Hello to you! I hope this posting finds you in good health especially during this global pandemic. (We hope to be out gigging soon, but until that time, we're sharing spiritual insights)
This season has been a very challenging time for all of us. There's been talk of financial hardship, broken relationships, catastrophic loss of life, and a pall of despair for many.
However, there are some good things that have been happening including time to learn more about our wonderful Savior Jesus. We also have had more time to think about our true priorities and what really matters to us.
You see, all of us were created to have a relationship with the eternal God of the universe. We were each given different gifts and talents that we can use for His glory. As 1st Corinthians 12:11 says: It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.
With that said, what have you learned during the global lockdown?
There are several things that I've learned and would like to share with you.
Firstly, God wants us to spend a quiet time of reflection with Him. (I already knew this but have been made more keenly aware of it since the Coronavirus situation started)
The Bible says in Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
If you're like me, the noise of the world and chaos of everyday life can at the very least give one a headache and at the very worst, cause a high level of anxiety. The remedy for this is spending time alone with God and letting His spirit renew us. The famous 23rd Psalm in verse 3 talks about this: He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
In fact, Psalm 23 is the remedy for what our modern society does to us. David, inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote:
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
Secondly, I've learned what a joy it is to have family and friends! Notice I'm not talking about possessions, but people!
We've probably all seen or heard about those who've been isolated and alone for days on end. My wife even heard of one lady in a European country who had only been out of her home 3 times since January. Yikes!
As we all know, we need each other. We need connection and community. Why do we all find people on Facebook that we know? Because everybody loves to connect.
This is talked of over and over again in the Scriptures. For example, Hebrews 10:25 says: And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
God Himself established the desire to meet and fellowship with us. This is where we get the concept of meeting as a church body. In Exodus 33:11, God met with Moses personally: Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.
The Tent of Meeting was the name used for the Tabernacle of God and His people where they would meet. It was the earliest known church structure in ancient Jewish history.
You may be saying to yourself, how am I going to meet with others when we're locked down?
There are many different ways to do this. One is through technology and another is with a very small group. Let me caveat that with - as long as you're comfortable.
The important thing is to help each other and connect somehow so that we're not isolated.
Thirdly and finally, none of us know how much time we have on this earth! We must use it wisely.
As one of my friends says: "Only abou 1/3 of my life is left. I want to make good use of it."
The wisest king to ever live, Solomon, was blessed with wisdom and knowledge to govern the great people of Israel and Judah after his father David had passed. Unfortunately, Solomon made numerous bad decisions including marrying many women who were not of his people. This led him down some ruinous paths and close to the end, he wrote the bitter saga of his life in a book called Ecclesiastes.
In Ecclesiastes 9, verses 1 and 2, Solomon wrote: 1 This, too, I carefully explored: Even though the actions of godly and wise people are in God’s hands, no one knows whether God will show them favor. 2 The same destiny ultimately awaits everyone, whether righteous or wicked, good or bad,ceremonially clean or unclean, religious or irreligious. Good people receive the same treatment as sinners, and people who make promises to God are treated like people who don’t.
If you detect a tone of bitterness to this, it's there. Solomon suffered the consequences of his actions and felt that much of life seemed meaningless. But, at the end of this book, he states (Ecclesiates 12:13-14): 13 That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. 14 God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.
You see, none of us knows the day or the hour of our passing. But, and this is the important thing, we don't have to live with that fear! No. Death has been overcome by Jesus Christ and we can use our days for His Kingdom.
Paul spoke of this in 1st Corinthians 15:20: 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. And then declared in 1st Corinthians 15:55: 55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
Now the questions come down to: What can you do today to help someone out? How can you bless someone in need?
These are questions that I gladly welcome everyday now. This global pandemic has given me a renewed vision of what I can do for others for what little time I have left on this earth.
Will you join me in building God's kingdom today?
Blessings to you!