Hebrews 10:22-25 (MSG) So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Shook! For lack of a better word, shook is the only thing that can describe my trip to the grocery store yesterday. I was already a bit distressed that the online grocery service was temporarily unavailable. With restaurants offering only carry out or delivery with limited dine in options to enact social distancing – I went to the store to gather some staples for home cooked meals. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Shelves literally cleared. Produce stands completely empty. Not a single roll of toilet paper in the entire store. Paper goods and disinfectant anything gone! After finding a few meal options including all the fixings for a delightful pot of chili, I waited in the checkout line. As the sweet girl began scanning my supplies, she stopped and apologized. “There is a four can limit on all vegetables, ma’am.” You have to pick four items and we will return the rest to stock. Shook! I had no words as I pushed the cart outside holding the receipt. This was not a special offer with limited quantities. I would have to make two trips just to make a pot of chili. There is also the risk that the remaining items will be out of stock. Canned vegetables. The world is in a panic. Chaos ensued. It is time to get a grip.
Now don’t be offended. This is not a word of ridicule or condemnation but a fervent call to the men and women of God who love the Lord to stop and get a grip. We must keep a firm grip on the Promises of God and not get swept up in the turmoil of our world. It is important to remind ourselves that God is faithful, good, trustworthy and true. To continue to remember that He is Jehovah Jireh and always provides for His Children. Full of belief evident in our actions. Confident in God’s Love not only on the inside but in outward demonstration. It is important not to get distracted but stay focused on our faith and continually sowing these good seeds into our broken society. The church is not closed – it has been radically released into a mission field of people absolutely overcome with fear, panic, and dread. Deep distress has set in and it is our God-given opportunity to be the Light of the World. So let’s do it!
Hebrews 12:12-13 (MSG) So don’t sit around on your hands! No more dragging your feet! Clear the path for long-distance runners so no one will trip and fall, so no one will step in a hole and sprain an ankle. Help each other out. And run for it!
Never has there been a place and time or more profoundly set stage for the church to share the Goodness and Glory of God with the world. How? What can I do? Stop panicking. Stop worrying. Stop stockpiling. Stop the fear. Start praying. Start sharing. Start giving. Start a small group (no more than 10). God has stopped the world. Let’s go center stage. Those who live in perfect love (I John 4:18) do not live in fear but breathe, live and walk by faith. Faith is not contingent on our current condition or circumstance but is absolutely convinced that God is for them. They know God is with them. They believe God will take care of them so they choose to walk by faith not by sight. Perfect peace is the stance of God’s People. To be kind, thoughtful, encouraging and giving. To be patient. To be generous in the mist of panicked gathering and hoarding. You can make a difference now more than ever before.
Isaiah 35:3-4 (MSG) Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!”
I love this faithful reminder in God’s Word to us. God is here. Right here. On His Way to put things right and redress wrongs. He is on His Way! We must energize the limp hands – after all I am the Hands and Feet of God in this world. Obedience requires me using all that I am for the Glory of God. Strengthen those rubbery knees. You have nothing to fear! God is for you! The enemy is knocking on every door in our country peddling fear. He is stirring society with a spoon of panic. Not today Satan! I choose to get a grip on my faith and steadfast anchor of hope show confidence in my God! I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency. (Philippians 4:13) His Grace is always enough! (2 Corinthians 12:9) It works best in my weakness (or when I realize I have lost control). I am amply and well supplied. I have enough! (Philippians 4:19) I do not fear illness or disease. (Psalm 91:5-6) I know Jehovah Rapha – He is my healer and restorer. (Exodus 15:26) Let the Word of God sustain you today and drive out every fear. Turn your light on and be the light in these dark times. Get a grip!