Fearful?

“Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. I said to the LORD, “You are my LORD; I have no good besides You.” The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips. The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalms 16:1‭-‬2‭, ‬4‭-‬5‭, ‬8 NASB

Are you worried about your health and safety because of this virus called COVID19? Are you fearful that the world as we know it is ending?

I will say this. Yes, the world as we have known it is over. We can’t go back. I’m not convinced we should want to. My fears aren’t because of a biological “bug”. I’m much more concerned about the actions of people, and especially of those who are “in charge.” Government, whether it’s your local town or those in Washington, doesn’t easily let go once they have taken over something. Is it necessary for the powers that be to pass resolutions to order people to stay at home except for going out for essentials? Apparently so….. but for the criminals, and those people who consider themselves above the law, will it make a difference? Probably not, and those are the very people who are creating issues for the rest of us. Politicians have turned it into a political issue. I’m talking about both sides of the aisle.

“The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips.” We are so busy bartering for all of our everyday gods that we have forgotten the GOD Who is in control.

I will continue to protect my family and my home to the best of my ability, but I will not fear or be intimidated by the enemy’s actions.

“The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Psalms 118:6 ESV

Still Running

“Arise, go to Nineveh the great city and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord . So he went down to Joppa, found a ship which was going to Tarshish, paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.” Jonah 1:2‭-‬3 NASB

Try this again:

“Arise, go to [insert the name of your *city/town/place of business] and cry against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.” But [insert your name] rose up to flee to [insert the name of the your happy place] from the presence of the LORD. So [your name] went down to [your *town], found a ship which was going to [insert your happy place], paid the fare and went down into it to go with them to [insert your happy place] from the presence of the Lord.”

I’m Jonah. I don’t want to go. With all this craziness, I’m perfectly content to hang out at home with my dogs. Who needs people, anyway? (I’m an introvert so I love it.) I have a part time job at a little local grocer, so I get to interact with one or two people when I’m there. We’re not doing any walk in business, just call in orders, so there’s very little customer interaction. It’s been busy, so that’s my excuse for not talking to my coworkers much. My excuse. That’s all it is. My late husband would say “Any excuse will do when you need one.” It’s not a reason. I know that several of my coworkers are really worried about this virus. I’m really not. If I should get sick (not that I want to!), and even if I should die from it, I’m not worried. God is in control, and I know what happens when my earthly body dies. My life will improve immeasurably without this earthly body. Don’t we Christians owe it to the nonbelievers around us to share that confidence?

Just asking.

Where Is God?

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” Galatians 1:6‭-‬9 NASB

There is so much going on right now, it’s difficult to look outside my door and consider how other people are being affected. Yesterday, I saw a clip of a (very) wealthy televangelist exhorting people to “Do not stop giving financially! If you are laid off for this crisis, do not stop giving to the ministry!” I suggest that instead of telling people they need to be giving their money, listen to this message from Franklin Graham of http://www.BillyGraham.org:

We haven’t seen anything like this since World War II, and we need to be praying. This is a great opportunity for evangelism. This is going to … I think, open people’s hearts like we haven’t seen in a long time.

People are afraid. People are anxious. People are just outright scared, and this is an opportunity for the church to pray for revival and pray that God would use each and every one of us to touch the lives of an unbelieving world so that they would put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, that they could come to know that their sins are forgiven, that they have that hope of heaven, and that hope of heaven is Jesus Christ who took our sins and died on a cross, who was buried for our sins, who on the third day God raised to life. Jesus Christ is alive, and He’s coming back. What an opportunity to share this message with the world …

Maybe your heart has been gripped by fears as millions of others have because of the coronavirus pandemic, but I want you to know that God loves you. He made you. He created you. He knows everything about your life. You don’t need to be afraid. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

If you’ve never invited Jesus Christ into your heart, there’s no better time to do it than right now, and you can trust Him as your Savior. Just pray this prayer right now with me, just simply say, “God, I’m a sinner. I’m sorry for my sins. I ask that You forgive me, and I believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and I want to invite Him to come into my heart and trust Him with my life. I’m willing to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as my Lord forever, and I pray this in Jesus’ Name.’”

His message is spot on. My prayer is that I might encourage one person to seek out the LORD and His Blessings.

“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S Lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His Compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your Faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21‭-‬23 NASB

GOD, the Ultimate Authority

While there must be an institutional separation of church and state, there must NOT be separation between God and government. NO people, institution, or government has any authority beyond what has been given by God. GOD has the ultimate authority and power!

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” Romans 13:1 NASB

“Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ ” Jeremiah 29:7 NASB

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; ……” Colossians 2:8‭-‬10 NASB

Just some things to keep in mind as we move into this season of campaigning and elections. The Deceiver is moving strongly throughout our nation, and it is easy to fall into his many traps and lies. Our nation is unique among nations because it is based upon Christian principles and values. Think hard, pray hard, evaluate each candidate by their lives, their families, their actions. Above all else, remember this:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 NASB

Why Did Jesus Come?

“For [GOD] did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. But one has testified somewhere, saying, “What is man, that You remember him? or the Son of Man, that you are concerned about Him? You have made Him for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with Glory and Honor, and have appointed Him over the Works of Your Hands; You have put all things in subjection under His feet.” (Psalms 8) For in subjecting all things to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to Him. But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, JESUS, because of the suffering of death crowned with Glory and Honor, so that by the Grace of GOD He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author [the pioneer, the trailblazer] of their salvation through sufferings. For both He Who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim your name to My brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in Him.” And again,”Behold, I and the children whom GOD has given Me.” Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:5-‬18 NASB
(For more on angels, go to Hebrew 1, 10, and Revelations 4-22)

Why did God become man?
*To Restore Man’s Dominion Over the Earth: Genesis 1:28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 

*To Taste Death: His death was a Crown of Glory and Honor – God cannot die, nor can the angels, so Jesus became man in order to experience death for us so that we – man – wouldn’t have to. His Grace was His motivation: His death was for EVERYONE. We are so dearly loved, He died for us.

*To Bring Many Sons to Glory – Ephesians 5:2b “….. love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” 

John Donne (1572–1631), an Anglican minister, in a sermon on Psalm 2:10-12, asserting that the One who with the Father and the Holy Spirit creates and sustains all things has become our brother; the inconceivably transcendent God is present among us.

There is no person so near of kin to you as Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus your father created you; he is your brother because he took your nature. He is your father because he provided an inheritance for you; he is your brother because he divided this inheritance with you. And because he died to give you possession of that inheritance, he is the Nourishing One, your foster father who has nursed you in his house, in the Christian church. He is your twin brother, so similar to you that his Father and yours in him, will not know you from one another but will mingle your conditions: he finds your sins in him and his righteousness in you. “Kiss this Son” as your kinsman.


*To Disarm Satan and Deliver Us From Death – JESUS came to save us; therefore He had to defeat satan and render him inoperative. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”  We have no reason to be afraid of death…. we are delivered from satan’s control!

*To Make Propitiation For Our Sins – JESUS became a Jew – the most hated race – in order to become a high priest who would perform sacrifices, and to become the ultimate, final sacrifice. Christ was born and He died to turn around God’s wrath. Hebrews 2:17 “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High Priest in things pertaining to GOD, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

*To Help Those Who Are Tempted – God isn’t angry with me, because I believe in Jesus Who died to cover my sins. The angels can’t relate because they cannot die, cannot be tempted. That’s why Jesus became man, so that He could experience life as a man and suffer as a man. He has been tempted, lonely, broke, abandoned, hurt – to BE with us …. and He understands what we are going through. Jesus is “God with skin on.” Since sin comes into the world through the man, Jesus was conceived without man to keep His human body pure. Adrian Rogers: “JESUS is all God and all man; man to be able to die, God to pay the ultimate price for our sin.”Once and for All. AMEN!

Greater Good

“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 23:11 NASB

As I skim through social media, it occurs to me that the “greatest” among us today are about as far from being servants as we could imagine. Spoiled, cosseted, and overpaid celebrities from Hollywood, sport venues, and certain financial and political arenas are being toasted and held up for worship as the experts on life. It’s as if they are the gods we should look up to, and that we should follow without question. Many of them certainly act like they are above all human laws and morals. It’s all about lust. Lust for control, for sex, for the almighty dollar; it’s all about power. As Christians, our guide, our Law Book, is the Bible. It is very clear on idolatry, lust, and temptation.

“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.” Exodus 20:3‭-‬4, Deuteronomy 5:6-7 NASB

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15‭-‬17 NASB

“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.” James 1:13‭-‬14‭, ‬16 NASB

So, Greater Good. Servanthood. It’s different for every person. How does it look for you; on you? It’s not for everyone to wash the feet of others (figuratively at least, if not actually), although I believe that unless you’ve done it, you’ll never understand true servanthood.

We Will Be Persecuted

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.” John 16:1‭-‬4 NKJV

Just a little bit scary, and yet, looking through history, Christians have been persecuted since the beginning. I don’t think I would be very brave in the face of real, physical persecution; I’m afraid I would be like Peter when he denied knowing Jesus. Every day, Christians face persecution from the enemy in the form of illness, job loss, failed relationships, financial hardships, and more, but we know that we share these difficulties with the world. See, I think the enemy wants us and the world think that we are all the same; that we are deluding ourselves and them by thinking we are different. In one very important way, and the only one that makes a difference is the reality that we have accepted Jesus as our LORD and Saviour. That single difference sets us up in the eyes of the enemy as targets. He hates to see people accept Christ! His goal is to fool as many people as possible to him as the superior over Jesus, and in doing so, sets us up for persecution and – he hopes – defeat.

He can’t do it. Defeat belongs to the enemy, not to the LORD.

Are you prepared for persecution? Have you thought about being physically persecuted, like Peter, Paul, or Stephen, or like countless of our contemporaries in other, non Christian nations? Even here, in a country founded on Christian values, we are daily facing attacks, mostly nonphysical (for now), but there are starting to be more and more incidents of physically targeting Christians. What do you think these church shootings are about?

I believe in a strong response whenever possible, but I concede that the time is coming where we will be put into situations of having to choose between defending Christianity, or giving in to the enemy.

“It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.” Revelation 13:7‭-‬10 NASB

Where is your name written?