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Having A Servant's Heart - Part 5

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6 (NKJV)

We have been looking at a series of devotionals titled, “Having A Servant's Heart.”  In this series we have been looking at what it means to have a proper servant's heart as defined by God.  We cannot properly serve others in the way our Lord demonstrated without first having this type of heart.  And so we are looking at eight qualities we are to put on, as outlined in Colossians 3:12-14—qualities we must possess before we can properly serve others in His name.

Let’s take a look at the fifth quality we must, “put on.”

5.   We must put on longsuffering (patience)

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on longsuffering; bearing with one another… Colossians 3:12 (NKJV)

Longsuffering or patience means to have a good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence in others.

We must “put on” this quality each day, knowing we will be tested by others.  We do this knowing we have been shown great patience by God, and it is our desire to model and imitate this virtue to serve and benefit others.  The Apostle Paul had a firm grasp on this truth, and he knew that God was using it to bring others to a saving relationship with Christ.

But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. 1 Timothy 1:16 (NLT)

As we teach others what it means to be Christian, or “Christ-like” by our actions, it will keep us focused on sharing this quality of “patience,” regardless of how other’s respond or treat us. We must choose to let God correct others, and guide them on the specific path He has laid out before them.  We cannot allow ourselves to be manipulated by another person’s actions—we must choose to “put on” patience.

The sixth quality we want to look at is that of:

6.   Bearing with one another

This is the verb tense of patience, and it simply means to endure, to hold out in spite of persecution, threats, injury, indifference, or complaints and not retaliate.   Paul is stating, Christians who are truly patient will willingly “bear with” those whose faults or unpleasant traits are an irritation to them.

When we possess longsuffering (patience), we possess the ability to “bear one another.”  This means we will possess endurance, staying power, tolerance, persistence, fortitude and serenity.

We are often tempted to hold others accountable and we can easily point out their flaws all the while wanting God to forgive ours, and perhaps He has not noticed them?—but He does, and is simply patient and longsuffering with us.  We, too, should be imitating Him when it comes to this good quality.

Ultimately, it is this demonstration of love that has led us to repentance, and it will be this same quality from God directed to others through us ultimately leading them to repentance as well.

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 (NKJV)

I would like to encourage you today to exercise patience and to bear with others even in their ways that would normally bring about frustration and irritation to you.  God has a plan, and He will give us the power to implement this patience into our lives, and He will give us the ability to see the big picture as well.  This is a big part of having the heart of a servant, and it is available to every Christian.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Romans 15:5-6, how do we glorify God?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you find that you lose your patience with certain people, or certain situations?

APPLICATION: Let’s seek the Lord and ask Him to give us patience and longsuffering in these areas.  Let’s make a commitment to our Lord and ask Him for His help in any area in which we struggle.

Father, thank You for giving us patience and longsuffering.  We know there are still times when we do not actively choose to put on these qualities, and we have seen the results when we lack patience.  Please forgive us for these times, and help us to remember Your teachings when these times present themselves again.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be blessed, Pastor Scott


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000