Thoughts from 4/14/20
April 15, 2020, 8:19 PM

What’s on my mind today:

My first thought is praise to God for his mercy and grace as he revealed himself in truth to a member of our church. She had thought everything was ok with her spiritually but as she described it, she was in the driver seat and Jesus was the passenger. How often in the Bible belt we hear of similar testimonies. We grow up knowing the facts of the Gospel and think we are ok because we believe the facts. But unfortunately, often times those facts never translate to faith. Knowing the facts of the Gospel are not the same as saving faith in the Gospel. Thankfully, by God’s good grace, she has come to understand the difference and her need to fully surrender and trust in Jesus alone as Savior and Lord!

Would this have happened if the coronavirus had never occurred? Obviously we will never know and don’t need to know. But what we do know is that because of the coronavirus this young lady had the time to really think about the sermon she had heard. She spent a couple days and a sleepless night dwelling on the truths that had been presented and wondering if she had really ever trusted in Christ. As she wrestled with God she came to that wonderful conclusion of her need for a Savior!

Would she have come to the same conclusion if she had attended a regular Easter Sunday service like normal? Again, it’s not our place to know all the if’s ands or buts, and of course there could be some in-depth theological debates surrounding that question, but the point I think we need to ponder is that because this Easter was not the norm, there was extra time to meditate on the Word of God. If she had attended the usual Easter service (sing 3 songs, sermon, song, dismiss, go to lunch) would she have ever thought twice about those truths after leaving the building?

My concern is that because of how we have “done church” in the American culture we have created this atmosphere of entertainment, where we go to church to listen to someone else sing, listen to someone else preach, and then leave having never really engaged with the word of God or the God of the word, (those two things always go together by the way, but that’s for another post...) We may like the singing, and even occasionally sing along, and we may amen some points of the sermon, but when the service is over, the normal routine continues.

We seldom take the time to really pause and reflect on the truths that are presented. If this young lady had heard that sermon in the regular Easter setting would she have still taken the time to think about what she had heard? Or would she have went on with her normal non-coronavirus routine still thinking she was good with God but in reality having never surrendered to the Gospel? God only knows, but one cannot underestimate the value of spending time examining ourselves and meditating on the truths of scripture.

The reality is God used this coronavirus event, at least in part, and in accordance to His sovereign purposes, to bring about the salvation of a lost soul. And for that we give Him praise! And seeing this event unfold helps me, and should help all of us, understand how the apostle Paul could say things such as “in everything give thanks” (1 Thess 5:18), or “Rejoice in the Lord always..” (Phil 4:4), and James could say “count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2). Those men of God understood that even in the darkest of night, Jesus Christ was still shining the light of the gospel into the hearts of sinful men and women! And for that we give Him praise!

My prayer and longing is that this coronavirus becomes a redeeming tool for more than just this one. May the reality of death, the fear of the unknown, the lack of control, and simply the extra free time cause numerous more to ask themselves the question, “have I ever truly trusted in Jesus Christ alone as my only hope of salvation?”. Friend I pray that you would.

 

Pastor Brad