"Shelter in Place - Worship in Place - Share the Gospel in Place "
These are truly strange times. Jesus told us about these things happening in Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events”. So, we all should not be surprised.
As Americans, our nation has historically had difficult times. However, in a way, it can be a great time to focus on what really matters: becoming closer to our loved ones, reading God’s Word for personal comfort and sharing with others the reason, why, we have no fear and, instead, hope during these difficult times.
Jesus left us stories to parallel similar life-threatening examples we may face in life. Jesus used this storm on the Sea of Galilee to strengthen His disciples’ faith. He knew the times ahead would be difficult. So, given the situation we are in, how can we further the Kingdom, further our faith and further the gospel under such confined conditions?
Pray first on how to be used by God and understand what he is trying to teach us, similar to the Disciples in a little boat on the Sea of Galilee so many years ago…
What is God trying to teach you?
He may be drawing you closer to Him. He wants to be right there with you as you encounter the struggles of this life. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Open your heart to Him, go to your place of prayer, and reach out to Him.
He may be trying to strengthen your faith in Him. Psalm 138:3 says, “On the day I called, You answered me; You increased strength within me.” God wants you to have confidence that He has our back in these times of trouble. Pray boldly and stand strong in your faith.
Quarantined, how can we share the Gospel to others?
Let the Jesus we have in our hearts be the same Jesus people see in our actions. He may be teaching you compassion and patience for others. This may seem difficult seeing people fight over the last supplies on a Walmart shelf or long lines waiting to pay for it. However, Jesus understands how we feel because He became one of us and experienced our suffering. In the same way, this storm in your life should increase your compassion for others. In Peter 3:8 we read, “All of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers [also others], and be compassionate and humble.” Therefore, reach out to neighbors, friends and family and to anyone you know is suffering and point them to Jesus.
He is giving us an incredible amount of opportunity to share the Gospel. I, personally, have had at least several times over the past week to compare what was happening in the lives of some of my family, friends and even strangers to similar parallel stories in the Bible. In the closing part of my conversation, I even had the opportunity to invite people to BBC once this virus passes.
It is true, for the time being, we cannot worship corporately. However, or hearts can still give Him glory and adoration by thanking Him for the blessing of life each day we wake and for the homes where we can shelter in place to brave this “unseen” enemy. Further, we can worship and glorify God individually by showing compassion and patience to both the lost and brethren alike. Call a friend, family member, associate or even a passing stranger to see how they are doing. Finally, take the time to share the Gospel and what Jesus has done for you in your life that gives you hope to meet the demands of this life.
In His Service and for His Glory,
Jon H. Vosburg lll
Music Director/Bethlehem Baptist Church