Our theme for this month: “Life on this side of the cross”
Our Bible verse for today: “Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.” Romans 12:11-12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t start to fade.”
Welcome to week number four of the COVID 19 lock-down! How are you holding up? Have you had your fill of social distancing, hand sanitizer, face masks, and an economy in free-fall? Are you experiencing a little bit of cabin fever? Do you need a haircut? Are your pants getting tight? Are you getting grumpy? Have you suddenly discovered that your spouse blinks too loud?
Well, don’t let yourself start to fade! It appears as if the spread of the pandemic here in the USA is just about at its peak and we should be on the downhill side of this thing perhaps even this week. Now is the time to get your second wind.
I think perhaps the Apostle Paul wrote Romans 12:11-12 for just such a time as this. In those verses he gives us some excellent advice for handling difficult situations like this which seem to drag on and on and on. For one thing, he tells us to be patient. Give it time. This too shall pass. He also tells us remain hopeful. Romans 8:28 is still true and God will work in the middle of this mess to bring good things out of it. And he tells us to pray. Have some extra time on your hands, do you? Well then, now you’re not too busy to pray and read your Bible.
In those verses Paul also provides us with a few action items. He tells us to be diligent in our zealousness. In other words, don’t let yourself fade! Suck-it-up; ramp-it-up; resolve to be an even more enthusiastic follower of Christ now during this difficult time. And he tells us to serve. That’s right, even during this time of social restrictions you can still make it a point to serve the Lord and other people. Get on the phone and encourage some people. Send some cards and notes. Interact on social media. Go get some groceries for a shut-in or for an elderly or sick person. Find some ways to be useful to others.
But the most helpful piece of advice found in those verses is when he tells us to “be fervent in the Spirit.” In our age, on this side of the cross, we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts strengthening us, encouraging us, and renewing us. So reach deep and encounter Him in your heart, He’s there for you. On the other side of the cross, before Jesus came, and before the coming of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the people of God didn’t have the Spirit living in their hearts like we do today. But on this side of the cross, you have Him. So take advantage of it. He is there for you!
Now is not the time to fade. Now is the time to get your second wind and deal with the rest of this difficult situation in a manner that truly does bring honor and glory to Jesus. Let the rest of the world see how a committed follower of Christ handles something like this.