Grace Moments Devotions - April 10, 2018

Divine patience
Pastor Mark Jeske

I can’t remember how many times I have had a difficult conversation with a parent or aunt or grandparent about a wayward family member. Sometimes the only thing I can think to do is pray with them that the Lord will keep the wanderer alive long enough for a change of mind and heart to take hold.

How wise is our God! How merciful is his patience! Jesus once told a story about a landowner who was ready to turn an unproductive fig tree into firewood. “‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down!’ . . . ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it’” (Luke 13:7,8).

Perhaps the Lord can melt a hard heart by sending treasures and blessings in the hope that the drifter will recognize a divine miracle and realize how much he or she is loved. More likely God will realize that he needs to use a two-by-four to get the person’s attention.

God’s patience means that he and we have a little more time to love and encourage people we care about whose lives seem disconnected from God. You and I are God’s gardeners, digging, weeding, fertilizing, and watering his trees to bear fruit for him. You and I are God’s evangelists, loving, inviting, praying for, warning, and encouraging people he still loves. The stakes are high: fruit or firewood.


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