word “patience” or “longsuffering”… “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], gentleness, goodness, faith…

Mr. Armstrong also had this to say about “patience” 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, there’s very little patience in today’s society. Owning our own retail business drives that point home quite well. It has often been said, (especially in the last few years), we currently live in the “ME” generation. “I WANT IT NOW,” are words often heard in today’s society.

As we know, God’s people are to be thinking like Christ and not like the WORLD with its “GET” philosophy, and self-absorbed way of life. We see in

the book of I John, the following verses… “[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 4-5). Our minds are to be more and more like Christ each year! Certainly, there are many ways in which we can grow and overcome. But, tonight, I am focusing on the word “PATIENCE!”

Does it really matter if God’s people grow in GODLY patience? As we realize, only God can bring His Kingdom about. Yes, we certainly know that! However, it is possible to actually become weary while waiting for that Kingdom to begin, and start falling asleep spiritually. Hearing the words “end-time”, “soon”, “it won’t be long now”, or “time is short”, could even become worn-out clichés in our minds, having very little meaning anymore.

Actually, thinking the day might be “afar-off” is nothing new. We’re told in II Peter 3:3-4, of what 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).

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 in keeping His promises! He is patient toward us! We too, must be steadfastly patient as we wait for God’s Kingdom and NEVER GROW WEARY! Remember, GOD HAS BEEN WAITING for His Kingdom FAR LONGER than any of us ever have, or ever will.

Brethren, as I’ve said many times before, it’s important that we watch world events to better see the time-frame we’re in (Luke 21:36). However, “watching” alone, is not of much value if we are not growing spiritually.

All of us have probably known brethren through the years that have become tired or weary, waiting for God’s Kingdom. They sometimes focus on the

hurts perpetrated by former pastors, and lose spiritual focus. Some, even choose to go back into the WORLD! But, a real FUTURE awaits those who continually hold fast and never let go of God’s vision for our future, and patiently WAIT! “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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