Thursday, May 28, 2020

Covid-19 and the Lies that Abound

llustration #7 of how our current Covid-19 pandemic speaks to our even more real spiritual need:

Who can you trust with all of this information floating around? I mean, how many Covid-19 cases are there really? Is Covid-19 really a brand new virus or do we already have some protections for it? How much is the government keeping from us? Who really has our best interest in mind?
The ultimate question is, "Who is lying to us and why?"

If there truly is something going on that most of us are being duped on, there are two truths that will remain - they will be found out eventually and we still have control over our own outlook and attitude.

There are lies, though, that have been told for, well, forever.  We know that these are lies, that they are still being believed by the masses, and that we have a way to combat them. These lies are communicated through our adversary, the devil, who wants nothing else than our destruction. Just three simple examples and the truths that combat them:

1. Lie: You have no hope of forgiveness, you've messed up too much. Truth: In Jesus, there is offered to every human being the forgiveness of all your sins and the salvation of your souls.

2. Lie: God is not in control and/or is uninterested. Truth: God is sovereignly and perfectly knowledgeable about all that is going on, having a history of making good out of bad and drawing people to himself through patience and compassion.

3. Lie: What's best for you is to "be true to yourself." Truth: What's best for you is being true to who God has created you to be. It has been proven over time that the many forms of this falsity does not provide hope or satisfaction, whether it's in the form of sexual freedom, financial pursuits, or any kind of "look out for myself" focus.

For more information on the TRUTH in this post, see the extensive writings of the Apostle Paul and others in the Bible.  More specifically, Romans, chapter 3, Hebrews chapter 9, and 1 Thessalonians chapter 4.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Covid-19 and Returning to Normal?

Illustration #5 of how our current Covid-19 Pandemic speaks to our even more real spiritual need:

What will you return to?

Written now a month later than the last illustration, this illustration centers around the anticipation of lifting restrictions that have been in place for over a month. What are we most looking forward to? What are we anticipating in order to feel like things are “normal” again? Similar to someone returning from a foreign land and craving some sort of “taste of home”, we realize what we truly missed . . . and didn’t miss. 

With God, though, we’re never put in that position of being without what we truly need, for He never leaves us or forsakes us. When we know He's always there, though, we risk taking the Creator of the universe and the Lover of our souls for granted. Maybe you'd say, "He’s always with us in quarantine or in large gatherings, so why do I need to attend a worship service or even be a part of a church?"

Back to the illustration: How many of these “creature comforts” would you say we need? Anything that truly is necessary, including a relationship with God, will not be the things we naturally crave, so we need to figure out a way to keep them before us. Keep God’s Word before you, keep God’s people within reach, keep God Himself as your peace and comfort and refuge. #Psalm50

No matter how long you've been away you can always return to God

Illustration #6 - At what point is it "safe" to return to "life"?

The huge debate around MN is that we need to open things back up, at least to some degree.  I just saw a picture of friends that were celebrating Mother's Day IN a restaurant!!  What!? How dare they do that during this time!  At the same time, how envious I was of them doing this.😁  Now, it was in North Dakota, who has different restrictions than we do here in MN, so I shouldn't be too surprised.  Yet, what will MN do this coming week as the latest stay-at-home directive expires on Monday, May 18?  How will its citizen's respond?  Now, even Congress is considering legislation that would protect businesses from liability if they return to business and Covid-19 spreads through their actions.

This fact remains: life itself is a risk.  Every time we enter on on-ramp to a freeway or put money into an investment or even shake someone's hand, we are trusting that the other people on the freeway, handling our money, and touching our hand will do their part to, well, not harm us.  Whether it was before Covid-19 or now, none of us knew what each day would bring.  When we return to some sort of normalcy or a new normal, who can you trust?  Who will you trust?  God has given us two things that can bring us peace and joy in the midst of any kind of turbulence:  First, the ability to choose - nobody else can choose for you, though you can choose to allow others to influence you.  Second, to help with our tendency to allow others to choose for us, God has given us Himself.  Through his Word (#Psalm73, #wordsoflife) and through His Son Jesus Christ (see John 3:31-36), we have all we need for this life.  By receiving His witness, we receive His Spirit and, as a result, His peace, grace, joy, and life that is truly life.

It is never safe to return to life, but there's always safety in the arms of God.