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KJV and NKJV Scripture

–  Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. – Ephesians 5:4

– Foolish talking and jesting aren’t the ways in which Christian cheerfulness should ever express itself, but rather giving of thanks.  A relationship with Jesus is the source of all joy and gladness in life.  Expressed in gratitude and praise, not jokes – from Charles Hodge

The word jesting means to joke around, fool around, tease, and make wise cracks.  It can involve tossing around a little sarcasm now and then.  Intents to jest are behind the generation of comedy routines and sketches.  However, even if done in social situations, usually among family and friends well-acquainted with each other, it is often labeled as “just having fun.”

However, there isn’t anything funny about faith, and there isn’t anything comical about Christianity – or being a believer.  All foolish talking leads to foolish walking, and not redeeming the time wisely as God commands us to (Ephesians 5:15-16).  Christ did not go around cracking jokes, poking fun at people, or engaging in good-natured ribbing with any person.

We never read of Jesus saying things like “I didn’t mean to hurt you with that joke.  I was just kidding.” Christ only spoke words given by God (John 12:49), and God does not joke around.  Eternity is not a laughing matter.  It is nothing to make light of, – as the marriage dinner parable points out (Matthew 22:1-5).  There isn’t any levity in being left behind.

God warns us throughout His Word about the effect our words have on others.  Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).  However, mouths speak out of the heart’s abundance (Luke 6:45).  Filling up on the world brings forth foolish talking, wise cracking, sarcasm, and jesting.  Filling up on the Word brings forth joy in Jesus; not jokes.

No matter how harmless any attempts at humor may seem, they can stab at, then pierce somebody’s heart (Proverbs 12:18).  Reopening emotional wounds from years ago, scars the recipient of the jesting thought were finally healed.  New damage and pain perhaps never intended is created, even if the injured soul laughs it off like it did not hurt – when it really did.

As innocent as jesting might appear, it is not godly. Seemingly gentle teasing can easily cross the line into some taunting, an emotional form of bullying.  Making wise cracks is not only showing a lack of wisdom, but failing to ask God for it (James 1:5), so jesting stops. Sarcasm, from the Greek “sarkazein” (to strip off the flesh) – is a close cousin of scoffing and mockery.

Scoffing God will mark man’s last days as scores walk after their own lusts (2 Peter 3:3).  And, God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).  Both Abraham and Sarah scoffed at and mocked God’s promise to deliver them a child in their advanced ages (Genesis 17:17, 18:11-15).  Even though both laughed silently in their heart, God heard, and didn’t see any humor in the situation.

Justification of sins does not involve jesting, foolish talking is not expressing faith, and holiness does not include humor.  It all does involve humble obedience (Philippians 2:8), and mutual abidance (John 15:1-6). One cannot continue the “just kidding” comments of jesting, the wise cracking comedy of the old man, and learn Christ as commanded (Ephesians 4:20-32).

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Here is the patience of the saints: Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. – Revelation 14:12

– Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

Impatience in life is marked by ungodly attributes such as anxiety or complaining.  Impatience with God is marked by the same things.  It’s a feeling one gets when something is just not happening as quickly as expected.  It’s a restless wanting or ache to do or get something – and something/someone is preventing it.

Impatient people have trouble waiting for anything, and pride is a common cause.  Often wanting others to serve them in a timely fashion, in accordance with anticipations based on their inordinate opinion of themselves, even if only in their mind.  Otherwise, contentions are bound to begin (Proverbs 13:10).

Long check-out lines at the store, or short traffic light times annoy them.  Almost everything in their life takes on an air of urgency or emergency, even if just imagined in their head – as is usually the case.  They easily get aggravated when delays and interruptions, whatever the cause, interrupt their schedule.

An impatient Christian sins because it’s a lack of faith (Hebrews 11:1).  It shows reluctance to wait on His promises not yet seen to come true.  They don’t like waiting too long for worldly things, much less those of the Word.  Hold-ups irritate, creating impatient traits such as cursing or murmuring (Philippians 2:14).

Impatient people also have a tendency to exaggerate the importance of their daily activities.  Whatever they’re involved with matters much more than what anyone else is – even among family, friends, or co-workers.  If anything or anyone interferes with their efforts to have a productive day, they get annoyed.

However, the words important and productive do not appear in Scripture.  As Solomon wisely pointed out many times, our life is vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 1:14, 2:11,17,26, 4:4,16, 6:9) without salvation.  Vanity means useless, a waste of time – not producing end results one desired at the outset.

We all arrived upon earth as creatures subject to vanity (Romans 8:20).  When we die, all claims of belief in God will have been in vain, if we did not endure all He commanded (Matthew 24:13, Hebrews 12:20).  We failed to hold fast in patient faith; and forgot what was preached to us (1 Corinthians 15:2).

Salvation is our expected end in this life (Jeremiah 29:11).  It is a hope we are to wait with patience for – for any hope seen is no longer hope (Romans 8:24-25).  This patience is one of the many spiritual fruits God commands us to produce continually until our death (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, John 15:16)

Fruits to be brought forth meet with our repentance to salvation (Matthew 3:8) – to keep us climbing up heaven’s staircase the correct way (2 Peter 1:5-8). Impatient rushing in this world can cause us to skip or forget steps, and make us slip a little or take a tumble (Hebrews 2:1).  Spiritual impatience can do the same.

It’s why we must be diligent and make our calling and election by God sure.  If we do, then He promises us we will never fall.  We will take each step with Him in steadfast patience (2 Peter 1:10) – so an entrance will be administered abundantly unto us at the end into heaven’s everlasting kingdom (2 Peter 1:11).

Otherwise, Jesus will call us a robber and thief for climbing up the wrong way (John 10:1).  Spiritual stealing works the same way as the physical kind. People who don’t want to wait and do things legally to acquire an item desired, will rob.  Physical theft leads to prison; spiritual theft to death without deliverance.

Why is having patience so crucial prior to and for salvation?  One reason is because our Father is a God of patience and consolation.  Without patience we can’t learn to be like-minded, one toward another in Jesus – nor receive each other with any forbearance and tolerance; as God is to us (Romans 15:5-7).

Another reason is patience purifies our hearts by faith (Acts 15:9).  If we’re impatient in the world one day, and patient the next, we are still wavering in our walk with God (Ephesians 4:14).  This is having a double mind (James 1:6-8).  It is trying to eat and drink at two tables simultaneously (1 Corinthians 10:21).

In the same vein, patience purifies our motives.  It shows God if our prayers are amiss, asking for things just to consume on our lusts (James 4:3).  Or, do we trust Him to know our needs before we do (Matthew 6:8)?  We are to be content with what we already have – and not want (Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 23:1).

If we ever want anything from God, then we have impatience within us to deal with and correct.  Why? Because our Father is going to try our faith to work patience in us, and we are to let this patience have her perfect work.  So we may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing from God ever again (James 1:3-4).

A third reason is we’re all running a spiritual race of faith.  If we were running something like a marathon, we wouldn’t sprint out of the starting gate and run as hard and fast as we could right off the bat, or we’d be exhausted in the first few miles.  Instead, we would set a steady, straightforward pace from start to finish.

Even then, we might not win.  There could be other contestants better conditioned, and who trained with much more discipline and commitment than we did. Spiritual training is very similar.  If we are doing it in accordance with the Word, we are to lay aside the weight of all sin that so easily besets us in the world.

This is so we can run with patience the race of faith set before us.  Even though we have a heavenly cloud of witnesses along the route rooting us on, we are to be looking ahead at all times towards the finish line. Only Christ is waiting there to hand us our eternal crown of victory if we endure (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Patience commands moderation and self-restraint.  It means we learn temperance.  This is another fruit to be produced (Galatians 5:23), and another step on heaven’s staircase (2 Peter 1:6).  Spiritual growth should show more abstinence from worldly things and ways each year, and more abidance to the Word.

It all plays an integral part in patiently running our spiritual race as the apostle Paul wrote about as follows:  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.

Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we for an incorruptible one.  I therefore so run – not with uncertainty.  So I fight – not as one who beats the air (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).”  Running around to and fro aimlessly without a steady direction, purpose, or focus (Colossians 3:2) – is vainly beating the air.   

Sadly, it seems we are living in a world teaching less patience each year.  We have so many on-demand devices and programs available, we can get used to having things now – not later.  This is coupled with an incentive-laced system of earning gifts or monetary rewards for many purchases we make (Isaiah 1:23).

However, impatience is never a new thing to God (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10).  We see examples throughout Scripture, starting off with Abraham and Sarah not wanting at first to wait for Isaac to be born in God’s timing.  Instead, they rushed the matter with Hagar, who birthed the wild child Ishmael (Genesis 16:1-15).

Also in the Old Testament, Esau’s impatience cost him his birthright (Genesis 25:24-34).  We see impatience in the New Testament with the Prodigal Son, who did not want to wait until later to receive his inheritance. So he got it, wasted it, and began to be in want as the swine dined better than he was (Luke 15:11-16).

Impatient behavior leads to hasty words – towards each other or heaven.  It is hard to let words be few, when stewing about in impatience (Ecclesiastes 5:2). Hearts can only hold so much before something spills out of a mouth (Luke 6:45).  Blessing and cursing from the same ought not to be so (James 3:9-10).

We must never be ignorant about any of this, as impatience is a powerful tool the devil uses to pull us away from the truth.  To keep us bustling about in bursts and flurries of impatient activity in the world he’s the prince of (John 14:30).  Reaping nothing more than the whirlwind being sown (Hosea 8:7).

The devil roars around like a starving lion.  Trying to devour us in impatience – to gain advantage with deceptive devices we can’t be unaware of (1 Peter 5:7-8, 2 Corinthians 2:11).  We should not marvel. Satan and his angels are transformed into ministers of light and righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Deceiving the whole world is the only job God gave Satan upon casting him out from heaven (Revelation 12:9, Luke 10:18).  We are warned by our Father to let no man or the devil ever deceive us (Mark 13:5). Heavenly wrath comes down upon His children who succumb to such disobedience (Ephesians 5:6).

Deception thrives on impatient people.  It is often those who are greedy for gain (Proverbs 15:27) or fame.  They want such with no desire to count the cost beforehand (Luke 14:28) and put the time in. Instead, they dream of instant riches or success; and think becoming a Christian meant instant salvation.

Scam artists and con men use deception to prey upon such desires.  They dupe people into believing there’s great gain down the road, by getting them to buy into likeable lies along the way – until it is too late to do much about it.  It is how Bernie Madoff “made off” with so much.  It is how Satan makes off with souls.

Jesus said “By your patience possess your souls (Luke 21:19).”  If we have no rule over our spirit, we’re like a city of old broken down by invading forces – and no longer with walls (Proverbs 25:28).  Uninvited and ungodly guests like impatience walk in unhindered and take up residence in our hearts and minds.

Their landlord is Satan, who is always ready to lead us away in err to faith shipwrecks.  If so, it’s because we failed to grow in patient grace (2 Peter 3:17-18, 1 Timothy 1:19).  We had no time to hear people out in any matter, or give them benefit of the doubt.  We were too busy rushing about in unsaintly impatience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Sarah denied, saying, “I did not laugh” – for she was afraid.  And He said, “No, but you did laugh.” – Genesis 18:15

– For I know the things that come into your mind … every one of them. – Ezekiel 11:5

Have you ever chuckled quietly to yourself over the remembrance of a funny memory from days past? Perhaps it was a private laugh lifting your spirit for a little while – or an amusing moment which made you smile inside.  Or, it might have been a little more like a silent snicker in your soul.  Maybe one directed at God – one of growing disbelief or doubt about any good thing ever happening to you.

One saying to Him something like, “Yeah, right – like any of Your promises are going to come true for me.” A laugh tinged with, “I am growing tired of waiting, time is passing, and I am not getting any younger.” Sarah did such a thing – and God heard her; even though it was within herself (Genesis 18:12, lead verse).  Even her husband Abraham had pretty much done the same thing previously (Genesis 17:17).

God had already promised Abraham an heir – but He did not say when (Genesis 15:1-4).  So, they soon tried to rush God by having Hagar conceive a child with Abraham.  After all, he was already 86 – and Sarah was barren (Genesis 16:1-16).  How much longer did they have to live?  How much longer would it take for the Lord to follow through on His promise? Would we wait another 14 years like they did?

The second time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, he was 99 (Genesis 17:1), and Sarah was 90 (Genesis 17:17).  This time, the Lord told him exactly when his heir would be born – and the child would be named Isaac (Genesis 17:19-21).  Sarah still had to laugh, saying, “Shall I of a surety bear a child when I am old?”  But, God replied,  “Is there any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:13-14).

All creatures are continually manifest before God – open and naked unto Him (Hebrews 4:13).  Our Father cannot miss things as if He was asleep, busy talking with others, or off on a trip (1 Kings 18:27). Heavenly mistakes cannot be made (Deuteronomy 32:4).  Muted laughs on our lips, silent thoughts in our heads, or quiet questions in our hearts, are all heard by Him above – loud and clear each time.

We have to be very mindful and aware at all times, about things we may think nobody else knows or hears – if we should believe they are tucked away for safe-keeping deep inside our souls (1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Chronicles 28:9, Hebrews 4:12).  We cannot get anything past God.  We cannot hide in a secret place where we may like to get away alone  – where He can’t see or hear us (Jeremiah 23:24).

God makes many promises for us throughout His Word.  We can speak persuasive and motivating words about them to others – but mock Him silently inside ourselves if we have not seen any of them personally come true yet.  Mocking mean teasing or laughing at someone in a contemptuous manner. Even if we are keeping such derision inside, He will know.  God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7).

Abraham and Sarah came close to doing so.  Still, the Lord delivered on His promise – and Isaac was born at the precise time He said it would (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:1-3).  However, it was all done exactly in accordance with His eternal purposes – not Abraham and Sarah’s earthly ones.  If we get impatient waiting for any of His promises to come true like they did – we can rush right into trials or trouble.

Despite having doubts, Abraham stayed with God throughout – and did not stagger in unbelief.  Even though the couple tried to rush the process through Hagar – they turned back to God when things did not turn out as expected (Genesis 16:1-16).  The two learned to wait by faith on God.  Against all hope of having a child at their ages, they believed He would perform as promised (Romans 4:18-21).

According to His plan from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).  It is why we wait upon God.  To prove and purify our motives and desires for doing anything in His name.  To show God if we are truly minding Him and His will, regardless of what might be happening (Jeremiah 42:6).  Or, if we’re just doing things of our own will and minds – like some thought Moses had done (Numbers 16:28, Jeremiah 14:14).

When Abraham and Sarah realized God is not rushed – a right thing happened.  When they finally waited for events to unfold according to His eternal plan; nothing went wrong.  The same goes for us.  If we don’t like waiting on God – including for the return of Christ – we might begin to silently laugh or scoff at Him; turning again to our lusts in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4).  And, He will know when.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Cast not away therefore your confidence; which has great recompense of reward.  For you have need of patience, that after you have done the will of God – you might receive the promise. – Hebrews 10:35-36

– Patience is tied very closely to faith in our heavenly Father.  When we are unduly impatient – we are suggesting we know what is best – better than God. Or, at least we are asserting our timetable is better than His.  We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives – on His timetable. – Neil Maxwell

Abraham and Sarah had need of patience in waiting for God to perform as promised – by giving Abraham an heir (Genesis 15:1-4, Romans 4:21).  However, they did not want to wait faithfully the first time. Abraham was 86 and Sarah was barren.  She was far past child-bearing years.  How long were the two supposed to wait on God – when He didn’t say how long?  It was time to take matters into their hands.

Sarah talked her husband into conceiving a child by their Egyptian handmaid, Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4) – casting away their confidence in God’s promise by doing so.  It all caused loathing between the two women (Genesis 16:4-5).  The son born a little later – Ishmael – was not what He had planned for the couple.  An angel of the Lord told Hagar that Ishmael would be a wild man (Genesis 16:11-12).

The first time God spoke to Abraham about this matter, He didn’t say when the child would be born (Genesis 15:1-4).  Maybe He wanted to see how long the couple would wait before trying to do it according to their clock.  Regardless, God’s timing was to set up the lineage leading to the birth of Jesus.  At precisely the right time He had planned all along for mankind – from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10, Titus 1:2).

After the first attempt to birth his promised heir – it would be 13 more years before Abraham would hear about this subject from God (Genesis 16:16, Genesis 17:1).  This time, He gave the set time when Sarah would conceive (Genesis 17:21, Genesis 21:2).  The couple had learned their lesson.  This time the two waited patiently for the promise.  Isaac was born exactly when God said he would be (Genesis 21:3).

This world today is filled with many wants, wishes, desires – and “must-have now” messages from the marketing arena.  A major corporation now runs commercials where one of the lines within is “Why wait – when you can have it now?”  We have our on-demand access to movies, and automated access to money.  If this is the way we like it as adults, aren’t we passing impatience on to our kids?

Paul Sweeney once wrote, “How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras – teach patience to its young?”  Because of such things and more, patience can be a huge problem for anyone in modern society.  How can we teach it to our children if we have a hard time waiting for stop lights to turn from red to green while driving?

How can we teach tolerance to our kids, if we ourselves can’t stand getting behind a slow-moving car for more than just a few minutes – if that long?   What do the young ones learn when they see us getting antsy for having to wait in a check-out line for more than just a matter of 15-30 seconds?  How are they ever going to learn to wait on God if we can’t – especially if we are Christians?

However, if it’s any comfort – there is never anything new to God under His sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  The human race has always had problems waiting on God since the Garden of Eden.  Eve desired wisdom – and she didn’t want to wait.  When the serpent tempted her into taking a bite of the apple to get it – it was too much to resist (Genesis 3:4-6).  Eve’s lack of patience in waiting was eye-opening  (Genesis 3:7).

A failure of patience can also make us miss out on our Father’s positive promises – if prolonged periods of difficulty dash any hopes we had of ever seeing or receiving them.  We could also begin pointing the wrong fingers.  When a great famine hit Israel’s Samaria region – some resorted to cannibalism for survival.  The king of Israel got tired of waiting on God to end it (2 Kings 6:25-29).

God ended up being blamed.  “This evil is of the Lord; why should I wait for Him any longer!?” – the king cried (2 Kings 6:33).  If he had waited one more day – the famine would end how God had planned all along.  According to His timing and methods.  Who would have considered four hungry lepers, stumbling across an abandoned stash of army provisions as a way to end a famine (2 Kings 7:3-16)?

It didn’t get much better in New Testament days. When Jesus passed through Jericho – being near to Jerusalem – those that heard the Son of man speak thought the kingdom of heaven should immediately appear.  Why wait for Christ to be crucified and then come back for them sometime later?  What would they do while waiting in the meantime?  What if Jesus never returned at all (Luke 19:11-12)?

Do any of us think like this today?  There shall be those walking after their own lusts in the last times, scoffing at this promise of Christ’s return.  Some people will become weary of waiting for it, because everything will be continuing on just like it has since the beginning.  How long will we keep waiting for salvation later when things seem to worsening now – not improving (Matthew 24:12, 2 Peter 3:3-4)?

Patience means we wait upon God – even when we may not feel like waiting anymore.  Impatience causes us to rush.  A rushed life is undisciplined.  We can begin trying to speed up the process of receiving God’s promises as Abraham and Sarah did.  We can start succumbing to Satan’s subtle temptations – as Eve did.  We can begin blaming Him for evil things like famines, as Israel’s king did.

Our need of patience is extremely important with God.  Forms of the word (e.g. patience, patient, patiently) appear 52 times in the KJV.  Just because any spiritual seed is planted – does not mean it is going to prosper (Ezekiel 17:10).  Producing the spiritual fruit God requires of us, in keeping with His commandment to repent – can’t be done without patience (Luke 8:15, Acts 17:30, Galatians 5:22-23).

We are to follow after patience, among several other spiritual disciplines (1 Timothy 6:11).  Sadly, waiting is not a trait normally learned by all the instant fixes the world often offers us for the troubles we face. However, if we should encounter any type of trial from God, we are to glory in it – not grumble.  For enduring such works patience.  Patience leads to experience; followed by hope (Romans 5:3-4).

Hope is the overriding reason for our patience with God – the promise of salvation.  However, hope seen is no longer hope.  We are all waiting patiently here below heaven for a hope and promise nobody has seen yet (Romans 8:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:8). We are to rest in Him, abiding quietly unto salvation, no matter what others may be doing while they wait (Psalm 37:7, Lamentations 3:26).

Keeping our confidence now – has great recompense of rewards later (lead passage).  The eternal ones promised to us by God, if we remain steadfast in our faith until the end (Hebrews 3:14) – doing His will daily while waiting for Jesus to return (Luke 11:2). When God’s grace, salvation, and kingdom will be brought to those of us who waited with patient faith (1 Peter 1:9, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:10).

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