You have probably read a lot of information that relates to the current pandemic. I will also be sharing relevant topics, but I hope what I share will provide encouragement and biblically-based edification.
Thank you for reading!
- Time to be neighborly
When was the last time you spoke with the neighbors who live near you? Maybe this is routine for you. If so, good for you! If not, there is no better time than what we are experiencing to connect or reconnect with them.
This week, Karen and the young mom across the street were outside at the same time. They struck up a conversation about grocery experiences. The young mom told Karen she had trouble finding bread, and Karen said she didn’t find eggs on her last trip to the store.
Last night, Karen made a grocery run and bought some extra bread. She had me take the Wonder bread across the street. In exchange, I was given a dozen eggs.
Why am I sharing this? Simple neighborly acts mean a lot in these times. I’m sure this young family could’ve found bread on their own, and we definitely could’ve found eggs. What’s more important is we and our neighbors made it known to each other that there is support.
Check out this article by Justin Early about other considerable ways to love your neighbor. One item in particular Early wrote that I appreciate is “Don’t Stop Small, Low-Risk Gatherings.” Definitely observe “social distancing,” but this doesn’t mean to become completely unsociable. Proper interaction should happen when possible.
- Dealing with doubt
My devotional reading once again was relevant today. Here’s what “Experiencing God Day-by-Day” had to share with me under the topic “Why Do You Doubt?” (Matt. 8:25-26).
“It is by faith that God’s mighty power is released into the life of a Christian (Heb. 11:33-35). If your prayer life is infiltrated with doubts, you have denied yourself the greatest single avenue of power that God made available to you.”
The devotion explains how “God never comforts you in your doubt.” It is important for you to demonstrate faith, even in a small portion. If He relieves your dilemma while you doubt, what have you learned?
“What does God want to do in the lives of those around you that waits upon your trust in Him and the removal of your doubts?”
Here is what I prayed this morning in response: “Dear God, remove my doubts and help me trust in You. Let my doubt vanish as I seek Your presence. You are an awesome God. You are faithful and loving. Let my faith in You be known to those around me, so that their faith in You also will grow.”
- Spurgeon article
I enjoy reading about Charles Spurgeon. So much about his ministry years ago in England can be so applicable today.
“In many ways, Spurgeon’s example during the cholera outbreak of 1854 follows the pattern of normal pastoral ministry on every occasion. Pastors are to be present with their people, care for the suffering, be faithful in evangelism, and model trust in God through it all. The main difference is that during an outbreak, there is a heightened reality of suffering and death. Therefore, the work becomes more intense and urgent, and the opportunities for the gospel multiply.”
- Practice online worship
If you haven’t had the opportunity to observe an online worship service, I encourage you to do so. My pastor Stephen Rummage is an excellent communicator online, and I know many others do a fabulous job too.
There are plenty of options if your church does not offer online services. Visit www.qsbc.org/live if you would like to join Karen and me this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Even though we won’t be in the same room watching, it is still a great experience, and I believe there is a sense that you get when you participate in an online service. The sense is feeling the presence of others watching, as well as the presence of the Holy Spirit. Try it and see if you agree with me.
- Read Proverbs in a modern translation or paraphrase
If you are looking for a constructive way to spend time at home, since you’re now limited on what you can do, consider reading the Book of Proverbs in a modern translation. I sometimes find it fascinating to read “Ancient Words” in modern phrasing, especially from Proverbs. For example, check out this passage from Prov. 15:1-8 in the New Living Translation:
A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
The tongue of the wise makes knowledge appealing,
but the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.
The Lord is watching everywhere,
keeping his eye on both the evil and the good.
Gentle words are a tree of life;
a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Only a fool despises a parent’s discipline;
whoever learns from correction is wise.
There is treasure in the house of the godly,
but the earnings of the wicked bring trouble.
The lips of the wise give good advice;
the heart of a fool has none to give.
The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked,
but he delights in the prayers of the upright.
- Timely message from Billy Graham
The following video has been shared by hundreds on social media, according to Aaron Earls of Facts & Trends.
This could be the most powerful :50 second message you have ever heard: