We have only begun to see, and are about to see much more in the final study of the 3 MUSTS 👊👊👊- THE 3 ABSOLUTES ❕❕❕- THE 3 PARAMOUNTS 🗻🗻🗻, THE 3 HEARTBEATS 💓💓💓of the Christian life.
We are not dealing with footnotes here 👇, but rather HEADLINERS 👆 OF THE CHRISTIAN’S JOURNEY FROM GRACE TO GLORY!
These “THREE AMIGOS,” as I like to think of them, are the best friends ever that Christians can and must have in their pilgrimage across this spiritually and morally barren land! They are not just optional friends, they are obligatory friends and guides in the howling wilderness of this world 🌎!
Their names are as follows,
“FAITH – OBEDIENCE – PATIENCE ”
Have you met them? Are they friends of yours? Are you on speaking terms with them?
I REFER TO THEM AS FAY, OBEE, AND PATTY! THEY SHOULD BE THAT WELL KNOWN AND CLOSE TO US – BEST BUDS 🐶🐕🐩 constantly at our heals! Get the picture? We won’t make it without Fay, Obee, and Patty🙋👦🙆.
(It is striking to me that they do not receive any where close to top billing on people’s preferred companion list. Churches and daughters are often named FAITH, but I have met very few children or churches named OBEDIENCE or PATIENCE. Probably because by nature mankind is unbelieving 😜, disobedient 😝, and impatient😵. By nature Faith, Obedience, and PATIENCE are our enemies, at least that is how we view them. The world views them as trespassers on private property. 🚷🚷🚷Hey, get off my lawn.)
They have been completely driven out 🚷🚷🚷 of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the White House of the United States
Government. FAITH in God, OBEDIENCE to God, and the PATIENCE (UNWAVERING STEDFASTNESS) of God are making a come back 🔼 in the United States Supreme Court. One small but positive sign of hope!
THE MUCH MORE FAMOUS TRILOGY
I Corinthians 13:13 talks about FAITH – HOPE – LOVE 💘, the greatest being LOVE! I HAVE MET GIRLS AND SEEN CHURCHES WITH ALL THREE NAMES. In fact, I talked a few moments ago to a young woman 🚺 named LOVEY. Sweet girl 👩, I call her LOVEY DOVEY!
FAITH – HOPE – LOVE – much more popular and accepted by the masses! More of a humanistic slogan or rhyme than anything else. Certainly not FAITH in God or HOPE of Heaven or LOVE of Jesus! More like faith in man or self, hoping for a better day if we spread the love.
More like the OLYMPIC CHORUS:
“WE ARE THE WORLD, WE ARE THE CHILDREN, WE ARE THE ONES WHO MAKE A BETTER DAY, SO LET’S START GIVING. ”
THE LESSER KNOWN TRILOGY
FAITH – OBEDIENCE – PATIENCE
You will never find FAITH – OBEDIENCE – PATIENCE apart from eachother! Where you find the true essence of one, you will always find the true essence of other two. That is one way of saying they are 3 🌅🌅🌅essential components of Christianity. They take a back seat to nothing and no one!
“HERE IS THE PATIENCE OF THE SAINTS, HERE ARE THEY WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AND THE FAITH OF JESUS.”
FAITH 🌺 – OBEDIENCE 🌼 – PATIENCE 🌸. They are inseparable! If you make room for one in your life, you must make equal room for the other two. They will move in together, or they will not move in at all! Home sweet home 🏡 is never so sweet and fragrant as where these THREE 🏰 AMIGOS are the honored friends.
Number one! The big NUMERO UNO – FAITH, no surprise here! FAITH – HOPE – LOVE. The BIG KAHUNA! Mr. Muscle! The Enforcer! The DOER! FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD!
No power like the power of faith! The Bible tells us that if you have faith the size of a tiny mustard seed (Matthew 17:20), you can move mountains 🗻! No heavy equipment needed 🚜. final
Did you ever hear of or see in action MOUNTAIN MOVING FAITH? It is something to behold! It makes sick and dying people whole and alive 💪! It makes demon possessed people 😈 free as the wind 💨 of the Holy Spirit.💘
So powerful is FAITH, THAT WE HAVE THE PHRASE “THE LEAP OF FAITH!” Faith is so powerful that one LEAP OF FAITH 🐎 can catapult us from HELL’S BONDAGE to HEAVEN’S FREEDOM. No broad jump in the world can come close to THE LEAP OF FAITH, from Satan’s strangle grip to Christ ‘s loving arms! The OLYMPICS never saw a gold medal 👝 jump like the leap of faith!!!
Ephesians 2:8 tells us another FAITH WOW in no uncertain terms:
“WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH.”😅
THROUGH FAITH! We will never get through to God 🔵, we will never get through to Heaven 🎆, we will never get through to victory over the world 🌎, the flesh 💃, and the devil😈 but through faith in Jesus Christ!
I John 5:4 puts it real strong,
“THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMES THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH.”
Can you imagine that? FAITH IS BIGGER AND MORE POWERFUL THAN THE ENTIRE WORLD 🌎. SUPER FAITH! Superman never had it that good! He could leap over buildings, while FAITH can leap over the world 🌎.
Without FAITH, WE ARE LOST, DOOMED, RUINED 😩! With FAITH, WE ARE FOUND, RESCUED, SAVED 😀! John 3:16 says,
“THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON SHALL NOT PERISH 😢 BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE 😊.”
Listen carefully now! Faithlessness and faithfulness are the lost and found departments of two endless eternitys! The FAITHFUL are saved in Heaven forever, and the FAITHLESS are lost in Hell forever!
Did you ever lose something valuable, never to be found again! I lost the ring 💍 of a girl with whom I was going steady! Sick feeling!!! I felt like the lowest scum bum in the world.
What about losing your own soul😢? Jesus in Matthew 16:26 actually talks about the possibility:
“GAINING THE WHOLE WORLD 🌎 AND LOSING YOUR SOUL.”
Nothing comparable or as catastrophic in the universe!!! Gain the whole world only to lose your soul. Gain everything material, and lose everything spiritual. Gain everything perishable and lose everything imperishable! Gain New York’s bankrupt WALL STREET and lose Heaven’s infinite GOLD STREETS.
It all begins in the SOUL! The Bible tells us in James 1:15,
“SIN IS CONCEIVED AND BROUGHT FORTH IN AND BY THE SOUL.”
Conceived! Sin is the human soul’s first conception and birth. If Jesus does not cleanse and save our souls from sin, the entire person will be destroyed, body mind, and soul.
As a matter of fact, the mind is blackened and the body wrecked by the sin that burns in the soul, much like a chimney sooted by the fire🔥and smoke below.
The horror of this is that John 4:24 tells us that God is Spirit! That means that in Hell you lose all contact with God forever, for your spiritual point of contact, your soul, is destroyed, and all you have is a fiery tongue 😝 and a wormy body 🐛.
(Reminds me of the story Jesus told about the RICH MAN AND LAZARUS! The one had everything and ended up with nothing, while the other had nothing and ended up with everything. Nothing as SOULLESS AS HELL, AND NOTHING AS SOULFULL AS HEAVEN. In eternity, you either got soul, or you got no soul! In Heaven we will be SOULMATES WITH JESUS WHO LOVES US BEYOND COMPREHENSION, but in Hell the masses will be SOULLESS STRANGERS TO SATAN WHO HATES THEIR GUTS,)
DEFINITION OF FAITH
“FAITH IS THE SUBMISSION OF OUR UNDERSTANDING 🎓 TO WHAT GOD COMMANDS 📜 US TO BELIEVE.”
Jesus commands us in John 14:1,
“BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.”
It is a package 📦 imperative, the great DOUBLE OUGHT of one the most beloved chapters in the Bible! It got Jesus crucified for our salvation! He claimed to be equal with with God!
A double imperative which is really a singular imperative – BELIEVE IN GOD BELIEVE IN ME. Jesus there is equating Himself with God, and God with Himself. This not multiple choice. This is both and! To believe in one 👍 is to believe in the other 👍!
PEOPLE would believe in God if they didn’t have to believe in Jesus! Jesus makes God too real, brings Him too close, and too involved in our lives. Jesus makes God the Lord of every aspect of our lives. If it wasn’t a double imperative, man could believe in God much more easily by keeping God comfortably at a distance!
Yes, 👍, you see it right, faith is a DIVINE IMPERATIVE, we are commanded by God to BELIEVE IN HIM and BELIEVE IN HIS SON❕❕.
FAITH is not a DIVINE REQUEST, it is not a DIVINE OFFER, it is not a DIVINE SUGGESTION, it is not a DIVINE PROPOSAL. It is a DIVINE MANDATE 🔊 🔊 🔊 🔊 commanded over and over again in the Bible!
If you really think about it:
“GOD HIMSELF IS A COMMANDING
PRESENCE 🔊! Where He is, mountains and bushes catch on fire! A DEMANDING COMPELLING BEING! EVERYTHING ABOUT GOD IS IMPERATIVE! HIS VERY NATURE REQUIRES THAT WE BELIEVE. AFTER ALL, HE IS GOD! WHAT MORE DOES FAITH NEED?”
“FAITH IS NOT AN ACHIEVED DIPLOMA 🎓, IT IS NOT A PERSONAL ACCOMPLISHMENT 🔨
IT IS AN OBEDIENT DECISION 👐.”
That is why Billy Graham’s ministry for years was called THE HOUR OF DECISION!
If you will:
“FAITH IS AN OBEDIENT DECISION TO PUT ALL OF OUR TRUST IN GOD, ALL THE TIME, IN ALL OF LIFE, IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE.”
An elderly man had to appear in court and swear with his hand on the Bible to TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH! HE SAID TO THE JUDGE, “OF THE THREE, WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER?”
Of course, he was looking for some room, looking for a way out! Pretty crafty of him!!!
“WE ARE TO LIVE OUR LIVES BY FAITH, ENTIRELY BY FAITH, AND BY FAITH ALONE!!!
Of the three, which one do you prefer? No, faith is not an optional issue, it is all or nothing!
If you will:
“FAITH, WHOLLY FAITH, AND NOTHING BUT FAITH!”
It is the GREAT FIAT – THE FAITH FIAT!
That is exactly why we read in Romans 16:26 about:
“THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH!”
And again in Hebrews 11:6,
“HE WHO COMES TO GOD MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS…”
“FAITH IS A DIVINE MUST – A DIVINE MANDATE! ”
“BELIEF IS OBEDIENCE TO GOD, AND UNBELIEF IS DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD.”
FAITH’S DEFINITION ILLUSTRATED:
1. We cannot understand the TRINITY 💮💮💮, but we are commanded to believe in the Father, in the Son, in the Holy Spirit – THREE PERSONS 🌟🌟🌟 IN ONE GODHEAD 🌕! We are commanded to baptize believers in that threefold name! Three distinct Divinities in one DIVINE BEING!
It is the submission of our understanding 🎓 to all that God commands us to believe! GOD IS THE ONE AND ONLY GREAT BRAIN BUSTER! FAITH IN GOD WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
2. We cannot understand DIVINE CREATION EX NIHILO – OUT OF NOTHING, but we are commanded to believe it in Genesis 1:1,
“IN THE BEGINNING GOD CREATED THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH!”
If God used something, He would be a BUILDER and you could find Him in the yellow pages. But He used nothing, and therefore He is the CREATOR! YOU CAN FIND HIM IN THE HOLY PAGES OF THE BIBLE! Only God can CREATE, man can only BUILD! WRAP YOUR BRAIN AROUND THAT, BUT YOU CAN’T. SO OBEY AND BELIEVE
3. We cannot understand the INCARNATION – GOD BECOME MAN🚼, but we are commanded to believe it! The eternal becoming temporal, the Divine becoming the human.
-Etc, etc, etc!
FAITH TRANSCENDS HUMAN UNDERSTANDING, JUST LIKE GOD ALWAYS TRANSCENDS MAN!
In modern AMERICA,
“HUMAN REASON NOW TRANSCENDS FAITH IN THE
That is where she has come having kicked God, prayer, and the Bible out of her schools. FAITH in her schools was from the beginning a MUST, but now her education curriculum is a tragic BUST! She has gone from FAITH MUST TO REASON BUST!!!
Now the nation is literally blowing up 💥 💥 💥 in her face, along with the other godless, faithless nations of the world🌎!
Many of America’s western, eastern, and midwestern 🌟 stars have already fallen 🌠 from her original flag of faith, as she has gone from one nation under God, to a divided nation under Satan. One nation under God indivisible, is now a fractured and divided nation under the 😈!
I’D like you to meet my son OBEDIENCE! We call him OBEE for short! I sometimes call him OHB. I recall Andy of Mayberry’s son OPEE, but I have never met an OBEE!
NUMERO DOS! SECOND BORN! After all, you will never obey someone you don’t believe in – that you do not trust! Disobedience and disbelief are twins, except that disbelief is the firstborn!
DISBELIEF AND DISOBEDIENCE, THE DEVIL’S 😈 DOUBLE 🔗 DD KINGDOM. THE DOUBLE DD DEVIL CHAIN BINDS MOST PEOPLE ALL OF THEIR LIVES! Only Jesus 🔐 can set the captive free from the DOUBLE DD BONDAGE OF SATAN’S KINGDOM.
DEFINITION OF OBEDIENCE
“OBEDIENCE IS THE SUBMISSION OF OUR HUMAN WILL TO WHAT THE DIVINE WILL COMMANDS US TO BE AND TO DO.”
As Jesus prayed through the night in the Garden of Gethsemane, and He prayed it three times sweating drops of blood:
“FATHER, IF IT BE POSSIBLE LET THIS CUP PASS FROM ME, BUT NOT AS I WILL, BUT AS YOU WILL!”
OBEDIENCE to God is HARD WORK, SWEATY WORK, and it may well get your blood shed ❌ for Christ’s sake.
OBEDIENCE is where rubber hits the road, flesh hits the cross, and blood 🔴 splatters the ground.
OBEDIENCE authenticates LOVE AND FAITH! It is the verifying factor of genuine Christianity! OBEE SAYS IT ALL!
Each time we pray the Lord’s prayer,
“THY WILL BE DONE,”
we acknowledge God’s VETO POWER over our will.
So it is that the old hymn says it best:
“TRUST AND OBEY, FOR THERE’S NO OTHER WAY TO BE HAPPY IN JESUS, BUT TO TRUST AND OBEY!”
FAITH AND OBEDIENCE!
Mark Twain was acquainted with a ruthless businessman in Boston. Talking to him one day, the Bostonian said to Twain, “I have a dream! I want to go to the Holy Land, stand on Mt. Sinai and read aloud the Ten Commandments.” Twain responded, “Why don’t you stay in Boston and obey them?”
And now the definition:
“PATIENCE is the submission of our emotions to what God commands us to endure.”
On third thought, can’t we just skip the 3rd one for now? Frankly, I get so impatient when I think of PATIENCE! Let me just work on FAITH and OBEDIENCE for a while! After all, 2 out of 3 isn’t all that bad! And from my experience, it will take far too long to acquire patience! If I could get it now it would be a different story.
Frank was not a PATIENT man, and he had no tolerance for negative conversation. During a very busy day at work his wife called him. She talked very slowly and not very upbeat. Frank asked her to talk faster and to be positive! She responded, “Okay, I discovered today that the airbags in our new BMW work perfectly 😏.”
For Frank, what will it be? Gleam 😊 or steam 😤? I remember the day like yesterday when my wife came into the house and announced to me in tears 😰, “Honey, the car is on the garage wall!” Yikes 😵 ! Another test of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, and I flunked miserably 👇! At that moment I was more concerned with my car’s dents than my wife’s tears.
Oh, by the way, the FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT in Galatians 5:21-22 include PATIENCE and KINDNESS! All too often my fruit tree 🌴has been barren. You wouldn ‘t even know that it is a fruit tree!
I have found that I keep on having to take the test in different forms throughout life! God sets up these re-testings until I get it right 👼more often than I get it wrong👻! And these redos always come out of the blue in unrehearsed, unprepared, unstaged moments. If you will, they catch us in the nude 😡.
THE RED LIGHTS OF LIFE
The traditional concept 💡of PATIENCE is something like what happens in us when standing at a red light 🔴 and it doesn’t change in what seems forever!
Or, we are on a trip and the freeway traffic grinds to a halt and doesn’t move for whatever reason. 🚗🚕🚙🚛🚓🚐 🚌!!! All the worse when the other side of the freeway is moving fast and free in the other direction! We are just plain stuck, and the entire atmosphere in the car begins to change. The trip now becomes a trial.
Covid 19! Pandemic! Shutting the world 🌎 down! Hundreds of thousands of people dying in America and across the world!
WHY NOW!? WHY US!? YOU GOTTA BE JOKING!? COME ON!? DOG GONE IT!? THIS REALLY ROTS MY SOCKS! THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! RIGHT HERE IS WHERE PEOPLE LOSE THEIR FAITH AND FALL INTO DISOBEDIENCE!
Yes, those are fairly accurate indicators of the PATIENCE LEVEL – STEDFAST TRUST IN GOD in our lives! Personalities change, temperatures go up, conversation becomes sharp, and we find that we are the real casualties 🚑 of the traffic accident or pandemic up ahead!
Roads are not the only things that have RED 🔴 LIGHTS! In case you haven’t noticed, LIFE IS LIT UP WITH RED LIGHTS that bring things to a standstill! Life backs up as we are brought to a grinding halt ✋.
Then after what seems like forever, the traffic 🚌🚗 🚛 🚕 begins to move very slowly. And then mind you we come upon a billboard with, of all things, the words of James 1:4,
“BUT LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK, THAT YOU MAY BE PERFECT AND COMPLETE, LACKING IN NOTHING.”
😲 No one says anything, but one or two are thinking something like,
“WHO is the smuck who put that sign there?”
As you drive by you can’t take your eyes 👀 off the sign. Somehow you get the feeling that you were on God’s candid camera 📷 all along! What a downer, as your self-approval sinks off the charts 📉😞.
ALLOWING MISS 👩 PERFECT👍
You can’t shake loose of the entire experience. What did that James 1:4 sign say again? Striking words indeed,
“BUT let PATIENCE have HER 💁PERFECT WORK, that you may be PERFECT and COMPLETE, LACKING IN NOTHING.
A. To begin with, James 1:4 tells us that:
“PATIENCE IS A PERFECT WOMAN!”
HER! LET PATIENCE HAVE HER PERFECT WORK.
I prefer MEN DOCTORS 🏥MYSELF, I don’t relish women doctors examining, diagnosing, and prescribing to me physically or spiritually! I to this day do not allow it! I guess in that way I am a sexist.
However, whether I like it or not, patience does not wear a shirt and a tie 👔, patience wears a dress 👗!
MISS PATIENCE — LET HER! ALLOW HER! PERMIT HER! GIVE HER LICENSE! WELCOME HER! INVITE HER! YIELD TO HER! OBEY HER! MAKE HER YOUR CONSTANT COMPANION! DON’T RESIST HER! LET HER DO HER WORK IN YOU! Starting now!
And when the next RED LIGHT 🔴 flashes in front of you, whether delay or disappointment or defeat, tell the LORD you are moving over and letting His MISS PATIENCE TAKE CONTROL.
You will be amazed how many flash fires 🔥 in you are put out, and better yet never start. How many explosions 💥 in you no longer go off.
B. Why is patience a FEMALE? But then again, why not? I’ll guarantee you that this is much more than just poetic style!
HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED A MOTHER WITH HER BABY 👶? I mean really watched? Unending, limitless, and immeasurable love 😍, tenderness 😅, and PATIENCE 😇!
How often did I hand our babies over to Ruth 🙋, when I could hang in there with the little screaming demons no longer! Honey, I give up!
How often my wife would say to me about the children, “BE CALM, IT TAKES TIME, HE’LL COME AROUND, GIVE HER SPACE, NOTHING REALLY WORTH WHILE HAPPENS OVER NIGHT. JUST KEEP TRUSTING AND PRAYING! GOD IS IN CONTROL. WAIT PATIENTLY ON THE LORD.”
(So much PATIENCE and WISDOM in her that was in short supply in me. By the way, how often it has gripped me in the Bible that wisdom is a FEMALE also!)
C. Amazing that when we have patience, WE WILL BE COMPLETE, LACKING IN NOTHING! (James 1:4)
UNWAVERING CALM ASSURANCE that God is in control, and it is all in His loving hands! PATIENCE!
Who would have guessed that PATIENCE is the road to perfection? Patty outshines them all! This is the PATIENCE of the saints! Amen!