Life Will Never Be The Same Again.

So we are locked down for more weeks. We are getting used to a new way of living; social distancing, being disciplined in washing hands , learning to live together in greater harmony and more tolerance of each other’s little idiosyncrasies. Perhaps, like me, you have also noticed how much cleaner the air is and how many more stars can be seen at night. The birds seem tamer and wild-life venturing closer to our homes. Your world, my world, our world has changed. It may never be the same again. There is a growing awareness that we need to take this opportunity to re-think our values and what is important to us. A culture moving toward family, unselfishness, and care for the environment seem to be on the ascendancy. A significant number of people do not want to return to way things were pre- covid.

In the midst of tragedy and fear more are seeking answer to the questions like, “What is my life all about?” “There must be more to life than this?” “Why are we here?” “Is there life beyond life?” “Where do we go from here?” That may be some of the questions the disciples were asking so lets’ read about the events in John 20:19-23.

The disciples of Jesus were despondent and fearful and probably disappointed as they saw who they thought was there saviour dying on the cross. Of course Peter, the rock, had denied him three times and felt not only fear but shame.  After Jesus died on the cross they went into Lock Down for fear of the Jews. This was even after Mary had told them that Jesus was alive and had risen from the dead. This should have been a source of joy in the realisation that Jesus had defeated death and on our behalf had heralded in an assurance of life beyond life in a new eternal kingdom; and that their lives in this world would never be the same again, with a new way of living. However, they did not believe Mary and we find them hidden away fearful and depressed, vulnerable and hopeless. Perhaps they were discussing, “Where do we go from here?”

Maybe, during this time of lockdown, as covid seeks us out, you are fearful, depressed and feeling vulnerable, hopeless and lost.

Suddenly something wonderful happened in that upper room. Jesus appeared in their midst. He quelled their troubled minds and answered all their questions giving them peace and filling them with joy. He breathed on them the gift of the Holy Spirit.

From this moment on things would never be the same again. They were given a new beginning, new values, new hope, new empowerment, new authority and new adventure as they were sent out to spread the good news that Jesus was alive and the assurance of eternal life for all who believe in him. If you are not sure of the resurrection of Jesus then research the evidence. A good start is ‘Who Moved the Stone’ by Frank Morison  an investigative  journalist who wanted to disprove the resurrection.

As we live our lives in lockdown we can be assured that He is with us, He is seeking us out, if you have not yet found him why not open your heart to find him, He will respond, for his greatest desire is for you to allow him to enter your life to receive his love and all that entails in giving you forgiveness, peace, and all the gifts that those disciples received in the upper room through the ministration of the Holy Spirit.

Your life will never be the same again!


Certaincy Amidst Uncertain Times

For the past few months as the world has been living in lock-down as a way of dealing with this Covid 19 pandemic we have collectively as well as individually experienced fear; fear of the unknown, and with it anxiety for our collective and individual futures. As we come out of lockdown this in no way has been alleviated. Everything seems so uncertain. Before the pandemic many of us felt secure and looked forward to a successful career and long-life. We had plans for ourselves
and our families. Now all of this seems to be up in the air, nothing is certain any more; even a long life. Before the pandemic we could put our mortality, and its consequences, out of our conscious
thoughts but now death is mentioned in the media every day.
The fear and anxiety we felt during lock-down remains with us, perhaps even stronger, now wecome out of lock-down. Our thoughts may circle around “Will my family be safe?” “Will I still
have a job?” “If I’m ‘Let go’ will I quickly be able to find another job?” “What about my mortgage?”

The truth is that none of us knows exactly what we individually or our nation will face in the immediate future. We seem to be enslaved by this virus. For many there seems to be little hope. But no matter how uncertain the future may seem, let us remind ourselves that God’s people have been here before. Think about Moses? To a generation of enslaved Jews, it seemed like there was no hope. Then God sent a child named Moses, who would lead them out of captivity. God took the worst of times and brought about a miraculous deliverance.

I believe that God will eventually lead us out of this viral captivity through giving scientists knowledge and understanding on how to deliver us. This will be no less miraculous.

The biblical record reminds us that the world has been on the brink of disaster on more than a few occasions. We may be inclined to worry or lose hope, but God reminds us that nothing can thwart His purposes. “There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30, NIV). An uncertain world stirs men from their complacency and provides tremendous opportunity for harvest. The question is, “How do we prepare to face the future with wisdom,
boldness, and purpose?”

First, we can face the future with confidence when we trust that God knows all about our problems today and is in control of our tomorrows. We are not at the mercy of anything viruses, satan, or collapsing economies. We serve a sovereign God who is never surprised by
circumstances. Or by our wayward ways. Nothing has him up against a wall!

In the book of Isaiah in the Bible in Chapter 40, Isaiah reminds us that “the nations are like a dropin a bucket . . . [God] sits enthroned above the circle of the earth . . . He reduces the rulers of this
world to nothing . . . He is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” He rules overall, and we should take comfort from this certainty. Even so, God’s sovereignty is not a license for us to do nothing. We can find comfort in His omnipotence even as we train for service. As we enter a new and changed world we need to reevaluate how we want to live going forward. We need to be ready, prepared in mind, heart, and spirit for the part He will ask us to play. If you are not a believer perhaps you may need to re-evaluate the reasons why you exist at all, and forge a new belief system and new way of living.

Secondly, I believe we need to turn to the word of God as written in the bible; to educate ourselves about the issues and respond in these times of “uncertainty” from a biblical framework. Allow our thinking to be transformed. Think through what it will look like to share our
faith in Jesus and help others to discover it, meet physical needs, and provide emotional support under the current circumstances.

The issues on our horizon are daunting. If there ever was a time for Christians to step up and think clearly, it is now.
I believe our goal is not merely to maintain and protect our own personal comfort and lifestyle. As Christians we are not just citizens of this world but also citizens of the kingdom of God. In this sense we are strangers in this world (1 Peter 2:11), yet we are called to make a real difference in the
world around us.

How can we seize this moment in history? By living our lives based on the firm foundation oGod’s truth when everything else around us is unsure. I am reminded of the lives Moses, Elijah, or Daniel, as they are recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible. And, of course, pre-eminently of
Jesus as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible. The lessons of their lives can provide us withbiblical examples of how to fulfil God’s purpose in these uncertain times. And this can fill us with
hope and the certainty of a better future.

No one knows what the future holds in the coming months and years. And we can only speculate on the impact our changed world it will have on our daily lives. But if we look to God to develop in us confident hearts, transformed minds, and a strategic daring plan of action to fulfil God’s purposes for us, we will become the Moseses, Elijahs, and Daniels of our time. We will no longer live in fear and anxiety but with the joy of hope.
RAS 18/07/20