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Jesus is Never Late

Jesus always is on timeTiming was important to Jesus; everything in its time at just the right time. On his mission to bring you and me from death to life, (2) he never rushed or struggled to play catch-up.

He clearly worked from a different clock than everyone else. Instead of Eastern Standard Time, Jesus seemed to be on Eternal Standard Time. He never arrived late and he never arrived early; he simply arrived according to his purpose.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.—John 19:301

Jesus was born at exactly the right time to be in Bethlehem with his parents, right as the stars aligned to announce the birth of Israel’s long-awaited king. When he was older, he stayed to study Scripture in the temple, even though his parents left for home.

When others thought he was late, Jesus arrived just in time to raise Lazarus from the dead. When his brothers wanted him to go with them to the Festival of Shelters, Jesus told them, “Go on to the festival. My time hasn’t yet come, and I am not going.”(3) But then, almost immediately, Jesus secretly followed them there.

The list is endless, and it teaches us how Jesus expects us to use time—

  • We follow God’s timetable, not our own. Despite being bombarded with choices between good, very good, and best, Jesus stayed so closely aligned with the Father that he always made the right choice of what to do and when to do it. God’s timing means we say no to the urgent in order to stay focused on the eternal.
  • We look toward eternity, not just the momentary. Jesus always had the end in mind. He knew a Day of Judgment would come, and so he poured his compassion on those who were lost and those who were in sin. He knew they couldn’t see eternity, but because he could see it, he worked diligently to get their eyes off the ground and on to the things above. Even as he died, he said, in a sense, “Father, forgive them. They don’t see the end of time and so they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand who I am.” Following Jesus means we get our eyes off the petty distractions and focus on the limited time we have to tell people about Jesus.
  • We believe that God is always right on time. Timing was so critical to Jesus and his mission that he even died right on time. When the Roman guards came, expecting to break his legs and hasten his death, they found Jesus already dead. It was finished, and finished in time to fulfill the prophecy that none of his bones would be broken.
  • God used precision timing in the life of Jesus, and his timing is just as precise in your life! … There’s that thing you’re worried about, that thing you’ve been waiting on—maybe an answer from God, or a break-through in your ministry, or enough money to cover this month’s bills.

You’ve been waiting and you’ve begun to wonder—Where is God? How much longer do I need to wait? You don’t need to wait a second longer than it takes for God to answer in his precise timing. He sees your need, but he also sees the exact time it needs to be filled.

His timetable; not ours. And while we wait, we can know our God of precision timing is working all things out for the good of—you, who loves him—because you’ve been called according to his purpose and you have been obedient to follow him into the ministry he’s gladly given you.

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?”(4)—Jon Walker (5)

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No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.—1 Corinthians 2:96

One of the most difficult challenges the Lord gives us is having the patience to wait for Him. We live in a world full of instant gratification, and we expect God to be like the world. And we say, “Lord, give me patience, and give it to me now!”

You have a problem in your life, something with which you’re having great difficulty. You pray about it, and God gives you peace in your heart that He has answered your prayer. “Wow,” you say, “with that sudden peace He gave me last night, it must mean everything’s going to be straightened out today!” Then today passes, and nothing happens. You pray about it again, and again you have peace, you get excited; another day passes, and still nothing happens. This goes on for months, even years.

Why does He give you peace, and yet you see no sign of an answer to your prayer? Because He’s letting you know that He’s working on the situation.

How long did Abraham have to wait for his promised son, Isaac, after the Lord told him the boy would be born? His name was still Abram, and he was seventy-five years old when God first told Abraham that He would “make you into a great nation.”(7) And he was 100 years old when Isaac was born.(8)

So, keep Abraham in mind every time you become impatient with God’s apparent slowness in answering your prayers. And when He gives you that sense of peace without any evidence of His answers, understand and accept it, knowing that He is preparing the way for you every day.

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.”(9)Bonnie Ricks (10)

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I’ve heard an expression many times over the years: God is never late. On the other hand, perhaps a good expression for us would be: we are never patient. So how can we figure out God’s timetable?

First, let’s admit that we really are impatient. We have become a product of our modern conveniences. We microwave “instant” foods that are ready to eat in mere seconds.

It irritates us if our two-hour flight, that takes us hundreds of miles in less than two hours, is delayed by ten minutes. We expect our fully cooked “fast food” to be ready by the time we get to the pick-up window.

These, and many more examples that you can probably think of, show clearly that we have lost a lot of patience. And so many times when it comes to asking God for something, if it doesn’t happen very quickly, we get frustrated.

So, when you pray and petition God for something, how long are you supposed to wait? Is He going to answer? Could I please take a quick peek at His timetable on this one?

Too often people just think that God either doesn’t hear their requests, or that He just doesn’t want to answer them. Some often wonder if maybe they haven’t been good enough for Him to respond in kind.

No one knows God’s timetable. In fact, honestly, there is a lot we don’t know about God. He says in the Bible, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”(11) So, maybe we ought not to be so presumptuous to think we have God all figured out.

Let’s take this position. In the situations that we are faced with in our own lives, there is nothing too hard or too big for God.(12) If we don’t take that position, then it is pointless to continue this discussion. God is indeed unlimited in His ability and resources.

Let’s also take the position that God does not lie. The Bible says that His ears are open unto our prayers.(13) So we know that every time we pray and ask Him for His help, He indeed hears us.

A man who lived in the 1800s by the name of George Mueller set out to show people that God answers prayers. He had already seen this in his own life, but wanted to give people something tangible that they could see so that they too could tap into answered prayer.

His plan was to establish orphanages for the many homeless children in Great Britain. He believed that God would provide everything he needed without having to ask anyone for contributions. He did just that for 64 years.

During that time he built The Orphanage Campus at Ashley Down, where it is reported that he cared for and educated over 18,000 children. He educated over 100,000 more in other schools at the Orphanage’s expense and distributed hundreds of thousands of Bibles and countless tracts, in addition to supporting hundreds of missionaries.

He never asked for one penny from anyone. His children never missed a meal, and he never had a debt. Perhaps regarding God’s timetable, a quote by Mr. Mueller would be helpful.

“I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk, when I lie down, and when I rise. And the answers are always coming. Tens of thousands of times have my prayers been answered. When once I am persuaded that a thing is right, I go on praying for it. The great point is never to give up till the answer comes. The great fault of the children of God is, they do not continue in prayer; they do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.”

When it comes to God’s timetable, let’s not get impatient. Let’s stay persistent in prayer. As Jesus said, we ought not to faint in prayer. And, let’s keep looking and expecting an answer, no matter how God chooses to get the job done.Michael A. Verdiccio (14)

1 NIV.
2 Romans 6:13.
3 John 7:8 CEV.
4 Romans 8:31–32 NLT.
5 From http://pastors.com/jesus-never-arrives-late, March 15, 2012.
6 NIV.
7 Genesis 12:1–9 NIV.
8 Genesis 21:1–7 NIV.
9 2 Peter 3:8–9a NIV.
10 From http://www.christianpost.com/news/getting-in-sync-with-god-s-timetable-23624.
11 Isaiah 55:8–9.
12 Jeremiah 32:17.
13 1 Peter 3:12.
14 From http://confidenceandjoy.com/gods-timetable.

Photo by © Cxf54 | Stock Free Images

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