Mar 23, 2020
Join us as we explore God’s ancient wisdom and apply it to our modern lives. His word is as current and relevant today as it was when he inspired its authors more than two and a half millennia ago. The websites where you can reach us are alittlewalkwithgod.com, richardagee.com, or saf.church.
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Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.
I don't think many people around the world could have imagined what our behavior looks like today. This novel coronavirus changed us in so many ways. We can't help but hear the news from another country or state or city that declares war against the virus by shutting down schools, stopping events where crowds gather, closing business.
We don't know yet when the panic will stop, and calmer heads will inject themselves to stop the runs on every food and cleaning commodity in stores. In these first days, we certainly demonstrated how unchristian and selfish we are as a culture. When people suddenly hoard to ensure they have enough for themselves at the expense of others, something is wrong.
I find it interesting that any day of the week, our grocery stores are filled with food, and warehouses supply them routinely without a problem. But a little snow, a little ice, and now the pandemic and some decide no one else should have the benefit of our bounty in this country. What has happened to us?
The Garden of Eden happened. Selfishness happened. A long history of "what's in it for me" has happened. Those mindsets will destroy us in these days if we don't turn them around.
The next weeks and months will not be pleasant. As we saw with China, South Korea, Italy, Spain, and other countries, the virus will spread, and the number of ill and dead will rise dramatically. Once started on this scale, the genie is out of the box, so to speak. The only way to stop the spread is for everyone to stay in their home until the virus dies. We won't do that. We will come out to at least go to the hospital, buy food, police the streets, fight fires, and do other things that force us to leave our homes and interact with others. When we do, the virus spreads. It's the nature of pandemics. It gets too widespread in a community to stop it without extreme measures that I'm not sure Americans will stomach.
So what do we do? I read an article a few days ago that said in pandemics, Christians lose. Why? Because we live under the principle of love that Jesus taught us. It caused the Christians in the Middle Ages to go to the plague victims and care for them instead of fleeing from them. It causes Christians to run to the homeless and orphans to help in their needs instead of pushing them to the side. And the love inside us means Christians will sacrifice for the hurting and dying in these times, too.
Paul sums up the difference in his letter to the church in Ephesus with these words:
For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. (Ephesians 5:8-14a NIV)
So what are we to do as we watch the shelves empty, the media raise the panic level, the misinformation spread through social media, and all those around us crouching in fear? We remember Jesus saved us to be light in the world. Now is our time to shine for him. We can be his hands and feet when those around us need to see his love in action as never before. We can remember that God still sits on the throne, and none of what happens now shakes him or moves him from his place. He is still God and cares for us.
Can I explain why he allows these things? No. Can I understand why good people suffer through a scourge as we might experience over the next weeks and months? No. But I trust the God I serve, who has carried me through good and bad times before. He has never let me down, and whatever happens in the future, I know he will be beside us. He promised never to leave us or forsake us. He will give us peace, even in the middle of the crisis we currently face.
We have an opportunity to be God's light to the world. Shame on us if we let it pass us by or be part of the problem with dark acts of selfishness when we know the suffering of others who stand beside us. Make it a point to check on your friends and neighbors. Be a helper and not a hindrance during these problem times. It will not get better in a week or a month. Be ready to show Jesus wherever you are so that others will see you are a Christian not by what you say, but by your love.
You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.
Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV): Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan