I was on a Zoom video conference call with Senator Tim Scott recently, along with almost 200 pastors from around the state of South Carolina. He was asked to speak a few words of encouragement over the pastors. He said, “We need wisdom from the Lord, and not from man. This is the golden opportunity we have been waiting for. The church is the most powerful weapon on Earth.”
I think Senator Scott believes that because the church is the primary conduit through which God shares his Word of Truth in this world. Truth is our great friend right now in a world full of lies. A lot has changed over the past weeks, so we all need to be reminded of truth because truth never changes.
TRUTH: The church is designed to be mobilized and scattered for ministry.
Because of COVID-19, it has been weeks since I have gathered together on campus with my church family. As a non-recovering extrovert, I can’t wait for our church to be under the same roof again. That first week back together, I may stand there on the stage and grin at my church family the whole time. With that in mind, do you know what Jesus never said?
Jesus never said, “I’ve come that you may have CHURCH.”
Jesus said, “I have come that you may have LIFE!”
Sometimes, we miss the point! We are too quick to confuse the real message of Jesus. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” God’s plan for us is amazing because God’s plan is based on GRACE.
Satan has a plan as well, and it is nothing new. It is predictable. Satan used the same game plan in both the Garden of Eden and the temptation of Christ. Satan offers us ways to DO something apart from God’s will, HAVE something apart from God’s will, and BE something apart from God’s will. It is time for us to come out of the privileged, self-centered, narcissistic attitude that makes us think that everything has to go our way. That is not the way things are in this world.
Now, our enemy does not discriminate. But neither does our savior! John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that WHOEVER believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Let’s make that personal. I am going to say it a bit differently. I want to remind you of the good news about Jesus. God loves you so much that He let His Son Jesus die in your place, so you don’t have to fear death. You can have life that never ends by placing your faith in Jesus Christ.
COVID-2019 is an assault on humanity, but Jesus is the victorious king over death itself. We are merely experiencing a new installment of the same failed enemy that Jesus already defeated. I believe that God is teaching us something. Are you learning? I believe God is trying to tell us something. Are you listening?
You know, at the beginning of the year, God put it on my heart (after much prayer) that 2020 would be a year of growth. Now, you may say, “that’s crazy.” But, consider this. Anytime there is this much warfare, something amazing is on the other side. Let’s refuse to let the bad news about COVID-19, or any other crisis, outpace the good news about Jesus Christ. The next big news story is over 2000 years old!
Once again Pastor Stephen, you have opened my eyes to something I didn’t even realize! Over the years, I have always thought that “everyone is against me doing things my way because it is different than theirs. They think their way is the only way and that my way will never work, but if they would just let me show them that the way I think works, they will understand.” I also now realize that my above statement in quotations is only partially true. Some people actually do treat me that way, but not everyone, and that is not the truest thing all the time. Does the last part make sense?
Thank you for this encouraging word!