Watching & Waiting by Gordon Bond - THE PROBLEM WITH SELF - MARK COPELAND


Watching and Waiting by Gordon Bond


Luke’s opening remarks in Acts detail Jesus’ last days on earth following His crucifixion and resurrection.

[Act 1:1-5 ESV] 1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, "you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."


Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem with the promise that they would experience His peace and His power. In waiting they would catch the fire and wind of God's Spirit. In waiting they would see God move.


Waiting is hard and few of us like it.  We wait in traffic, in carpool lines, in holding patterns, in grocery stores, for the foursome ahead of us, for the doctor, for a spouse, for a baby, for retirement, for Jesus’ return. While waiting, our human nature says, Don't just stand there, do something but sometimes God says to us: Don't just do something, stand there.


Waiting on the Lord reminds me that God is God and I am not

Waiting on the Lord reminds me that God is in control

Waiting on the Lord demonstrates my trust in God before He moves me forward

Waiting on the Lord allows God to do his work

Waiting on the Lord increases my faith

Waiting on the Lord increases my strength

Waiting on the Lord prepares me for action


The apostles waited on God to move and the Day of Pentecost happened!  Empowered by His Spirit, the apostles were prepared for action. God spoke through them and 3000 souls were added to His church in a single day!  Like those first converts, we too have been called to citizenship in God’s Kingdom. Like them, we have responded to the call to repent, to be baptized, to study, to trust, to be holy, to love, to go, to evangelize, and to wait on His glorious appearing.  In the midst of our labors, let’s also be diligent to pause, to wait, to remember that it is God who is the great mover!


Isaiah wrote,

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

they shall walk and not faint. (40:31)



In our society in the USA, we seemed to be consumed with self.  A lot of the products we buy are aimed at making me look better, making me entertained, or making my life easier.  While many of these products are, in reality, harmless enough in and of themselves, there is a darker side to emphasis on self.

Many of the problems which plague our society are rooted in self.  You name it...theft, murder, immorality,...etc. are rooted in self.  This problem of self is not new to our time.  From Eve, to Cain, to Ahab, to David, to James & John and to the prodigal son, the cause of sin has been self and selfishness.  Jesus told a parable in Luke 12: 16-21, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do?  I have no place to store my crops.’  “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do.

I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years.  Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘  “But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your life will be demanded from you.  Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Satan is described in 1 Pet. 5:8 as a “roaring lion” who walks about seeing whom he may devour.  It might seem from this verse that it is all Satan’s fault that we sin and or that he is our biggest enemy.  Actually, he can only overcome those who through self-will give themselves over to him.  We can’t use Satan as our excuse, but must look at our self.

We would live in a much different world if “self” wasn’t the center.  Just think how R & C would be different if “self” wasn’t a problem.  We wouldn’t have to beg to get Bible class teachers or growth group hosts.  We wouldn’t have to pick up bulletins that are left in the seats on Sunday mornings or worry about getting tripped by youngsters that are darting in and out of the aisles.  There wouldn’t be any marriage problems or budget issues or people leaving early.  Pews would be full at every service and the neighbors wouldn’t have to worry about someone parking on their grass if self wasn’t the center.  Unfortunately, we all have a problem with SELF.  

Jesus challenged us in Matt. 16:24 when He said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”

Mark Copeland



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