Be patient with everyone.

Do you struggle with patience? I sure do. It’s one of those traits that I want to pursue, but I struggle at times to attain. However, it is essential to the Christian walk. We’re called, not only to be patient with other believers, but everyone.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:14 (NLT) Paul tells us, “Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.”

Isn’t it interesting that Paul specifically cites certain types of people? Those who are lazy, timid, and weak. However, in the next sentence, Paul says to be patient with everyone. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my patience wears incredibly thin when I’m dealing with those who are lazy, timid, and weak.

But Paul’s charge is that we exercise patience with those types of individuals, and even those who are hard-working, bold, and strong. Paul very clearly states that we’re to be patient with everyone. That can be a tall task, but God’s patience with us is second to none and a shining example to all his children.

“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him.” (2 Peter 3:15 – NLT) Isn’t that amazing? Our Lord is patient with us in order that we might bring more into the Kingdom of Heaven. Please be patient with one another.


Take the trash to the curb.

I love a good joke, but some jokes take things a bit too far. If you wish to call me a prude, that’s fine, but I prefer to think that what I find funny is more in line with the Scriptures rather than the world’s view.

Ephesians 5:4-5 (NLT) says, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes – these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshipping the things of this world.”

Paul cautions us once more in Colossians 3:7-9 (NLT) when he writes, “You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.”

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun. Heck, I love to have a good time. In fact, Proverbs 15:30 (NLT) tells us, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.” But I’m suggesting that you fill your mind with positive and God-honoring thoughts rather than those thoughts that come from your old sinful nature.

Solomon tells us in Proverbs 15:14 (NLT), “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash.” Don’t be like the fool. Have fun, but listen to the Word of God and avoid the garbage of life.

Boast about your weakness.

As our world ages and technology becomes greater, we as human beings become more proud by the day. We begin to think of ourselves as invincible. After all, our strong wills and determination have gotten us to where we are, right?

Sadly, that type of attitude is a grave mistake. When we begin to rely on ourselves more than God, we’re in for a rude awakening. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NLT), “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.”

We like to think that admitting our shortcomings reveals weakness, and no one wants to appear weak. But Paul tells us that our weakness allows God’s grace to shine through. Look at 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT).

‘Three different times I begged the Lord to take (a thorn in my flesh) away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.’

Psalm 103:13-14 (NLT) says quite nicely, “The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate with those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” Don’t allow your weakness to drag you down. God’s grace is sufficient.

Perseverance pays off.

My wife and I recently watched NASA’s Perseverance land on Mars. It was a pretty cool sight to behold. The rover is said to be investigating the surface of Earth’s neighboring planet. My wife really geeks out with all the technical and scientific aspects of space exploration, but I was more drawn to the name of the rover.

I learned that a middle school student in Virginia, Alex Mather, actually received the privilege of naming the rover. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, said that Alex’s entry “captured the spirit of exploration.”

“Like every exploration mission before, our rover is going to face challenges, and it’s going to make amazing discoveries. It’s already surmounted many obstacles to get us to the point where we are today,” said Zurbuchen via

Overcoming obstacles is crucial to living the Christian life. James 1:3-4 (NLT) says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” The word when is very significant. James doesn’t say if, but when, insisting that trials are inevitable.

In 1 Timothy 4:15-16 (NLT), Paul tells us how to persevere. “Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.”

Paul says in Philippians 4:9 (NLT), “Keep putting into practice all you’ve learned and received from me – everything you heard and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” If you wish to persevere in the Christian life, stay true to what you’ve learned in the Scriptures and think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

A life-giving fountain.

I used to love pitching pennies into the fountain at the local mall when I was a kid. Closing my eyes, thinking hard about what I wanted, I’d make a wish and toss a coin into the water. God’s Word tells us that our words are like a fountain. Are you using your words to make a wish come true?

Proverbs 10:11-12 (NLT) tells us, “The words of the godly are a life-giving fountain; the words of the wicked conceal violent intentions. Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love makes up for all the offenses.”

How good is that? Essentially what Solomon is saying is that it’s better to encourage one another rather than start an argument. That seems like a simple concept and one that we all should grasp, but oftentimes we drift more towards discouragement.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (NLT) has the answer. “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

Solomon’s words in Proverbs 18:20 (NLT) help to round out my thoughts on this subject. “Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction.” May the words you speak today be used to encourage and bring satisfaction.

You don’t deserve it.

One of the greatest words in all the Bible is grace. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT) says, “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for it; it’s a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

Isn’t that amazing? God has taken salvation out of your hands. You cannot earn it; it’s a gift. Not only can you not earn it, you don’t deserve it. I don’t deserve it. Romans 3:23 (NLT) reads, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Boy, do we ever!

Now, grace can be tricky, because there are those who will abuse it. Paul, however, has some counsel for those folks in Romans 6:15-16 (NLT), “Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become a slave to whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God which leads to righteous living.”

Grace is something we can’t earn and don’t deserve, yet God gives it to us freely. All we have to do is believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. In Acts 15:11 (NLT), Luke tells us, “We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.”

That’s a tough one for us in America to understand, because we’re always told that nothing is free and everything has a price. Your salvation had a price, and it cost Jesus His life. But He offers you salvation, and all you have to do is believe.

Be a peacemaker.

Ours is a society that loves to hear ourselves talk. Anymore, ours is a society that loves to see what we type into our devices and post to our social media accounts. However, there seems to be a lack of control when it comes to what we say and what we type. It’s time to think before you speak, or type.

James speaks very forcefully about controlling the tongue. James 3:2 (NLT) states, “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.”

James is not speaking directly about the tongue itself. After all, the tongue is just a muscular organ. Instead, James is speaking about the way in which we use our tongues to slander, curse, and defame others. Essentially, James is writing about the condition of our heart. The tongue is not the culprit, but our anger and rage are made known once we open our mouths.

Colossians 4:5-6 (NLT) tells us what we ought to do. “Live wisely among those who are not believers and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” Paul is imploring us to live wisely and to be gracious in our speech so that it’s attractive and not harmful.

Let’s do that, shall we? Let’s stop allowing our anger, frustration, and irritation to take control, and rather let our speech be winsome, engaging, and appealing. James 3:18 (NLT) says, “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” Let’s be peacemakers, together.

Don’t be lazy.

You hear a lot about idolatry in the Bible. Sacrifices to idols, idol worship, etc. But there’s also mention in the Scriptures about being idle. In fact, 2 Thessalonians 3:6 (NLT) tells us, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.”

We are not to lead idle lives. However, it seems as though people have become increasingly reliant on others to do things for them. Americans are always eager to find the newest app or device that will make things easier. You’ve heard the expression, “Work smarter, not harder,” right? While that’s not unwise counsel, it has a tendency to lead one into a life of laziness.

Proverbs gives us a lot of advice when it comes to laziness. Proverbs 10:4 (NLT) says, “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” Proverbs 10:26 (NLT) reads, “Lazy people irritate their employers, like vinegar to the teeth or smoke in the eyes.” Finally, Proverbs 13:4 says, “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.”

Laziness can cause so much strife. In 2 Thessalonians 3:11 (NLT), Paul writes, “Yet we hear some of you are leading idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living.”

Stop being idle. Stop being lazy. Instead, listen to what the Jesus says in Mark 16:15, ‘And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”‘ That’s a command from our Savior. When Jesus tells us to go, I think we need to listen and obey.

The source of all comfort.

I love to cook. Being in the kitchen and making some sort of delicious dish or treat that someone will soon enjoy brings a smile to my face. I can’t describe exactly what it is, but I truly love cooking and I think the comfort that a hearty, home-cooked meal brings is extraordinary.

While I love to prepare and eat comfort foods such as mashed potatoes, meatloaf, and macaroni and cheese, nothing compares to the comfort God that brings to His children. That comfort is second to none.

2 Corinthians 1:3 (NLT) says, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is your merciful Father and the source of all comfort.” Think about that for a second. God, by His mercy, is the source of all comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:4-5 (NLT) goes on to say, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with His comfort through Christ.”

Paul goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 1:9 (NLT), “…we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.” There in lies the secret to finding comfort. We need to stop relying on ourselves and begin relying on God; the source of all comfort.

Obedience pleases God.

What brings a smile to your face? For me, it’s my wife coming through the front door after a long day at work, watching a ballgame with my son, cooking a hearty meal, spending Thanksgiving day with my family, reeling in a largemouth bass, and any number of other things. But what makes God smile? In a word; obedience.

Matthew 3:13-14 (NLT) speaks of the baptism of Jesus. ‘Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?’ John the Baptist did not feel worthy of baptizing Jesus.

A few verses earlier, Matthew 3:11 (NLT) tells us, “…someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I’m not worthy to even be his slave and carry his sandals.” John was the forerunner for Jesus, and he felt unqualified to baptize Him. After all, Jesus was the Messiah. Matthew 3:15 (NLT) says, ‘But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.

Now, look what happens when Jesus carried out what God requires. Matthew 3:16-17 (NASB) reads, ‘After He was baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and  settling on Him, and behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”‘

Jesus obeyed His Heavenly Father. Philippians 2:5 and 8 (NLT) tells us what we must do and tells of another time that Jesus was obedient to God. “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had…he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.” If you want to please God, be obedient to His Word.