September 20, 2020

“But flee from these things, you man of God…” 1 Timothy 6:11

As I write this millions of people have left and are leaving the regions of our country affected by hurricanes and wildfires. They have been warned to “flee” from catastrophic and destructive forces of nature. With fresh memories of the power of previous hurricanes and wildfires many people are not going to take any chances!

In the above verse from 1 Timothy Paul warns Timothy to flee from the love of money and material things. He does so on the basis of historic evidence. In verse 10 we read, “For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith.” Notice he says, “have wandered.” In other words it happened before.

Today the authorities are telling people to flee the dangerous areas saying, “You know from history what can happen.” Paul is using the same argument with Timothy and all who read these God-breathed words today. We need to read and be aware of the destructive power of the love of money and any other thing that takes God’s place in our lives! Hurricanes and wildfires, today and in the past, have destroyed millions of dollars worth of property and took the lives of people—loving money or things above God will destroy an eternal soul.

Let us heed the warning—and flee from all that would take God’s place in our lives and ultimately destroy our faith.

April 10, 2020

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…” (Matthew 6:25a) (See also Matthew 6:25-34)

As I look out the window this morning I see squirrels seemingly playing tag with one another and rabbits as they playfully hop around with each other in some type of carefree game. I wonder, why aren’t they caught up in the seriousness and the concern our day with the COVID-19 issue continuing to dominate people’s thoughts. The answer, of course, is obvious—it’s not a squirrel or rabbit issue. It’s not their concern!

In the passage above Jesus is reminding us that the COVID-19 issue is in a sense not our concern either. I’m not saying we shouldn’t concern ourselves with social distancing, stay at home orders, and so on. But when it comes to worry and anxiety over all of these things—we need to leave it in God’s hands. We do our part in preventing the virus’ spread; we pray for those seeking to find a vaccine and those who tirelessly care for the sick; we pray for our authorities who pass legislation to help us as citizens, etc. But ultimately we leave it in the hands of one who is more capable than any of those I have just referred to.

Than after we have done our part in being careful, in being caring and carrying many to the Lord in prayer, we enjoy the day before us just as the squirrels and rabbits do. For, “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

March 24, 2020

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 6:17–7:1, NIV84)

We are living in a day when we are admonished and even "given orders" to be separate from one another. The purpose of course is to avoid being infected with and assist in slowing the spread of COVID-19. The above verses are speaking, however, of the "spread" or "contamination" of something else--the "virus" of sin. Notice the word "therefore" pointing us back to the previous verses (14-16), “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”” (2 Corinthians 6:14–16, NIV84)

Even though the believer is forgiven through Christ, none of us is sinless and we live among a world full of sin that has the ability to cause a believer to compromise and "lose ground" in his walk with Jesus. I share the following from the Canadian Ambassador Newsletter. The article is entitled, Corona Virus vs Worldly Virus and written by Sylvia Sundby,

We are “confined” and told to distance ourselves (not rub shoulders with others), so this virus doesn’t spread. YET, we think nothing of rubbing shoulders with the world and all it has to offer. We aren’t concerned AT ALL about catching the worldly virus - which is way worse than any flu virus we will ever encounter. The worldly virus will last for all eternity.

How good to know the LORD has provided THE WAY to keep us safe from this worldly virus, and keep us focused on JESUS, our only HOPE in this world.

May we all use this time of “confinement” to search our hearts and know where we stand spiritually, and where our priorities are.

JESUS is coming again. The signs are everywhere. BE SURE you are ready and watching for that GREAT and GLORIOUS DAY. AMEN.

March 19, 2020

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” (Psalm 34:4)

We are living (and dying) in the day of the Coronavirus. These are trying times--for some more so than others. What I mean by that is that some are taking the pandemic more seriously than others in terms of cautions, preparedness, etc. Some are also taking it more seriously than others in terms of worrisome-ness! I recently had my attention drawn to the following quote from CS Lewis. These words were penned shortly after the dropping of the Atomic Bomb--but it seems that (as some have suggested) we can substitute "Coronavirus" for Atomic Bomb, Atomic Age, etc. and find extremely wise counsel for today.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays