We are living in unmatched times. COVID-19 has been one of the most devastating, dramatic, and overwhelming events thanks to the Internet and global communications. The world as we knew it came to a halt! International borders closed, travel was suspended, schools and businesses closed, soccer leagues, the NFL, MLB, concerts, eating out, vacations, and church services came to a screeching stop! Here we are sheltering in place, wearing masks, distancing from each other. We are watching the stats on death ratios, the spread of the virus, and how the US and global economies have suffered. We watch protests, riots, violence in our nation and across the world continents. Does it feel like a rollercoaster ride? Where is our voice?
What could be worse than this? Our 24-hour news daily tabulates the pandemic’s carnage—job losses, retirements evaporating, investments faltering, businesses closing, death and sickness of loved ones, and the emotional and relational fallout fueled by fear, panic, and paranoia. Today we are in the middle of a viral, mental, marital, economic, racial, and relational pandemic destroying our lives. What are we going to do? We will not give up or give in to the disease or any of these events that seek to kill, steal or destroy what is good, loving, or holy.
The Lord is calling us to a higher purpose. We can find our voice. In the middle of a pandemic amid world and national crisis, we are called to help others discover the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Lord calls us to carry on with His work and purpose, TO GO into “all the world” and be “more like Him.” We are called to change our negative attitudes and behaviors to live according to Biblical standards, values, and faith. As disciples of Jesus, we have an active role in expanding God’s kingdom as “fishers of men.”
God’s call is transforming. We live, feel, think, and behave differently. When Jesus calls, we must be willing to change our plans and goals to follow Jesus. He is not satisfied with lukewarm Christians. Revelation 3:16 says, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
Spending time with God ought to be the top priority in our lives. We were created to have a close relationship with God and to enjoy the Lord. No other part of creation has the privilege and intimacy with Jesus as that of human beings who have been created in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). We were created to have worship, prayer, and relational interaction with our Creator. Revelation 3:20 says, “Look! I’ve been standing at the door and constantly knocking. If anyone opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me.”
God desires to have a unique, genuine, close relationship with us, and He says, I stand at the door and knock because He wants to spend time with us. Therefore, we are to take everything to God in prayer. As we enter into a season of change, we need to commit ourselves to the priority and purpose of worship: 1 Timothy 2:1-2, “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.”
Jesus went to the cross, died, and conquered hell and death to make this relationship possible. 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, “God has invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, Christ our Lord.” Our time with Jesus is our source of strength. Jesus modeled prayer for us: Mark 1:35, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
If Jesus knew He needed to have constant communication with God the Father, how much more do we need time with Jesus, our Savior, and Lord? Throughout the Bible are stories of great men and women of God who spent time alone with the Lord and were powerful in their faith because they spent time with the Lord. Prayer is not just a good idea; it is a necessity. Matthew 4:4, “But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say people need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.'”
We are going to make it through the Pandemic, the world, and the national crisis that we face because we talk to God every day, worship Him in all we do, give thanks, serve and integrate His Word into our lives and do it TOGETHER!
See you Sunday!