Coronavirus: A Bad Situation to God’s glory

Coronavirus: A Bad situation to God’s glory

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is poised to do some things to Christians that years of articles, sermons, blogs, and podcasts have failed to do. As a result of the virus, and resulting quarantine, we may find ourselves forced to:


What can you do?

1. Spend more time together as families at home and stop running the rat race.

2. Focus on our older generation and making sure they are well cared for during this time.

3. It may very well cause us to close our buildings on Sunday mornings forcing us to learn how to worship at home. (And may help us reevaluate pouring all of our resources into buildings and grounds rather than evangelism and missions.)

4. Pray more fervently.

5. We may find ourselves craving Christian fellowship and not taking it for granted.

6. Focus our minds on what is truly important in this life.

7. With more time on their hands and less “events” to go to, people may open their Bibles or religious books–relying less on the 30 minute sermon to be their only spiritual nourishment.

8. We might find ourselves calling and checking on members more often–treating each other like a true Christian family.

9. Not let things like March Madness become a form of idolatry in our lives.

10. Actually keep our children home from prom and help them remain pure a little longer!

11. Christians might discover ways to truly be a light in their community as people start needing things and needing care.

12. We might be more willing to talk about Jesus and eternity.

I’m sure there are more…in fact you can share some below. Yes, there are negative things about a Pandemic. But for the Christian, things like this just remind us that this world is not our home! Maybe…just maybe, this whole thing will draw more people closer to God. #Godisgood

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State of the Union

State of the Union

Not too long ago, the President delivered the State of the Union Address. This yearly speech highlights the successes and reiterates the direction he wishes to take the country. At the beginning of the speech, presidents typically say, “The state of the Union is strong.” Whoever the president is, this speech touts great platitudes about the condition of the United States of America.

Union State

What is the state of the Church today?

I wonder what would happen if Jesus gave a “State of the Church” speech to us today? We really do not have to wonder. He gave such a speech in Revelation 2-3 when he evaluated the seven churches of Asia. Some churches were doing good but had some problems. Ephesus had stood against false doctrine but left their first love. Smyrna was spiritually strong but about to be tested. Pergamum did not deny the name of Jesus under persecution but allowed the false doctrine of Balaam to enter. Thyatira’s latter works exceeded their first, but they permitted Jezebel to commit immorality among them. Sardis had a living reputation but was actually dead; there were a few who had not spoiled their garments. Philadelphia had an open door, was faithful, and would be spared from the hour of trial. Finally, Laodicea was lukewarm, thought they were rich, but were actually poor, blind, miserable, and naked. My guess is that even our congregation would fit in among these descriptions somewhere. What would Jesus say about the state of our congregation? Do we have immorality among us? Do we tolerate false teachers? Are we lukewarm? Do we have a good reputation, but are actually dead? My guess is that Jesus would find something of which we need to repent, and that’s good because he said, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

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Russian Roulette

Russian Roulette

There is no responsible way to play Russian Roulette.

This is a thesis which one hopes is both non-controversial and almost universally agreed upon.

For those not familiar with the concept, Russian Roulette is a gambling activity in which a single bullet is put into the cylinder of a revolver and then spun. Thereafter the cylinder is snapped shut, the gun is pointed at one’s own head, and the trigger is pulled. If you don’t die, you win money. If you do die, the game is over for you. It is an activity traditionally participated in by individuals who are suicidal, drunk, stupid, or some combination of the three.

Russian Roulette

Are you playing a deadly game with your life?

There is no responsible way for a group of friends to gather and play a quick game of Russian Roulette. Even if no one gets hurt the first time, it is only a matter of time until someone does. The very act of engaging in the game is a text-book example of being irresponsible.

Likewise, there is no loving way to play this game with other people. Love hopes for the best for everyone. It does not put others at risk for the thrill of seeing whether or not they are stupid enough to kill themselves.

Finally, there is no smart way to play Russian Roulette. If you have a group of friends dumb enough to suggest such a thing, you really need to find a better quality of friend with which to spend time.

Now, if we are all on the same page with those points, let’s make some pertinent applications. It is not likely that most people reading this are going to be dumb enough to participate in something so obviously stupid as Russian Roulette, but sometimes we are willing to do things equally as dangerous.

Consider drinking and alcohol abuse. About one in ten people who drink alcohol are going to become full-fledged alcoholics. The number of drug-addicts to drug users is, one would expect, much higher. The use of these substances is going to result in some number of deaths. In 2015, nearly a third of all traffic-fatalities were the result of drunk driving. The use of such substances is likewise going to result in a number of other undesirable circumstances including rape, broken homes, child-abuse, ruined friendships and bodily injury. Broken lives, caused drug-use, plague our communities. The problem is recognized as being an epidemic. The solution, some suggest, is to engage in these behaviors more responsibly.

But if you know that when ten people all decide to go drinking for the first time, statistically, one of them will become an alcoholic and alcohol is going to wreck his life, wouldn’t the responsible thing to do be not to do it? Well say the nine, it didn’t affect us. That’s a bit like the survivor of a game of Russian Roulette bragging that the other fellow just didn’t know how to handle his revolver. Where is the love? Where is the responsibility to help one’s brother?

Consider likewise, extra-marital sex. About one third of the population, says the CDC, has a sexually transmitted disease. That’s pretty poor odds. At some point during their life, it is estimated that about half the population will contract such a disease. Nearly 20 percent of homosexual men in the United States, in 2010 were said by the CDC to have HIV. Add to this very clear problem, the problems of pregnancies out of wedlock, fatherless children, destroyed marriages, broken hearts, jealousies, and guilt,… and you have an activity that, while enjoyable in the moment, has a good chance of getting someone hurt.

Sin is like that. Even before we talk about the spiritual problems sin creates in ourselves, we must face the fact that sin always carries a high risk of causing direct harm to those engaged in it.

There is no responsible way to sin. The very act of engaging in sinful behaviors is gambling with your life, your health, your relationships and ultimately your soul.

There is no loving way to sin. When you sin, you are taking a chance on hurting others. The thrill you get from the behavior is at the risk of those you claim to care about. You are not only putting your soul in danger, but theirs as well.

There is no smart way to sin. The smart thing to do is to take the Bible’s advice: “As for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.” (1 Timothy 6:11; ESV) And if you have friends that are suggesting and urging you to participate, you really need to find a better quality of friend with which to spend time. (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:33)


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Not by Your Own Strength

Not by Your Own Strength

The beginning of the book of Exodus set the stage of an Egypt who does not remember Joseph and the hand of God which delivered them from times of famine.  Jacob’s (Israel’s) children had grown into a numerous people from the 70 who settled in the region of Goshen.  Rather than a people welcomed by Egypt, they became a people viewed in a suspicious manner.  The pharaoh was openly concerned about their strength so he enslaved them.  Enter Moses, who by the hand of God was chosen as a prophet (mouth piece) of the Almighty to deliver the people Israel out of captivity.  This knowledge set in the mind, consider the following verse:

Exodus 4:10 – “And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither, heretofore, nor since thou has spoken unto thy servant; but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.”

Moses was concerned about his ability to deliver the people.  His immediate view was upon himself, his abilities, and his own strength.  Therefore, God declares the following in the next two verses:

Exodus 4:11-12 – “And the Lord said unto him, Who had made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind?  Have not I the Lord?  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.”

This promise is parallel to the one the apostles received in the first century when addressed by Jesus in regard to how they would deliver the Gospel to mankind, freeing those held under the captivity of sin.  Jesus made it clear that the Holy Spirit would provide the power, knowledge and words (from Christ, from God) that the apostles would share (John 14:25-26, 16:7-16, Acts 1:8).  As with Moses, God made the apostles His mouthpiece.  His Will would be accomplished with His Words.


The strength of God does not rely upon men or their ability.

Today, many Christians draw back in fear when faced with the thought of sharing God’s Will for mankind.  As Moses, their perspective is drawn inward upon their own abilities rather than what God provides.  God will not provide the miraculous knowledge and abilities He provided Moses and the apostles.  Those days are gone.  At that point in History, the gospel was but a mystery.  It had not been revealed as it would be in the first century (Ephesians 1:9, 3:3-4).  Because the Word of God has now been revealed, Christians have His Word in complete (Jude 3).  Rather than rely upon self, Christians simply need to study (2 Timothy 2:15) and read “Book, Chapter, Verse” to reach the hearts and minds of the world.  As with Moses this doesn’t have to be done in eloquence.  As with the apostles, Christians don’t need a perfect memory to share all Christ had said.  Christians have the Bible in their hands.  They have the God breathed truth which completely enables man to provide the doctrine of Christ, the evidence to show its truth, the information to correct behavior, and the guidance to train a man or woman to do what is right in God’s eyes (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Who is that shall be saved?  Salvation is for the one that does the right things which God has commanded (Matthew 7:21) written in the Holy Scripture.  Fear be put aside when one equips himself with the Word of God (Ephesians 6).

God’s Will cannot be destroyed (Isaiah 40:8).  His Will can reach the heart (Hebrews 4:12).  His Will can save man’s soul (James 1:21).  Keep your eyes upon His might, His power, His ability, His Truth, His Word, and do not focus or rely upon your own.



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A New and Precious Life Revealed

A New and Precious Life Revealed

To imagine what it would have been like for those who, in the first century, received the books of the New Testament which had just been written and sent to them is beyond comprehension. Before the books were written, there were apostles and prophets who could tell them about Jesus, about His life and the new way of living He revealed. However, they were not always present. Then, for the first time, the churches had a handwritten copy of the Bible, and they could assemble and study together.

Bible Revealed

We have in our hands the revealed Word of God.

Not every person was able to read, so there were those who read these words given by God while others listened, trying to remember every word God had given to them. The Bible describes this. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy…” (Rev. 1:3). Now, for the first time they held in their own hands the message from heaven. That verse adds one other vital truth about the one who is blessed because he has a Bible. It adds, “and keep those things which are written in it.” The real blessing is not found in just reading or hearing God’s words. That blessing comes when the words are taken and written in our hearts and manifested in our lives.

What a contrast between the church as it began and that which is part of our world! We no longer have heaven’s message in heavy scrolls but in beautiful, leather-bound books. The widespread use of cell phones allows many of us to carry the entire Bible in a compact device we keep in our pockets and purses. How blessed we are!

Yet what has happened? Across our lands believers assemble, yet Bibles are often not present. We have decided that study in Bible classes is more focused on what some modern man has written about the will of God instead of going to the original truths. Sometimes those studies become a discussion about what each person thinks about a matter instead of searching the words of the Bible to see what God has said about these same issues.

Pulpits are filled with gifted speakers, or those who have read their messages, and for the moment we are fascinated by their ideas, but it is far removed from what happened in the early church. They read the very words given by God, they heard the words given by God and they left worship determined to remember these words to change their lives.

Think about this contrast and then when you open your Bible realize you have the message from heaven. Read the Bible with the joy of those early Christians. Their lives were changed because they realized the treasures which were theirs because finally they held the words from heaven. Have that same joy because you have your own copy of these words!

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