What are you thinking about?
Well, if you’re like me you’re spending a lot of time thinking about what’s going on in our world today. It seems to be interesting that just a month ago everything was bright. The economy was doing well and life was good. At least that is what we are telling ourselves, right?
However, here we are beginning another month and things could not be more different or so we think. Remember we have not yet had today the latest Coronavirus Task Force news conference or new order of what we can or cannot do. The economy is slowed to a snail's pace and things seem less clear than they were a month ago.
We all know what happened and we are all as they say “in this together”. Well, literally we are under stay at home orders but you get the idea. Many people will get sick from COVID-19 and some will die. The vast majority of us will not get sick and at least not die from COVID-19.
We’re going to be spending an inordinate amount of time at home especially during this month to come. When and if we do get out then we will need to observe “social distancing”.
We have learned a lot about life and what it is going to be like for at least another month. Some of it we don’t like and there are some other parts we don’t mind. I mean I don’t like that we cannot go to the pool or the beach. This has been some great weather down here in Florida this past month. We cannot work out at the gym or go out with friends. The last time we were with friends was a lunch about 3 weeks ago, you know before things changed. I especially don’t like that I cannot be with other believers in worship. I miss that time together in the Worship Center praising God, praying and preaching His Word. Now I still get to preach the Word but it is recorded and then played back on Sunday morning for the services along with the other things we do on Facebook LIVE.
Elaine and I can still give our tithes and our offerings. We don’t use the offering plate at church like before but we can and do use the online giving through the church's website. On this point, I trust you are being a good steward of what God has given you stewardship responsibility. That responsibility didn’t go away just because you can’t go to church on Sunday. You can go online, put a check in the mail, even drive by and place it in an envelope under the door. As I like to say about some things, it’s a thought to ponder. Don’t get caught up in the thinking about it, just do it.
OK, moving on, now that I have that out of my system. There are some things that are good about what we are facing. We have more time with our immediate families. Probably like us you haven't been able to do anything but Facetime the kids or grandkids. That is OK and it is really necessary at this time. More time to slow the pace of life and reevaluate what are the real priorities in life. More time to read God’s Word, meditate on it, study, and pray. That is all good and has great benefits for us.
In Matthew 22:36-38 we read-
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Unfortunately, to often believers forget what is to be their first love. When we read the Book of Revelations we hear that the church in Ephesus left its first love. I think we can all agree we don’t want that to be said of us. So what do we do? Read it for yourself again. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. It is very important to note what else Jesus said. In verse 38 He said-This is the great and first commandment.
These are tremendously trying times but there is a way through it and it is found in God. First, we must know Him and if we do then we must love Him. Follow His Word and allow His Holy Spirit to work and direct in our lives. We will be tempted to try to handle this our way but let me close by encouraging you one more time from God’s Word.
Two more quick thoughts for you today. As you continue to read Jesus words found in Matthew 22 in verses 39-40 He reminds us there is a second commandment-
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
So in these days of "social distancing" take the time and look for an opportunity to love your neighbor. I have a system where I pray every day for specific neighbors by name. Because of this Covid-19, someone put out an email to us and others in our neighborhood recently. It was about being careful with scams but that is not the point. Now I had emails I did not have before. So I sent them all an email to thank the person who was sharing about the scam. Then I told them all I am praying for them each day. One person has already responded to thank me but that again that is not the point. The point is I am praying for them and God is honored because I am obeying the 2 commandment of His Son which is like the first as I am loving my neighbors.
We can get caught up in thinking we can do this all by ourselves. You know what I mean. That we can do life and do it well on our own. Then something, as we have never seen before, comes up and this one has a name Covid-19. So take the encouragement from God's Word s we see in
Proverbs 3:5-6 which reminds us to-
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
In closing let me encourage you all "to be careful out there". Now how many of you remember that line from a TV show from years ago? If you know the answer email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and for those who want to know if there is a prize, well I don't know but as my father used to say "time will tell".
A thought to ponder,