March 01, 2022 | Letters from the Lead Pastor by Brandon Lenhart
preserve [pri-zurv] verb:
- To keep alive or in existence; make lasting.
- To keep safe from harm or injury; protect or spare, (Dictionary.com Unabridged. Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary. Random House, Inc. 2022).
The definition above points to the focus of the month of March at North Main in our preaching schedule. When combined with the word “patience,” a powerful thing takes place. “Preserving Patience,” (for our context this month) is the means by which patience preserves what is most important.
Let me explain further. We know that the lack of patience has a way of damaging relationships, opportunities, and situations. When someone lacks patience, and emotions run high, like a title wave, or a blazing fire, destruction takes place. However, patience is the buffer, the barricade, the levee that keeps things safe and intact.
Now let’s consider this with regard to the Biblical narrative. What is it that is most important? What do we witness needing to be preserved in the Biblical narrative time and time again? Well, what we read is story upon story of GOD’s continued pursuit of humankind through the preservation of a people and a message of redemption and hope to the rest of the world. From Abraham’s calling to the nation of Israel’s forming and assuming the responsibility of the Promised Land, GOD’s desire was to bless the world through His holy representatives. They were to be a nation of priests ministering the love and grace of GOD to the rest of the world.
From generation to generation, in the Old Testament, the message of GOD’s love and promises was to be handed down. Each generation was to raise up their children with the firm foundation of truth (c.f., Deut. 6) as given by GOD to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, on through to Samuel, Moses, David, and the succession of kings.
Had GOD’s people (His representatives), been faithful to the calling He had given them, the world would be a different place. And yet, it is different only because of Jesus, GOD’s only Son. GOD’s patient endurance of our failures drove Him to fulfill the calling He desired for us to fulfill, but couldn’t.
Because of GOD’s patience throughout the course of human history, Jesus would become the fulfillment of the love and promises of GOD to the world. Through Jesus, the nations of the world would be blessed. Through Jesus, the bondage of sin and death that had held sway over the world since the “Fall” (Gen. 3) would be broken for all who would believe in Him (Jn 3:16). Through the line of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, GOD would once and for all change the course of human history from a course of destruction to a course of salvation. Because of GOD’s patience with us, He preserved hope for us.
This month, as we focus on specific stories of GOD’s preserving patience, would you consider how you could become a Kingdom representative of GOD’s grace and mercy to the world around you? Would you study the passage in Deuteronomy 6 through the lens of Christ and pass on this hope to your generation, and to the next?
Our nation, and our world, need men and women of faith to patiently, and lovingly, hold the line of the truth of the Gospel. It will be tough, and it might get rough, but He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).