Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Potter & Clay 2


Many are willing to be used by God however; few are willing to be prepared for use.

Earlier we discussed the first step in the process of making vessels of clay: obtaining the clay. The potter of Jeremiah’s (Jeremiah 18:1-6) day went down into a miry pit looking for the clay he needed to make the vessel he envisioned. God did the same thing when He sent Jesus down into the pit of this world. Now we can say, as did the Psalmist David:

Psalms 40:2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

When Jesus touched you, He knew what was in you, both the good and the bad, and He chose you anyway. Why? Because God sees your potential and knows that if all goes according to His plan, He will make you into a vessel of use for His purposes. He is the only one who sees and believes in your real potential.

Now that the clay has been selected in its raw form, the potter is ready for step two: Preparing the Clay

Isaiah 41:25 I have raised up one from the north, And he shall come; From the rising of the sun he shall call on My name; And he shall come against princes as though mortar, As the potter treads clay.

The clay must first be washed to remove the exterior dirt, mire and surface impurities. This initial washing will not be the last time the clay will see the potter use water to aid the process. Of course we understand the natural water of the potter to be a representation of spiritual water which is the Word of God.

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.

Water was used not only to begin the cleansing process but also to soften the clay and keep it workable. Now begins the treading process.

Nahum 3:14 Draw your water for the siege! Fortify your strongholds! Go into the clay and tread the mortar! Make strong the brick kiln!

The potter, and/or others assigned the duty by him, would begin to tread upon the clay, stomp it, and jump up and down on it. He does this to get the pockets of air out of the clay, mix it good within itself to bring about a balance in the consistency of the clay, and to help identify for removal any foreign objects dangerous to the process.

The treading can serve to dry the clay and so more water is applied throughout this process to keep the clay pliable and workable to the potter’s need. At the right time, known through the touch of the potter, he begins to knead the clay with his hands, first beating it and slapping it, applying more water, then folding it over and over, even lifting it high and slamming it back down on the table or floor. This pounding can seem intense however, the potter knows what he is doing.

This step in the process is much like a baker who kneads dough by pounding it, stretching it, rolling it, and even beating it with his fists, all in order to make the dough ready to become that finished product, fresh baked bread. Without the kneading process the ingredients would never be mixed with the clay to make the consistency necessary to be what the baker intended. Too much yeast in one part or not enough in another would create over rising in one and flatness in another. Surely you can make the comparison.

All along the way water is necessary to be added. However, not without measure. Not enough water and the clay will dry out, begin hardening in the wrong state, and become completely unworkable. Too much water and the clay will become sloppy and too fluid to mold.

So it is with every believer and the church as a whole. The church is to be a temple of the Lord’s presence built by each one of us as though we were stones, bricks, laid in order by God, not soup, each one floating in the broth of Jesus, seasoned with the Holy Spirit, added together without form, structure or purpose.

Remember, the potter knows what he is doing and has a vision for each lump of clay. He has the image of the finished product already in his mind before He ever begins this process.

If in the treading process the clay cannot measure up to the potter’s expectancies, or retains impurities which rob the clay of its potential for use, there are only three options. One is for the potter to continue treading and purifying the clay if there is time before the vessel is needed; Two is for the potter to discard the clay as unworkable; or Three would be for the potter to decide to make a cheap, weak, vessel of dishonor, intended only for short use, from the inferior clay.

When more treading, more kneading, more water won’t make the clay ready to be shaped on the wheel, the options are limited.

All during the preparation process the potter is gauging the purity and consistency of the clay. It is the goal of the potter to prepare the clay mixture so that it is ready to be placed on the potter’s wheel for shaping. Perhaps this time of preparation is the most important step in the process of clay becoming the beautiful and useful vessel the potter envisioned when he first went down into the pit.


We must all be prepared for use and submit ourselves to the cleansing and kneading processes of God.

Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Next time we will talk about the importance of being centered on the wheel. You will not want to miss this one.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glad Tidings


Luke 1:19 And the angel answered and said to him, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings.

Luke 8:1 ¶ Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him,

Acts 13:32 "And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers.

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!"

Once I heard a story about a man who was approached by some Christians who felt like he needed to change. They began to confront him about his sin and impending eternal damnation. Throughout the course of their witness, the conversations became more and more confrontational. Soon it was evident that both sides were angry, not over the truth, but as a result of the delivery.

Finally when the man could take no more rudeness from his guests, he demanded they leave and never come back. “What”, they exclaimed. “Don’t you want to spend eternity in heaven?”

The man pushed them out in and as he slammed the door he replied, “Not if it’s with a bunch of people like you I don’t!”

Believe me when I tell you: It is not only what you say about God, but also how you say it that makes the difference. I do not mean to infer that there is no room for stern rebuke however, even in the rare times when stern rebuke is appropriate, judging and condemning are never appropriate.

I continue to encourage preachers everywhere that when they preach on the realities of hell, preach with a tear in their eye and not judgment in their hearts. We should never be satisfied that one person will miss heaven.

In the scriptures we read earlier we see a definite pattern.
Luke 1:19 Angels did it …
Luke 8:1 Jesus did it …
Acts 13:32 The Apostles did it …
Romans 10:15 We are told to do it …

Do what? Speak glad tidings of good things --- not sad tidings of bad things. Although both may be the truth, we are commissioned but for one.

Have you ever read the scripture:

Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD."

Well, are you glad this morning? Would you want to go to church where you never heard anything to be glad about? Or worse yet, to go to church where you never heard the truth because the preacher did not know how to put the truth in a positive way and since he did not want to run you off, just preached good things instead of God things.

1 Kings 6 tells us that when King Solomon was building the House of the Lord for the Ark of the Covenant, he gave strict orders that no sound of the hammer was to be heard in the sanctuary.

Luke 4 records Jesus’ first message after being baptized and anointed to begin His ministry. It was a six point message and each point was phrased to be a glad tiding of a good thing God had provided for His children. Beginning Luke 4:18 … The Spirit of the Lord is upon me …

Point 1 – There is good news for poor people.
Point 2 – Healing for the broken hearted.
Point 3 – Deliverance for those held captive.
Point 4 – Recovery of sight for the blind.
Point 5 – Freedom from oppression, depression, worry and anxiety.
Point 6 – It is the set time for God to favor you.

The message of the Gospel is clear … it is glad tidings of good things.

Yet we still have two ways we can approach the truth of the message of the Gospel: The negative way and the positive way.

The negative way says that you are going to go to hell if you don’t accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

The positive way says that you will get to go to heaven if your will accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

It seems like the same message but the delivery is such, that one is the Good News and the other is the Bad News.

We can either tell people: Stop sinning and acting like the devil! Or we can say: Be holy, because the Lord is holy, let’s imitate God as His dear children. How we say what we say is completely up to us.

However, I have found that many times, even when a truth is stated in otherwise neutral terms, people make up their own minds as to whether or not they hear it in a positive way or a negative way. Truth heard in a negative way may still be truth but it has the tendency to put us off and does not always motivate us to change.

Fussing and complaining, even when we are right, is a roadblock to effective communication and often fails to accomplish our desired results.

The bible says that it is the goodness of God which leads men to change.

Let me give you a list of Five Life Lessons that are finite truth. I am going to share each truth by way of a neutral statement. Whether or not you hear these truths in a negative or a positive connotation will be purely up to you. Take note as to how you hear these truths, for how you hear them may be the way you will repeat them to others later.

Five Lessons of Life

1. What you say will be said.
Luke 12: 3 "Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”

2. What you do will be found out.
Luke 12:2 "For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”
Matthew 6:4 "that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

3. What you believe will be tested.
James 1
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

4. What you compromise to keep you will lose.
Matthew 16:25 "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

5. What you do unto others will be done unto you.
Ephesians 6:8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.

Proverbs 26:27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him.

The truth of the Gospel is not meant to be a curse, but a blessing. How can you turn these truths into continual blessings for you and others?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Potter & Clay 1

Series: The Process Begins
The Prophet Jeremiah: 629BC (Jeremiah 1:1-10)

Jeremiah 18 NKJV
1 ¶ The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying:
2 "Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words."
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
5 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?" says the LORD. "Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel!

When Jeremiah arrived at the potter’s house, the potter was sitting at the wheel making a vessel of clay. This scripture indicates the three necessary elements Jeremiah was sent to observe:

1. The Potter
2. The Clay
3. The Process

Of course we easily understand:

1. God is the Potter
2. We are the clay
3. There evidently is a parallel process which is used by the Potter to make something valuable, useful, and desirable from the clay.

In order to fill in some blanks, we are going to take a look behind the scenes at the making of earthen vessels in that day. From research we can newly learn today what was common information in Jeremiah’s day.

Believe me when I tell you that it takes quite a lot of time to properly research, study and develop a sermon series on any topic of the Bible. This is especially true when one has to dig through mountains of information just to find one historical fact dating back to the centuries before Christ.

During this series I am going to draw heavily from the research my friend, Leonard Gardner, has already accomplished. He is a tremendous and faithful man of God, 76 years young at the moment, and has been ministering more years than I have been alive thus far. I can see every benefit to using his years and wealth of study and experience to supplement out knowledge on the subject at hand.

Research shows that there were basically five steps to making pottery in Jeremiah’s day. Some of these steps are no longer necessary in our day but we must remember that it is Jeremiah’s picture which God wants us to use to understand the parallel truths of these particular scriptures.

In order for us to gain the interpretation of scriptures we must allow each revelation to be set into the context intended by at that time. For example:

Jeremiah 33:3 Call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you did not know.

We cannot take this out of its original context to suppose that call means to phone God on your cell. When this scripture was written it was set in the time when it simply meant to cry out to God. Without regard as to which generation reads this verse, it will forever and always mean: to “cry out” in prayer and lift your voice unto heaven, knowing that God will hear you and He will answer you and He will respond to you in ways you cannot even imagine.

Context is vital … so, let’s look at some of the things which were common understandings of Jeremiah and others in his day and allow them to draw the parallels we need in our day.

Ok: The Potter, the clay, and the process. Tonight we are going to begin taking a look at the process. As I said earlier, there were basically five steps the potter took to in the process of making vessels of clay.

As we look at these remember, we are the clay! In fact, when God first made man, He formed man of the dust of the ground … not just any dust, but dirt … most likely clay which was colored and would stick together. Colored, you may ask … why colored? Because even we call ourselves the Human Race … the “Hu” in human suggest color.

Of course many Native American Indians believe it was “Red” clay! But we will save that for later. Suffice it to say that when God talks to Jeremiah about clay, He is talking first about the whole nation of Israel at that time but in a much broader sense He is talking about all of mankind and tonight He is talking about you!

Five Steps of a Potter

Step Number One: Choosing the Clay

Psalms 40 NKJV
1 ¶ To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.

In Jeremiah’s day, as well as in David and Jesus’ day, there were no Hobby Lobby type craft stores where a person could go and purchase an assortment of clays with which to work. Rather, there was a pit.

Isaiah 51 NKJV
1 ¶ "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug.

In order to obtain clay a Potter first had to take a trip to the pit. The pit represents the world to which Jesus came in order to find us. As with any pit, the more you dig, the deeper it gets, the darker it gets, until finally the only light illuminating the clay is the light which comes from straight above.

It is interesting to note that clay cannot get out of the pit by itself. And even if it could it could not make anything valuable or useful of itself.

There are no self made vessels in God’s Kingdom.

The only value the clay possesses for the potter is in its raw and as yet, unmade form.

It is also interesting to note that the pit is a dangerous place, not only for the clay to live out its existence without hope, but also dangerous to the potter who would venture going down into the mire. It is at the risk of his life that the potter obtains the clay. In fact, this very first step in the process costs Jesus His life.

The clay does not choose the potter but the potter chooses the clay.

John 15:16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you …”

From research we understand that the potter chooses the clay based upon what he needs or what he wants to make. When the potter envisions the vessel of his choice, he then looks for the clay which has the right touch. Clay is chosen by touch. When the potter touches the clay he imagines what it might become and sees in the clay what no other one sees … not even the clay!

God is the Potter, we are the clay, and there is a process. The process begins for the Potter when He chooses the clay. The first step for the clay is getting out of the pit. However, getting out of the pit is but the first step … there are yet four more steps before the clay is at the place of its intended use.

All throughout the process there are critical moments that, if not careful, can thwart the potter’s work and render the clay’s outcome less than the potter first imagined or a completely unusable lump or vessel.

In the continuing studies on this subject we will discover the parallel truths contained in the following four steps:

Step 2. Preparing the Clay
Step 3. Centered on the Wheel
Step 4. Shaping
Step 5. The Fire

Next week we will pick up with step two. But for tonight’s conclusion allow me to bring some balance to what we have learned.

We all came from the pit of this world and it is important that we remain humble and thankful for God who sent His Only Son, Jesus, to this pit to find us. We were nothing, going nowhere, just dust waiting to die and a hand reached out and touched us. God saw something in you and me that we could never have imagine ourselves.

Jeremiah 18:4 reminds us that God makes us into instruments of use according to His own design and not always according to our own desires.

We need to remember from whence we came, be aware of where we are, but also have a healthy hope, faith, and joy in where we are going. God is not finished with any of us yet. Our journey began when we came out of the pit and today we are all still in the process of being made into a vessel of honor for God’s glory.

Have you been chosen out of the pit? If so, don’t return to or continue to live in the miry clay of this world. The hand of God has reached down from heaven and His light is shinning on you to deliver you into your greatest day. Don’t resist His hand. Sure there will be pressures along the way and some heat to go with it, however the process is all designed by God to make you according to His plan and His purpose.

I’ll see you here next week to learn more about the Potter and Clay.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Balance

Did you hear about the man who died and went to heaven? When he arrived he was welcomed by Jesus and assigned an angel to get him settled. As the man was being escorted through the streets of heaven he continued to pass mansion after mansion whose walls were made of diamonds, rubies and sapphires, all sitting along beautiful streets of gold. The man asked the angel whose houses these were. The angel named off some recognizable saints such as Peter, John, James, Martin Luther, John Wesley, Mother Theresa, along with many names of people he had never heard of before, people who had no earthly claim to fame.

As they walked past street after street the man noticed that although still magnificent, the mansions were getting smaller and less ornate. Finally they reached a new road and arrived in front of a small wooden one room house, half painted and in need of a front door. “Whose house is this one”, the man asked? Why it’s yours, the angel replied. Mine! “What do you mean … what happened … why is mine so small”, said the man?

Well, the angel replied, that’s all the material you sent.

While some are so busy living for the moment they neglect to prepare for the future, others are so focused on the future that they forget to live in the moment.

Some parents are so concerned about what their children may become that they don’t allow them to enjoy who they are.

We should strive for excellence, but we should not wait until we get everything just like we want it before we enjoy life.

We should not wait until we get everything we want before we enjoy what we already have. In other words:

Don’t wait until you get everything you want before you enjoy what you already have.

Life should be lived, life should be enjoyed, and life should be productive, one day at a time.

That’s what the Bible portrays when referencing: daily bread; joy unspeakable; and reward in heaven.

If all of our striving does nothing to yield peace, joy, contentment, and eternal reward … what real advances have we made?

The Apostle Paul told his young son in the faith, Timothy, that godliness with contentment is great gain. He was evidently speaking to the balance of life.

Today we are going to examine that balance of life.

We will find that life is a process, a journey, a road upon which every person travels through many familiar and some unfamiliar places. Life is filled with both predictable and unpredictable adventures.

Most days the path of life is safe and easy to follow. However, without notice the day can offer a sudden and dangerous curve … this is why life demands we keep our eyes open and our minds alert.

One trouble with this life is that we almost never expect the unexpected!

Perhaps this is why the journey of life was not designed to be taken alone.

Common sense dictates that not every day will be an enjoyable day. However, one of the greatest tragedies of life would be to end the journey, look back and say, “I did not enjoy my life.”

To begin today’s message let’s turn in our Bibles to Genesis, chapter 2.

Today we will define 5 basic elements which we can use to balance the process of life.

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."

1. It’s not good to be alone.

By this statement I do not mean it is not good to have some alone time. Everyone needs alone time. What I mean is what the Bible teaches in many places: It is not good to live life in isolated solitude. This can happen even when we are surrounded by people, connected with others, playing on a team, functioning within a group … all the while alone, unknown and unknowing of others, closed off to meaningful relationships which stretch us, strengthen us, make us whole, and complete.

Even if we have God in our lives … God never intended for His relationship with man to take the place of man’s relationship with man.

Ecclesiastes 4
9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
10 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.
11 Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes says that two are better than one … it’s not good to be alone.

2. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

Ecclesiastes 3:13 Every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

1 Timothy 6:17 … God gives us richly all things to enjoy.

There are some common principles which will help everyone enjoy life.

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

Ephesians 6:2 "Honor your father and mother," which is the first commandment with promise:

(By the way: God did not just say, “children, honor …” – adults also need to honor their fathers and mothers to receive the promise of God)

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. (NKJV)

The Amplified Bible says:

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. (Amplified)

It does not end there … it does not even begin there … what does the Amplified version say in the verse just previous to that one?

Colossians 3:18 ¶ Wives, be subject to your husbands , as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. (Amplified)

It can be so much more difficult to enjoy life when the basics are not in balance. Balance is everyone’s responsibility however, it begins with you!
So far we have found that:

1. It’s not good to be alone.

2. Life is meant to be enjoyed.

Now for number:

3. Life is designed to be lived one day at a time.

This is easily understood from scriptures like:

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This means that if you messed up yesterday, you get a new chance today … and if you mess up today, you get a fresh chance tomorrow … don’t fret!
In God’s Kingdom We are never more than one day away from all that we need.

4. Life is work.

1 Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

It will take effort on your part to be godly. Ungodliness seems to come easy, and is a common reaction to the pressures of life … godliness however requires strength of character and purpose. Life, at least a godly life, is work! And, life is meant to be productive – God will work with you.

5. The future is an empty place unless you fill it.

Mark 10
29 So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s,
30 "who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.

The future is what you make it, both in this life and in the life to come!

I close this morning with two important questions to balance your life:

1. Are you enjoying life? If not … what needs to change in you? Work on it. 2. Are you preparing for the future? If not, why not? Think about it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Patient Pursuit

As I travel around the world I am often asked, “What is it like to live in the US?” My response varies as I try to describe our way of life, the political and social structure, our smooth highways, the fully stocked grocery stores, the spacious and even luxurious malls, the relative peace in our communities, our education system, the varied work place environments, and the many benefits and opportunities which the citizens of our country enjoy including going to church and worshipping without persecution.

Many times I see the eyes light up, the smile widen, and the imagination stir when I tell about life in America. For some it’s so hard to believe. They ask: “do you have a car? … can you live in any city you wish? … is there water in every house? … do all children go to school? … are you safe in your country? … is it true that you have rights as a citizen which no one can take away?” So many questions whose answers often elicit the response: “I wish I could live in America.”

I never tire of telling people about the great nation I’m proud to call my home, the Unites States of America, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. A nation founded upon principles in which I believe and to which I pledge. Every American, just as the citizens of many other wonderful countries, has a lot to be thankful for today.

Every individual would be better off to live in a country which loved and cared for its people. However, so many countries do not …

Often when I am called upon to tell those who live in very difficult situations, under the tyranny of a rogue national leader, oppressed by corrupt local governments, frustrated with the lack of opportunity or robbed of a dream for their future, about the wonderful place I and my family live, I think about Jesus trying to tell us about His home and the benefits of living in His Father’s kingdom. He must have felt so sorry for us, as He watched people try to grasps what He was describing.

The New Testament references God’s Kingdom more than 120 times. That’s an average of being mentioned in one out of every two chapters in the New Testament, once in every 66 verses. So basically, you can’t read more than 66 verses without crossing the topic of the Kingdom of God/heaven/My/Thy/The. (The NT contains 260 chapters, 7958 verses)

There are so many opportunities, so many benefits, so many blessings to being born again and living in the Kingdom. This is why Jesus keeps trying to tell us about His home and how life is lived in that Kingdom.

Just like any nation, state, country, or Kingdom, the Kingdom of heaven is also founded upon principles basic to the founder, and has rules and laws which govern its citizens. This morning we are going to look at one of the principles of Kingdom life. Turn with me to:

Matthew 18 NKJV
21 ¶ Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Forgive someone 490 times for the same thing? There is a difference between forgiveness and restoration. A person needs to quit and change in order to be restored … but not to be forgiven. In John 8 Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery and then told her to go and sin no more. He did the same with many others. Forgiveness is not based on what you do but rather on what He did! This is the Kingdom way … don’t you wish you lived in the Kingdom?

23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 "And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

If this was a silver talent, the 1990 dollar estimate is about $16,180,000. If it was a gold talent, the 1990 dollar estimate would be 80 times greater than the silver talent, or $1,294,400,000. Either way, that’s a lot to owe … or a lot to be forgiven!

25 "But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
26 "The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
27 "Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’

The denarii and a common shilling are reckoned to be worth about 17 cents. So, this man owed somewhere just less than $20. The specific amounts are not important except that they represent such a disparity in what we owe God as opposed to what we are owed by other men.

29 "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
30 "And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.
31 "So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.
32 "Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.
33 ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’
34 "And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.
35 "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."

“Have patience with me.” And he would not …

This passage actually speaks to two principles of the Kingdom. First: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you, (if you were in their shoes). Basically, you reap what you sow!

There is however, another principle of the Kingdom of heaven here in this passage which requires every person to follow the rule of patience. Why?

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Some benefits of the Kingdom can only be experienced when we exercise patience. (Other benefits can only be gained when we become a blessing to others simply because we would want to be blessed by others if we were in their shoes.) Anyway, the kingdom principle of patience …

Hebrews 6:12 See that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

In fact:

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Have you ever heard someone say: “You’re trying my patience!” Believe me, 490 times would seemingly try anyone’s patience. However, what they really may be trying is their faith, not their patience, but their faith to believe that if they continue to trust God and not take matters into their own hands pre-maturely, everything will work out for the best in light of the situation they are facing.

How do we obtain patience?

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

Decide right now that the trials of life will not cause you to lose your faith in God. But rather, as you continue trusting God with those things which you cannot change anyway, believe that patience will have her perfect work in you and that you will be complete and fulfilled, lacking no good thing. Begin living the Kingdom way today! The benefits are out of this world!