My family is recovering from the Coronavirus, Ronda and our son Marcus have being diagnosed with it, and myself, Faith and Jeremiah, have been living with it, we have been quarentined together for about 45 days,but God's hands have protected us through this, as we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
I am high risk because my immune system is compromised, I have Bronchomalacia and Tracheomalacia, and Asthma on top of other issues with an autoimmune disease, which means my respiratory system is weak and I am subject to respiratory diseases and I have no immune system.
My Doctors have called every day to check on me, and do not understand why I have not contracted this horrible virus, I have told them what I have told you, it is simply the hands of God and His mercy that I and our other children are well and my wife and son are recovering with no medical treatment. They are not over it yet, and have a long road of recovery in front of them, but God's rod and staff are comforting us.
I am reminded of David’s words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4
We have lost friends to this virus, and friends have lost family members to this virus, but the Corona Virus is nothing new, and God was working in the lives of all of us before it became known to mankind, we can trust Him through this as we have trusted Him in the past.
Seek Him daily first, trust Him daily always, and praise and worship Him daily from a grateful heart.
God is faithful.
He sees things differently than we do, He knows the beginning and the end, and works All things for our good and His glory, we do not need to live in fear, we must simply live in faith, in Him, through Him for Him.
This will not be the last of the pestilence our world sees, there has been ravaging disease, war, famine, and death since Adam sinned against God and brought death to us all, and this is nothing compared to what is coming when God has had enough of mankind's rebellion, but glory to God the Father who sent Christ and brought redemption, salvation, abundant life and eternal life to all who believe, we can live in fear by listening to mankind or live in faith by listening to Jesus, we can't do both, I choose to listen to Jesus.
I listened to a story not too long ago about a mother who died, leaving her husband and daughter. After the funeral, the little girl asked her dad, "Daddy, why did Mother die?"
The father could not answer right away. He was struggling to find the right words. A short time later, the two were walking together when they were passed by a large truck.
As the truck came close, it cast a shadow over the two of them, and the father saw his answer.
"Do you remember asking me about Mom, and what happened to her?" The daughter nodded, yes. "Well, let me ask you a question. When that truck came by just now, did it hit us?"
The girl shook her head, No.
”But something did hit us, didn't it? Something dark?" Her eyes lit up. ”Yes, Daddy," she said, "the truck's shadow hit us."
Her dad said, "That's what happened to your mother. Death did not run over your mother. Only its shadow did. And shadows don't hurt. I don't know why it happened, but I know that she's okay."
Powerful: we know death is inescapable, unless Jesus returns before we die. One day our names will be found in the obituaries.
Even knowing this still makes it uncomfortable for us to talk about death, as a matter of fact, most people avoid talking about death, but as Christians, we should not feel uncomfortable when we talk about it, for we are passing from death to life according to Jesus.
This life here and now is a death sentence, from the moment of conception we start aging and our biological clock starts ticking down, but those who put their faith in Christ have been given eternal life through Him, and death has lost its power over us.
We should not fear life or death, for God is sovereign over them both.
I am going to the other side with Jesus passing from death into life, all of my hope, my faith, my life is in Him.
God's word says this:
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalms 23:1-6 NASB
“On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:35-41 NASB
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.” John 5:24-32 NASB
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “F OR Y OUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; W E WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39 NASB
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For H E HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER H IS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-10, 20-28, 55-58 NASB
We have prayed years for revival, for God to reach the churched and the unchurched, now that He is many are complaining about how God is working things out through this global pandemic, instead of calling on God to continue to move and reach the lost, return the prodigal's and prepare our hearts for the harvest, there is complaining and anger.
Let's stop our murmuring and start praising God for all He is doing!
How easily we have forgotten because our lives are so good, how God uses our trials to work for us, not against us.
We say we trust God but have we surrendered everything to Him? We have only if we truly trust Him. Our trials will produce patience, perseverance, and mature us. Only when we fight against God and His ways we experience our impatience, turmoil, and anxiety.
God uses our trials to build character in our lives. Warren Wiersbe gives a great analogy, "God can grow a mushroom overnight, but it takes many years - and many storms - to build a mighty oak."
When we turn our hearts, our lives, everything over to God, we have changed our earthly perspective, to an eternal perspective, seeing beyond today into eternity.
Our trials are only temporary, we need to faithfully walk through them and model the faith, hope, and love that Scripture talks about, as we trust God as the authority over our lives, both here and now, but also for all eternity.
God's word says this:
“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
“Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3 CSB
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 CSB
As Jesus spent His last days on earth before His crucifixion, He told His disciples how much He loved them, He instructed them on how to live their lives, and He reminded them that He is the vine, we are the branches, and He is the only way to get to Heaven.
Jesus told them what He was going to share with the world, His love, redemption and life, He reminded them that He chose them, they did not choose Him.
He told them they all had a purpose, He prayed for them, He prayed for us, He poured out Himself to those around Him.
Knowing what was about to take place, the scourging, the beating, the hatred that was about to be poured out on Him, He took His disciples to a room and had the Passover meal prepared for them, first He washed their dirty feet, then sat down with them and ate dinner even with Judas, who had already betrayed Him and was about to hand Him over to the Temple Police.
Jesus gave them a new command, to love one another as He has loved them, walk-in obedience, remember that not everyone will love them, as a matter of fact, they will hate you, but stay strong for the Holy Spirit is coming and He will help you, comfort you and speak of Me.’
Jesus prepared them for the rest of their lives, that is love, serving others until His last great, Jesus paid it all because we could not, but the story doesn't end there.
Read John 14-21
How about you, if this was your last week on earth what would you do?
God's word says this:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is what I command you: Love one another.
” If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they don’t know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated me for no reason.
”When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father — he will testify about me. You also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:1-27 CSB
At Passover each Jewish family would put their family name around the neck of their lamb they took to the Temple to be sacrificed. They did this to make sure they received their own lamb back for the Passover dinner.
God used Pilate to write an inscription, and put it on the cross. It was written, ‘JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.’
In the Latin Vulgate. “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” (INRI
The inscription had been in three languages — Latin, Greek, and Hebrew — transliterated from Hebrew to English. We see these words: “Y’Shua HaNatzri V’Melech HaYehudim.”
The first letters of each of these words. It spelled “YHVH,” the Tetragrammaton form of the name of God! YHVH and YHWH can be used interchangeably. When this technique of abbreviating is used, the title on the cross in the actual Hebraic script undeniably reveals the name of God. In English, the name is pronounced “Yahweh!”
Just like the Jewish family put their family name on their lamb for sacrifice at the Temple, God put His name on His Lamb for His family, which includes you and me!
Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts by Michael Norten,
God's word says this:
“Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: J ESUS OF N AZARETH, THE K ING OF THE J EWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19:17-22 CSB
Most people that follow Jesus today do so as they follow others on social media, there is no intimate relationship it is mostly superficial.
They like most of the things Jesus says until it applies to them, then they dislike His words.
Jesus doesn't care about how many followers He has, He looks at the heart, He sees what is going on and He says ”if you love me you will obey me”
When Jesus talked about eating of His body and drinking of His blood many misunderstood Him and they stopped following Him, Jesus asked the twelve disciples: ”You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
It is a sad state of artificial discipleship our churches are in, we may be filling seats, but we are only tickling ears, not stirring hearts.
It's not the Gospels fault for the gospel never changes, it is because we are not calling upon the Holy Spirit to move people's hearts, this is why baptism is down in most churches, look you and I know we can't save anyone, we can't change one person's heart or open their eyes, only God can.
It is time we cry out, repent of trying to do this on our own in our power and pray the Holy Spirit to move in our lives and those around us freely, only then will He have free reign in our lives.
Jesus loves us, not human love but Godly love, beyond our understanding, but not beyond our reach, He is calling deny yourself, confess and repent to Him, call on Him to save you from sin and death, as Lord and Savior.
Read John 3 and ask Him to reveal Himself to you today.
Let's stop following Jesus socially, get back to the work of the Church alongside the Holy Spirit, let's see God work in our lives as He saves those around us in biblical proportions.
God's word says this;
“Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate — and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Therefore, when many of his disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?” Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you?
Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”
From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:47-69 CSB
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.”John 16:1-15 CSB
“When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts), Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues.” They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.” Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Fellow Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning.
On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants in those days, both men and women and they will prophesy. I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. “Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know. Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him. God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death. For David says of him: I saw the Lord ever before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. Moreover, my flesh will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me in Hades or allow your holy one to see decay. You have revealed the paths of life to me; you will fill me with gladness in your presence. “Brothers and sisters, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not abandoned in Hades, and his flesh did not experience decay. “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this.
Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:1-47 CSB
Band Of Brothers