October 4, 2020 · 1:50 pm
“I am crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me…..” Galatians 2:20
How do you know if you have Covid-19?
You take a test.
Many are required to take a test just to “prove” that they don’t have the virus.
The tests have come under fire.
Are the results accurate?
A New York Times study indicated that 90% of the tests were faulty.
The test requires amplifying the swab result. The higher the amplification the more that can be detected.
Seemed like a good idea until it was discovered positive results were coming over dead virus and very weak virus.
Helps to explain why people who aren’t sick, or who have very minor symptoms, test positive.
The Governor of Ohio tested positive without symptoms one day. He took a retest the next day and tested negative.
The best judge for whether or not you have the virus is the symptoms you feel. Minus the symptoms, you have probably taken an over-amplified test.
I have the Holy Spirit within me because I, as a sinner, believed that Jesus took care of the consequences of my sins when He died in my place. The old me didn’t believe that way.
Now the Holy Spirit can live within me, and does.
But how does anyone in my midst know that!
Without “symptoms,” I can make all sorts of claims but the symptoms of His presence within me are the ultimate revealer.
Does anyone suspect that you or I have the Holy Spirit within us? Saying we do, is not enough. Where are the symptoms?
April 30, 2020 · 11:51 am
“My purpose in writing is simple; that you who believe in God’s Son will know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life, the reality and not the illusion. And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he is listening. And if we are confident that he is listening, we know that what we have asked for is as good as ours. 1 John 5:13-15 (The Message)
Are you praying that the Covid-19 pandemic will end? Why hasn’t it, then?
I imagine Elijah and Baal’s prophets: “Maybe, you could pray a little louder,” taunts Elijah, “maybe, he’s taking a nap.”
If you have been praying that God would end the pandemic, He has not chosen to grant that to you.
Are you discouraged as a result? Do you wonder about His hearing ability?
Deciding how God should do something is folly. His Ways are different than our ways. I have heard it said: “If we knew what God knows, we would understand why He does what He does.”
But of course, we do not.
You get the sense of the frustration in Psalms where David (usually) is lamenting something and wondering about God.
For us to behave similarly, is not a bad thing. It shows that we care, and it shows that we know where the Ultimate Source is.
I have Christ in me. He wants to live through me. He wants to love me and others. Wouldn’t successful prayer be an extension of those things?
I have a Source within me that knows what I should be doing…..and asking for. That relationship must be optimized.
April 28, 2020 · 12:38 pm
“You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever.” 1 Peter 5:9-10 (The Message)
I often think these days, “Woe is me.”
Might be more appropriate to think, “Woe is us.”
We are all in this together. We are all getting a dose of the Covid-19 impact.
That Covid-19 impact got closer for me today. How? Today’s local online newspaper reports that a nursing home, about two miles away, has several positive tests. Could I be next?
Where is the “hope” from the title of this entry? Here it is: The suffering will not last forever.
That does not mean that the Covid-19 threat will completely end. It could, hopefully, but that is not what the verse above means.
Remember that believers are “just passing through” this life. We are all terminal. There is an expiration date for all of us unless Christ returns before that date.
BUT believers have a somewhere with God after this life.
There will not be any suffering in that place. All will be new, including us. Our terminal parts will be exchanged for eternal parts!
The suffering we are going through now is real. There are so many varieties of hurts for all of us. I cannot work. I cannot enjoy a hobby I am heavily invested in. I cannot visit my family. I cannot worship at church or attend a men’s Bible study. And the list goes on…..for me. You surely have your own list.
But we are not without hope. Things will turn out well. In time, the varieties of “normal” we have experienced in this life will transfer into abnormal. I can only imagine!
April 26, 2020 · 12:48 pm
“The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.” Ephesians 3:6 (The Message)
It is interesting that the virus has made everyone in the world equal.
No language barriers. No financial advantages.
Everyone wakes up with the reality that there is a virus in our midst. That it is beyond our control no matter who we are, or where we live.
The consequences of the virus being in our midst are real. We see numbers. We hear stories. Many seem so far away that we gather a sense of immunity. Then the local numbers pop up and we are brought back to the nearness of the danger.
The worldwide equality that the virus has brought is like our status before God. We are all His creations. We are all the same before Him. There are no front-row seats or backseats before God.
Today’s verse mentions an “offer” for everyone worldwide from God.
What is the offer? All sinners are unacceptable to God BUT He did something about our unacceptability.
What did God do? I am quoting “Life Application New Testament Commentary” (page 816): ‘God could only accept sinful people through a sacrifice that would cover their sins. Jesus Christ gave that sacrifice – himself! – through his death on the cross.’
Everyone is given the same offer: God has taken care of our sin problem by having Jesus die in our place. Jesus took the punishment we deserved. We are now acceptable in God’s sight if we will accept/believe what He did for us.
There are no coupons or special days involved. The offer does, however, expire when we expire. We either accept the offer in this life or lose out eternally.