A good friend of my wife had this great idea for me to start a “Jesus” podcast. I immediately took her advice and launched episodes “0” and 1 that very same day. Praying that the LORD blesses this podcast to strengthen followers of Jesus, and to bring people who are searching for a relationship with God to Him.
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Yes, the virus is still around. We are still in shelter-in-place. I am still not working. We are still getting our groceries delivered through Instacart. Life is still in a state of uncertainty. After my jog this morning I stood still for a few minutes to listen to the Lord. I felt Him say, “You do not need corporate worship to worship me”.
Some of us are thinking, “I can’t wait for church to open up again so that I can worship God”, or, “I wonder which church has the best online teaching this Sunday?”. We have relied too much on our local church to motivate us to worship the one true living God. I am not saying that having a local church is a bad thing, but what I am saying is, “we do not need people or programs to feel closer to God”.
During my reading this morning, I highlighted Acts 17:27, “…that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him”. As I read commentary on this verse, it referenced Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made”. These verses tell me that I am to seek God and that God wants to be found. So, we do not need to be in a crowd of worshipers to feel close to God. We do not need the wonderful band and the talented preacher to seek God. All we need is a genuine heart for God. Let us ask God to reveal himself to us daily. Seek Him.
The “Great Pause”, as my wife calls the current situation that we are in, is an opportunity given to us to spend time with the Lord without distractions. All sports have been taken away; movie theaters are closed; most parks are closed; almost all forms of entertainment have been removed. What is left is an opportunity for silence with God. A time to find out what kind of Christian you want to be during this time and what kind of Christian you want to be coming out of this. We can take this opportunity to strengthen our faith through the Word, prayer, and surrendering everything to Him. I believe that this is a time to seriously live biblical lives so that when we are out of this nightmare, the body of Christ will be a refined body, stronger than ever to share the gospel to the ends of the world! Think about the lives that Jesus can change through his church. He surely changed my life; He gave me the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippains 4:7).
So, please, Christian, take every day as a divine opportunity to spend time with the Lord. Read and study the scriptures; speak and listen to God. Worship Him the way He deserves to be worshiped; He deserves your whole heart. “Draw near to Him; and God will draw near to you” (James 4:8).
After I heard the Lord speak this morning, I worshiped Him on my knees. It was just me outside, in a corner where I could not be seen, but I felt God’s presence with me. He brought tears to my eyes; tears of brokenness and tears of comfort. God will strengthen us (Isaiah 41:10); He will bring us peace (Philippians 4:7); He, alone, is our refuge (Psalm 91:2).
We have something to rejoice about, at all times!! We have God’s salvation; we have Jesus!
Lord, you are our wonderful rescuer. Please strengthen us through this difficult time, so that you may use us to share the good news of Jesus Christ. The world needs you;let yourself be known. Open eyes to see and ears to hear. In the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
Psalm 46:1 GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
He is our very present help in times of trouble. We’re in trouble right now. Luke can’t breathe. I watch him struggle and strain, with shallow, tight breaths. I watch him run out of breath mid-sentence, be unable to roughhouse with our boys, get quiet and withdrawn with suffering.
I pray for him, I lay my hands on him and ask Jesus to touch him, I tell him how proud I am of the oh-so brave man he is. I post scriptures around the house about God’s ability and willingness to heal; about GOD’s history of healing and desire to heal. I do all that I can but we are still in trouble.
This is the kind of trouble that you can’t reason away, buy your way out of, or call your doctor to fix, because, in this case, we seem to have come nearly to the end of what medical science can offer us. We could get angry, we could get bitter, we could fall into despair, we could blame GOD. Instead, we run to Him as our only hope in this trouble. We are drowning but just as the water covers our airways we realize that He is the living water around us and we breathe him in.
I have been here before with my own breathing struggles but watching my Luke endure such suffering is brutal on my heart, in such a different way. It is salty tears mingled with desperation for his healing and pride at his courage and worry for our future and anxiety about if and when and how. But then I raise my voice or my hands in supplication and down rains peace and joy and triumph even in suffering.
You see, with all my heart and life, I am convinced that I serve the Living and Victorious One, the one who overcame sin and death (including all sickness). So just as overwhelming uncertainty crashes down, in comes peace and assurance that “He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole world in His hands…He’s got Luke’s lungs in His hands.” A very present help. He has us engraved on His palms. He has not forgotten our crisis for a moment and He is going to work in this situation mightily and everyone watching will witness a miracle. I believe it.
I love that the verse says “VERY present help”. He’s not just saying, ‘I’m here to help” but he’s yelling, “I’M HERE TO HELP!!!!”. He’s also offering a covering or refuge for the duration of the onslaught and His strength throughout. While it is true that we are in deep trouble and Luke is suffering and I am hurting, what is just as true is that Jesus is a “very present help”, right here, right now. When I think about that truth, I am no longer bothered about “if and when and how” because i know WHO and WHERE; Jesus here, very ready to help.