Monday, March 30, 2020

Far Greater Things, Far More Certain

Monday May 30, 2020
I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.  1 Corinthians 7:35 ESV

Far Greater Things, Far More Certain
Are you feeling as distracted as I am these days?  Even in trying to go about as many normal activities as possible, I find myself distracted by the heaviness spanning the whole world over. All of us have this “thing” in the back of our minds and it is terribly distracting. We are distracted with buying toilet paper. We are distracted with looking for hand wipes and hand sanitizer. We are distracted by the news updates, social media, the number of cases in our county, and the rising death toll. We are being put to a test unlike any most of us have ever experienced. The strength of the Christian faith as a whole, as well as each one’s individual faith is being tested in the face of uncertainty, and nothing tests faith like uncertain times.
We cannot let this uncertainty distract us from what we know and believe. Far greater things are far more certain than whether or not the toilet paper will ever be plentiful on the shelves again. We know God is sovereign.  We know God is in control. But we are tested to carry on in faith and to not let the headlines and numbers distract us. Yet we are human and curious by nature, so it is hard to ignore. 
Let’s not be distracted from focusing on these things:
Jesus Christ never changes, even in the midst of chaos - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8  His sovereignty, steadfastness, grace, love, and mercy never change or run out. 
How much we love our family and friends - What has changed in your family for the better during this time?  Will you want to spend more time together after you have the option not to, or will you all go your separate ways and go back to being disconnected? 
How much we long for community and community worship - Won’t it be so sweet when we can all go into the worship center and lift our voices together in praise to God? There is purpose in community.  God specifically said not to forsake joining together because He knew we would need it. It is essential to lift one another up, pray for each other, and rejoice together.  
How lovely is a sunny day and fresh air - Have you taken for granted the joy it brings to take a walk on a beautiful day?  It is good for our health and good for us to acknowledge God’s treasures that He has given us to enjoy. For many of us it is the first time in a long time we have had time.
How much joy it brings to help others - There is much joy and reward in helping others and at a time like this, there are many ways we can help.  We can buy, or pick up and deliver, food or groceries to those who cannot get out. We can call and check on those who are lonely. 
Grace - We need to remember the grace God gives us and we need to have grace for others. In many ways we are all in the same boat. We have all been affected by this on some level.  Let’s have grace for one another in this difficult time. 
Nothing makes Satan happier than to see us all fretting and rushing around to get all the things. Distracted from God.  It is hard to go into the store and not feel anxious. It will be good when this is over but there are many things I have not missed. I have missed being with the people I love and cannot see.  I have missed worshipping together, bible study together, and meeting a friend to have coffee and talk.  But in the re-evaluation of all that fills my life, I will be more intentional about what I let in.  This has helped us all to see what we truly do not ever want to be distracted from again.
But the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.  Mark 4:19

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