Thinking About the Pandemic

The World Is Closed…

Have you ever just looked around in wonder at how this tiny, microscopic virus, that has spread like wildfire, managed to close the world?  I have certainly wondered that.  But I also wonder and look forward to seeing, how God is going to use this virus for his purposes and glory.  We have God in heaven, that created you and me, and everything you see.  He spoke the stars into creation and has the hairs on your head numbered.  Even more amazing than that is our loving God is passionate about his relationship with you.  He desires you desperately.  He his jealous for you. 

Exodus 34:14 You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you. 

In an earlier version they use the word “passionate” instead of jealous; I think you get the idea.  God desires YOU, he wants all of you, he wants to spend time with you and he certainly doesn’t want to share you.  He doesn’t want your leftovers.  God will go to great lengths to be with you; to have a relationship with you.  He will use conflict, war, terrorist acts, pandemics, natural disasters, hardship, and pain to draw you to him.  God is now using this virus, to stop our sports, to stop our activities, to stop our gathering, to stop our movies, to change our entertainment, to change our school days, workdays, church meetings, etc.  The virus is confining us to our homes.  Nations borders are closed, planes are cancelled, trains are cancelled, buses are cancelled.  This virus has disrupted our lives, our movements, and pretty much everything else.  The whole world is closed.
Do you think that God is using this virus to get our attention?  Will this pandemic make us re-evaluate our lives, our priorities, our values, and our faith?  I think so. 

Time to wake up. 
So much of our life’s meaning can be drawn from our jobs, our activities, our hobbies, favorite sports teams and passions.  When I was a kid there was a t-shirt brand that had all sorts of slogans depending on your passion.  “Hockey is life, the rest is just details,” was one that I owned.  So now that I don’t have hockey, I don’t have life?  We have none of our old routines and we are bored.  Now that we don’t have our “life”, what do we do?  What are we living for?  What is our purpose?  

John 10:10 says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My (Jesus’) purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”  Jesus’ purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life.  A rich and satisfying life sounds really appealing.  Our “life” has changed, and it may no longer be satisfying, but will we wake up realize God’s plan for us all?  How do we get this rich and satisfying life?  In Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus tells us what is most important in life.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.‘ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, but do we love God?  For the most part we give God our leftovers.  He gets our second best.  In our busy lives most, everything comes before Him.  Jesus is desperate about his relationship with us.  He loves us, but we don’t love him.  Or do you?

1 John 5:3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. 

Loving God means obeying him, listening to him, and serving him.  If we say that Jesus is Lord of our life, but we don’t listen and obey his commands, how is that Love?  How can he be your Lord if you don’t follow what he says?

Could you imagine in a marriage relationship if you didn’t spend any time with your spouse, you never talked to them; in other words, you really didn’t have a relationship with them.  You may serve the other person, by paying the mortgage or doing some repairs on the house, but if you never speak to your spouse or spend time with them, how can you say that is love?  You may say it is loving but the relationship is lacking, and I would say that it is not love.

God loved you so much, that despite your sins and conflict with him, sent his son to die for your sins.  He wanted to provide a way to bring you back to him.

1 Peter 3:18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.

God is calling you!  He wants you!  Our relationship with him is what is important. God loves you so much and desires you, that he sent his son to die for you.  It is our sin, wrongdoing, stubborn hearts, and pride that separate us from God.  God cannot be in the presence of sin.  If you do something that you know in your heart is wrong, that is sin.  Have you ever been angry with someone?  God says that is murder in your heart.  Have you ever taken something that wasn’t yours?  It doesn’t matter how big or small, that is stealing.  Any one of those sins cuts you off from God.  You need a savior and that is Christ.  You can’t be saved on your own efforts, your own works.  If you could earn your way to heaven, then Jesus didn’t need to die. 

Jesus came to earth.  He gave his life for your sins.  That is great news!  That is the Gospel.  Guess what?  He is coming back and you will be held accountable to every dead, every thought, and every action.  Will you be ready?  Have we offered him our lives as gratitude for the salvation of our souls, or are we giving him our leftovers?
Don’t think you are fine because you just believe that Jesus lived and died.  If you haven’t made him your Lord and aren’t obeying him, then be warned.

Matthew 7:13-14 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
Luke 13:24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.

Are you on the right path?  There are many people in the world when standing before the Lord on judgement day that will bring their works, their deeds, their kind gestures, or their church attendance record as a qualifier for a place in heaven.  That is the wide road to destruction!  Read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:21-23

Matthew 7:21-23 NLT – 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.

Jesus is coming back, and when he arrives, it is too late.  He will say to many – I never knew you.  In other words, I didn’t have a relationship with you so you will have no part of the Kingdom of Heaven.  You will not have eternal life.  Only those that actually do the will of the Father will enter.  Isn’t ironic that many people believe in heaven or an afterlife. Yet many of those same people are looking forward to heaven and spending eternity with Jesus.  Why would you want to spend eternity with Jesus, if you don’t want to spend 70 or 80 years with him here?

If you want want to make Jesus your Lord:

  • You need to repent, turn from your sins, and ask God to forgive you.
  • You need to thank God for sending his son to die on the cross for you.
  • You need to ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life.
  • Then ask Jesus to come live inside you and to save you.

Our relationship with God is the most important thing.
Luke 12:21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

A rich relationship with God is the wise path, now and for eternity!

Luke 9:23-26 NLT – 23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your soul in the process? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

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