april 15, 2020

april 15, 2020

In my mid-week words of encouragement last week I observed that, though COVID-19 has created much unwanted change in our lives, if we adjust our viewpoint, we can see that there are new opportunities to grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus and others. This unprecedented time gives us an invitation to ‘reset’ our lives and it is happening during Easter, the ultimate ‘reset’ in any Christian life.

I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Revelation 21.5: “I am making everything new!” Jesus is always about his recreative work, making everything new. When you accepted him as your Savior, you turned your life over to him so that he could make a new, everlasting life in you. We celebrate that opportunity of renewal at Easter.

And now, we are on the other side of Easter, still dealing with COVID-19, with uncertainty over what comes next, and with continuing demands to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of our formerly predictable lives. So, what now?

Jesus continues in his work to make everything new. Will we join him in this?

Our next Bible studies will tackle the challenges we face as we attempt to integrate rapid, unwanted and scary changes into our lives – changes that rob us of our contentment, our rest, our dreams and our focus. I invite you to join in from the comfort of your home.

Please email me to let me know if you would like to participate.

Each Monday, I will email a study to work on at home. After you have completed the study, choose one or two of the questions and share your answers with the group by ‘replying all’. In this way, we can have a discussion forum and increase our learning and enjoyment of the study. Feel free to pose any questions for clarification or background by ‘replying all’ and I, or members of the group, can tackle them.

Through these studies, we will experience God’s care for us through renewal in many ways: of contentment, of rest, of dreams, of focus, of dependence.

Here is a prayer “In Praise of God’s Care” by Scotty Smith from his book, “Everyday Prayers”, to pray, today:

“Casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”

  • 1 Peter 5.7

Loving Father, it ‘s incredibly comforting to remember how much you care for your children. By faith, right now, with palms up, I cast my cares upon you, gracious Father. Carry my burdens for the people I love. Receive my anxieties about living in a world with a broken economy, the ongoing threat of terror, and the increase of diseases, the latest being COVID-19. Father, I cannot add one minute to my life through worry. In fact, I can take a lot away from my life through trying to carry burdens that you, alone, can carry. Turn my ‘What ifs?’ into ‘Now thats’ – now that Jesus has risen from the dead, everything has changed.

You’ve numbered my hairs and my days You have the hearts of every king in your hand. Nothing catches you off guard or by surprise. There are no wrinkles in your brow and there’s no second-guessing in your courts. You give and you take away – blessed be your name, O Lord.

Whenever I am tempted to doubt your burden-bearing care, may Jesus’ cross loom large in my gaze. For it was there, Lord, where you bore the greatest of all my burdens – my sin – and demonstrated the incomparable extent of your care. I pray in Jesus’ matchless name. Amen.