Our world has changed dramatically over the ages, but one thing remains the same: after every sunset comes a glorious new sunrise. After a period of darkness, light shines anew. This is a constant truth both in the physical world and the spiritual one. Out of the stillness of that first Easter morning came the cry of victory as the ground shook and the stone was moved to reveal an empty tomb.
Since COVID-19 has disrupted our normal schedule and routine, my family and I have been joining the online gatherings of two different churches. One of them is Southeast Christian with Pastor Kyle Idleman. His name might sound familiar to you because he wrote the bestseller, Not A Fan. Now he’s the senior pastor of one of the largest churches in America.
Kyle Idleman has been preaching a series called “Reverse the Curse,” which delves into what happened during Adam and Eve’s sin in Genesis 3, the subsequent fall out and consequences that we’re still dealing with today, and the glorious revelation that Jesus is the great curse reverser. Jesus reverses the curse of sin and gives us new life in Him. He takes what was broken and makes it whole. He brings beauty from ashes and breathes new life to what was once dead.
Now that we’ve gained the correct perspective on fear, faith, and trusting God, let’s talk about the doors God is opening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t bemoan what we’ve temporarily lost. Rather, look around and see what God is doing during this time.
We are in an unprecedented time, and, therefore, it is an unprecedented opportunity for the Church and Christians to step up and fulfill our calling to be the hands and feet of Jesus. To be the place where truth is proclaimed and hope is given. To be the people of faith who rise up and say, “Our God is in control and is calling all people to Himself.”
Fear. It’s everywhere. It’s running wild and unabated in people’s minds and hearts. It’s driving decisions and changing our lives. We’ve already discussed how faith should trump fear during this time of panic and uncertainty. However, there is one thing you should fear: God.
I came across this quote by Charles Spurgeon and felt that it was quite fitting for this season.
“The fear of God is the death of every other fear."
Are you tired of receiving emails with the subject line of “Our Response to COVID-19”? I am! I feel like my inbox has been inundated with the same subject emails from every coperation, retailer, and business I’ve shopped with. It’s gotten rather annoying to say the least. However, it reveals the fact that this virus is on everyone’s minds. And how could it not, since major decisions that affect our everyday lives have been made in light of the current pandemic.
Suffering. It’s all around us. You see it on the faces of people you pass at the grocery store, see it in the stories posted on the news and social media, and see the pain it causes in the lives of those you know and love. We live in a broken world, but it can be hard to make sense of all the pain and suffering we see and experience. How can a good, loving Father allow us to go through hard times? As born-again believers, shouldn’t we be free from the ravages of a sinful world? If God is truly sovereign, why does He allow us to walk through suffering?
I am very excited to announce the release of my very first published book! Independently published and now available on Amazon, this book is a compilation of all the blog posts from the Colossians Bible study I wrote in the fall of 2017. This project has been in the works for a while, but I have finally finished it and released it to the world.
Reflection. Prayer. Repentance. Intercession. That’s what today is all about. It’s a day for the Church of Jesus Christ to gather and fill heaven with prayer and intercession. It’s a day of intentionality, as we make a point of coming before the Lord on behalf of our country. It’s a day of meditation, as we ponder and repent for the sins of our nation. It’s a day of action, as we humble ourselves and seek God’s face. Today is the National Day of Prayer in America.
Happy Resurrection Sunday! Christ is risen! He’s risen indeed!
As we celebrate this blessed day, let’s pause and take a moment to cast our minds back to that glorious morning over two thousand years ago. Picture the scene. All was dark, but then the sun began to peak over the horizon and to cast a golden glow upon a Judean hillside which held a tomb. A tomb with a stone that was rolled away. A tomb that once held the crucified Christ. A tomb that was now empty.
Today is Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter. It marks the beginning of Passion Week and all that is remembered and celebrated. However, let’s go back in time to the first Palm Sunday and remember what actually happened on that memorable day in Jerusalem.
“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.’ This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”’ The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’”
~Matthew 21: 1a, 6-9
Have you ever wondered what makes a good Christian leader? Or how God shapes and makes those men and women useful servants for His kingdom?
I know I have. Now that I’m serving in ministry and feel called to leadership in worship and discipleship, I have often pondered and contemplated how God chooses and prepares His servants. Throughout Biblical and Church history there have been many amazing and mighty men and women of God. A short list would include giants like Moses, David, Joseph, Mary, Paul, James, Peter, Billy Graham, John Wesley, and Hudson Taylor just to name a few.
But what set these people apart? Why did God choose them? And how did they grow into their roles of leadership? What journey did God take them on to shape and mold them into the leaders of His choosing?
As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been doing a lot of inner reflection and prayerful pondering since 2019 began. Last year brought a lot of change in the lives of people around me and great spiritual growth in my own life. God has revealed and confirmed a spiritual gift in my life and grown in me a greater heart for ministry. But overall, I have to say that the biggest thing the Lord has given me this past year is a greater burden for people.
The New Year has come and the novelty of it has worn off. The holidays are over and the dust has settled from the season’s craziness. Life is starting to return to its normal routine. But my blog has been extremely silent.
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. This is the first Advent season in three years that I haven’t written something. Sorry for the silence! This Christmas season has gone by in a blur of activity and festivity. I hope you have all been blessed by the season.
But as we approach today—Christmas morning—there is a certain level of awe and wonder that ought to fill our hearts as we contemplate and ponder the birth of Christ. Not only were the events surrounding His birth amazing and incredible, but the very fact that He came fills my heart with worship.
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