What does Covid 19 do to death? It certainly does not make it more frequent; 100 percent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased….Yet [the virus] does do something to death. It forces us to remember it….[The virus] makes death real to us: and that would have been regarded as one of its blessings by most of the great Christians of the past. They thought it good for us to be always aware of our mortality. They were right.
The future is in God’s hands whether we leave it to Him or not. We just need to get on with whatever work God has put in our hands. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord”. It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received. How are you living your life now? Is your focus on building up treasure on earth or treasure in heaven
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6 :19-21
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; NIV
Christ died for us, we must no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ Jesus, and let his love flow through us to others. Will we respond as vessels for God’s love in the present Coronavirus context? Let’s step up, not down, as God’s new normal for us is what it has always been for Jesus’ church in the Spirit—engage with all those Jesus connects us, our family, our church family, our workplace and our community.
The following reflection highlights the way one pastor and church, Mark Nicklas and his community Beaverton Foursquare, are stepping up and participating in the triune God’s normative mission in the face of the Coronavirus.
They are partnering with other churches, the school across the street, and civic authorities. They understand that we are all in it together. They clearly comprehend that this is no place or time to be lone rangers. We need to work together in solidarity. This pandemic truly affects us all.
We are called to be ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), Mark highlights that the love of Christ is to compel us, like it did Paul and his ministry team. Mark says, “Love is lapped up wherever it is spilled.” God’s love is lavish, so it never runs out. Since Christ died for us, we must no longer live for ourselves, but for Christ Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit guide and direct our every step in love.
Are you living your life with eternity in view? The following scripture is tough but it is true.
“Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:21-23
We are never too old to be a true disciple of Christ, i.e. a disciple who makes more disciples. Listen to the amazing testimony of this Dutch couple who are now living the Christian life and bringing others to Christ. They are excited about what God is doing and will do each day. They are energised, happy, joyful and could not go back to the old church life that they lived for 44 years. You will be challenged by their testimony and hopefully it will cause you to follow their lead and connect with the The Last Reformation (TLR).
Paul tells us our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God. He also tells us not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Why? So that we will know the perfect will of God for this day and the days ahead.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1
To be transformed, not only do I need Jesus, His blood sacrifice and the Holy Spirit, I also need the Word of God.
Jesus, in His prayer to His heavenly Father said:
“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. ” John 17:17
This is how we transform our mind, with the Word of truth. It is only then, we will hear from God, perceive correctly the here and now, and knowwhat God has for us to do today.
Our love for Jesus must be such that our hearts desire is to pray this prayer for all of those that God leads us to, or brings across our path. We must never forget God is the one who chooses – “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” 2 Thessalonians 2:13
“Jesus, you have brought this person to me, please help me to show them who You are. Also, I know, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, You are able to transform whatever their deficits are into victories, Holy Spirit show me the part I am to play in their journey with you.
Is it true that God chooses people to have eternal life and yet we must believe to have eternal life? Why are we urged to believe when it is God who gives us the faith?
“Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honour and another for dishonour? Romans 9:18-20
The answer to this paradox is unknown: it is a mystery but Scriptures tell us both are true. Hence, it is imperative we are led by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. The old hymn says it all: “Trust and obey, for there is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”