Spiritual Implications of Corona Just for YOU !

Corona comes from the Latin meaning “crown”. Scientists dubbed our virus of the hour the coronavirus due to the spiky crown on the surface of the microorganism. A crown though, as we know, is the symbol of one who rules or who has achieved some standing such as a victor’s crown in ancient and biblical times or even for us as church age believers who will one day cast our crowns at His feet (Rev.4:10) for having served Him well here. It is Jesus Who deserves THE crown since He is the One Who rules over all and to Whom one day every knee shall bow (Phil.2:10) !

Right now the world is in the grip of fear over a crowned unseen virus. As a Christian we do need to be wise and take precautions to minimize the reign of such a plague over not just our body (good and regular handwashing & hygiene, adequate sunlight, etc.) but especially our soul (living in such a panic that I fear sickness or death more than I fear or reverence the Lord and His Word – God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love and a sound mind, 2 Tim.1:7). While it’s true you may watch too much news and become overly anxious at times, it’s also true you have a more sure Word in the Bible to alleviate the angst this old world may throw at you !! Pardon me for being blunt (sorta) but, you are a child of God if born again and you’re just passing through so even the worst case scenario comes and you catch the bug and die, you’re outta here and scot free from any more viruses !! So live what you say you believe then and don’t let Satan make you sweat because you belong to the King !!

The crown we most like to wear though is the crown of ME ! We like to run the show, to call the shots, and have it our way. When we get saved we meet the Sovereign of the Universe and we bow to His terms for salvation by admitting our sinfulness and that in no way can we by our efforts merit heaven, we learn and accept we need a Savior. It’s truly a bow the knee to THE King moment when we are born again. But often afterwards (and this is where our growth as a believer begins to be stunted) we decide we know best. We resist the simple yet powerful disciplines of spending time to converse with He Who rules the galaxies and deigns to rule our heart. So a simple time of just talking to Him and letting Him talk to you through carefully reading His Word is relaxed and replaced by “better” things we WANT to get done. Rather than, “Yes Lord, I will submit to You”, its “No Lord, I am too busy with “my” life right now !” There is nothing like a regular time spent with Jesus to empower and embolden you spiritually and fit you for the day whatever it may bring (you can better conquer fear, have victory over temptation, enjoy His peace, etc).

So this crowny virus may very well be brought upon us for one major reason: to finally bow to THE One Who is unmatched in power !! We look to the CDC for our guidelines, the President’s task force for information and a blueprint to live each day, we hope for a cure and pray for an end so our lives can “get back to normal”. And therein lies the rub, you may just need a new normal, where God is TRULY ruling in your heart not you, not the fears this world can bring or even the “expertise of men”. The psalmist wrote, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who CROWNS thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Ps.103:1-4). Today, make sure your heart is truly given to Him. If there is sin to confess do so without delay, if there is commitment that needs to be started then engage in it and stay at it with His help each day ! He is so desirous to enjoy a relationship with YOU but YOU must let Him wear the crown or the virus of sin will eat away at your life robbing you of the crowns He longs to give to you as rewards for a life lived FOR Him !! Slow the spread by serving the CROWN !!


Redeeming the Time

So what have you been doing lately through this whole COVID thing ? For some, not much has changed with their schedules as they still are in a situation where they can work as before but for many others a business has been closed down or a job lost, opportunities to conduct business have dried up. Some may find themselves retired and so work is not a factor but yet you have been confined unable to go about freely as before. Or as a student, now you are unable to continue with your education as before nor to walk the graduation line to celebrate the culmination of so many hours of study.

Most Americans, undoubtedly, find themselves with “more time on their hands”. Yet the truth is, its the same 24 hours in the day, it’s just different now ! The apostle Paul wrote a rather pithy statement in Ephesians 5:16 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil”. The word “redeeming” is a term from the world of real estate that speaks to buying up something (not toilet paper or medical supplies !) of value. Spiritually, it speaks of the wise and sacred (yes, sacred) use of every opportunity for doing good. Paul also reiterated this idea in Colossians 4:5 when he penned, “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time”. His concern there was that before the unsaved we are good examples of Christlikeness in our total persons, for time is of the essence. They are headed to hell and we need to strive to be a great and godly ambassador for Jesus and by our lives and lips lead them to Him !

When you have “more” time it’s tempting to think of yourself. Ahh, I have some “extra” time I can coast a little, recharge my batteries. And while its true we all need that down time its also vital to keep in mind that the time He gives you is time that must honor Him. It does honor Him for you to grab some rest for then you are better able later to give your best. But be mindful not to waste time!!! Buy up those opportunities, even through an epidemic, to take time to pray for our world. Fire off some emails, cards or letters of encouragement. Pick up the phone to check in on someone and be a listening ear and uplifting voice. The next time you go to Him in prayer why not ask Him to show you how you can be a better steward of the time He has given to you to honor Him and help others and to show you even where you may be squandering too much time and where you can make some spiritual adjustments.

Remember when Paul was saved on that road to Damascus in Acts 9? This was the question he blurted out to our Lord immediately after accepting Christ: “What will You have me to do?” (vs.6). Paul had wasted his time persecuting Christians but once he’d met his Savior he had an about face and now wished to pursue God’s will not his own warped agenda ! Shouldn’t his question be always what we are asking with the time He allots you, whether its “more” or the “same”?

Why I don’t panic

I enjoy keeping up with the news and today there is a lot to keep up with! But a steady dose of this world’s news can quickly leave you negative and depressed which is why we need an even steadier dose of the good news !! Too much of the world’s versions of news will leave you panicky and from a scriptural standpoint this makes perfect sense as the Bible states Satan is the “god of this world” and that he has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor.4:4). It also says he is the “prince of the power of the air” which is understandable then that so much that is called news and goes out over the airwaves is outright deception some of which is no doubt designed to produce panic in you.

For some years now I have seen many people in hospice care. They know their time is likely short for this life, but what a joy to give them the hope in the good news that life here is not intended to be all there is thanks to a gracious God Who purchased eternal life on that cross two millenia ago, but what about you? Death, we know (as much as we try to not think about it), is a possibility each day and this is especially a greater thought on many people’s minds now. for us and our loved ones. The reality is we are all in a place very much like a hospice patient, our time is always ready to depart just as Jesus said, “. . .your time is always ready.” (Jn.7:6).

What keeps me from panicking is being prepared ! Many years ago I accepted Christ as my Savior, I agreed with him that I indeed am a sinner and so unworthy to go to heaven and I asked HIm to save my soul rather than trying to work my way in to heaven. A verse I am fond of sharing with hospice patients is from the book of JOY (Philippians) and in it Paul believes he is about to be martyred for his faith and he presents a dilemma he is struggling with. It is not that he is panicked about the prospect of dying (far from it !). He is wavering, if given the choice, about continuing to live in this life or to die and go to heaven. Mind you, he had already been there once as he records for us in 2 Corinthians 12 where God permitted this brief visit being “caught up to the third heaven” but not allowed to articulate exactly to us what he experienced.

What he writes to us in Philippians is “golden” ! He says, “For I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to be with Christ, for that is FAR BETTER !!!” (1:23). I have often explained this to our church also that in the English it’s two words: “far better” yet in the Greek, three: “MUCH MORE BETTER!!!!!!!!!” Paul was full of enthusiasm and excitement about his next stage of life and why shouldn’t he have been, he’d seen it !!! You see, as a born again believer in Christ, the prospect of death is not something that should keep us in a panicked state because what comes next is absolutely AWESOME !!! God doesn’t want you to be constantly in dread of death, He has fixed a cure and we celebrate that this week, its why its called GOOD Friday !! Have you yet to accept HIS cure? It must be taken by faith and once it has you will see the evidences from Him that you have been truly saved ! But if you have already been inoculated from this fear of death and the power of the evil one, be an example of calm to others at this time, get on the phone and check in on a neighbor or loved one and minister to them, share with them in these turbulent times this message of peace this very special Easter week !!!

God’s Protection Song

I have seen several people allude to Is.26:20 now in light of the stay at home orders several Governors have been issuing during the pandemic we find ourselves in at present. The verse says “Come, My people, enter into your rooms, and close your doors behind you: hide for a little while, until indignation runs it course.” While we are fond of fitting our current predicaments precisely into Scripture it is important we rightly divide or understand the Word of truth ! Did God understand from ages past exactly what we’d go through in the spring of 2020? Of course, He knows ALL. So it’s better to look at this verse and chapter as to what it really means and how it truly applies to benefit from the full impact of what God has said.

The chapter is actually a very positive one for those who are true believers. It is a “song of God’s protection” for those who are His children ! In the not too distant future we’ll rejoice that we live in a place where fear does not rule and disease is not present. In our current pandemic the cities of our world are rife with the coronavirus, hospitals are becoming more crowded and anxieties are high as we pray and do all we can to protect ourselves from becoming a statistic – not so in the day Isaiah writes about here !

Its here in this city that the gates will be open to all who are righteous. So have you been saved yet? He wants you to be protected from more than a virus, from the very scourge of hell itself ! But if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord a virus you might experience for a time but you WILL enjoy bliss forever due to God’s amazing grace !!

And yes, God does at times chasten this old world in our time to draw hearts who have strayed towards Him. Think of the millions and millions of babies aborted in our nation alone, the many churches and people in them who worship the way they please and think its ok with Him, the apathy and indifference even amongst Christians who trudge off to church each week simply out of duty rather than devotion or the many who He has truly saved who view church as “optional” (“I don’t feel like attending today”, “I have this event to attend on the Lord’s day and I feel bad for going” but still choose that over God’s house !!). As this current trial continues to plague us its a good time to spiritually evaluate exactly where you are at with your relationship with Him and repent of anything you need to and commit to a closer walk with Him.

The present situation is temporary, that I can say from the testimony of Scripture. But the Lord is gracious and desirous that you as His child come out even better through it which is why He says “Come, My people, enter into your rooms. . .until the indignation runs its course !” He offers His protection now to you just as He warned His people the night of the Passover to place blood on the doorposts and be spared from death then. So just be wise in the current trial (keep washing those hands, don’t touch your face, be thoughtful and prayerful towards others around you, stay worshipful!!). And He PROMISES better times ahead, times of unprecedented joy and blessing to any who would trust in Him ! So don’t let the virus rob you of His peace and joy for you even now because He’s still on the throne and He has a great, great love for YOU !!

Be Socially Distanced but Spiritually Undistanced !

We have come to use a new term lately: “social distancing” ! It is a wise plan to slow the spread of a virus and statistics say it works. Recently we were able to see our granddaughter and I moved closer to her to see some chalk art on her sidewalk she had done and even though I maintained the suggested six feet she quickly scurried farther away ! We all had a good laugh but I thought how such “distancing” is never God’s “plan A”.

God has always desired intimate fellowship with man but our first sin in the Garden of Eden, like a deadly virus, severed our fellowship with Him. Yet He had the “vaccine” prepared well in advance of that first transgression for the Bible says Jesus was the “Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev.13:8). Anyone who accepts what He did in dying on the cross for their soul’s eternal salvation and reuniting with God enters into fellowship at that moment of conversion and the distance has been corrected !

Social distancing measures are needful in a pandemic and you may have been already experiencing the effects of a lack of regular and normal contact with others (church services cancelled, events postponed, work shut down, feelings of panic and distress). Imagine what the good Lord goes through when we persist to be distant towards Him because of a sinful habit or laxness in communicating with Him !! Especially since He has done so much to destroy the distance we created in the first place. In these trying times when you need to watch your contact with others why not take some good quality time today to draw close to Him? Spend some good moments sharing with Him your fears, asking Him for strength to endure and a calmness only He can bring so that you enjoy His peace but others see it in you too and are “spiritually undistanced” or drawn to Him !!! “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress. . . Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors though Him that loved us !” (Rom.8:35-37)


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