June 9, 2020

 
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 4:30). Many things we do undoubtedly grieve the Spirit of our God. In fact, the part of Scripture this verse is taken from mentions a few ways we do grieve Him: Being bitter (resentful), full of wrath (hot-tempered), causing or aggravating a controversy, polluted or corruptive vocabularies, and treating others unkindly. What I want to write about, however, is not HOW we grieve the Holy Spirit, but about what happens WHEN we do - the consequences. Allow me to explain by drawing a parallel between how people behave (or respond) when we hurt or "grieve" them, and this issue of Grieving God. When we hurt a person the first thing that usually results from it is withdrawn fellowship. You may notice they distance themselves from you...we might say they emotionally "un-friend" you. It is nigh impossible to maintain sweet fellowship with a person when he/she is "unpredictably dangerous." Likewise, when we grieve the Holy Spirit by what we say and do, He withdraws, not His presence perhaps, but His fellowship. The Bible even asks the question: "What fellowship has light with darkness" (2 Cor. 6:14b). This withdrawn fellowship separates us from the energizing influences of the "other person"...aka: Holy Spirit. Broken fellowship leads to a fruitless life. When we grieve the Holy Spirit, the missing force of His presence leaves us vulnerable to harmful associations and influences which can lead us into deeper alienation and compromise. We open ourselves up to the attacks of the enemy. Is this not how many of us live? Can we not see how we have hurt our Savior's very "Feelings"? Our fellowship with Him often cannot even be found on a list of daily priorities. With our fellowship with Him broken, His perspective smothered and unappreciated - the devil is free to deceive us and lure us into a very "natural" experience. Will we find ourselves at the end of such a life, running through the corridors of our hearts crying out for the One who could have filled us to overflowing. Dear Believer, let it be our life's goal NOT to grieve (hurt) the heart of Christ. Instead, may we grieve ourselves because of unconfessed sin, love of the world and for our self-absorption. May the miserable and powerless lives we lead drive us to the Cross. We can trade in our apathy and indifference for a passionate - anointed - empowered life of sweet companionship with the One who sacrificed His dearest and best for us.
  I Love You, Pastor David

 

May 19, 2020

From time to time someone will preface a remark by saying, “You know the Bible says _____.” Feel free to fill in the blank. For example, one may say, “It says in the Bible, spare the rod and spoil the child.” Another familiar misstatement is: “Money is the root of all evil.” The Bible actually says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Surely you’ve heard this one: “God helps those who help themselves.” Proverbial comments like these frequently have one thing in common: they aren’t in the Bible!” It isn’t necessarily a bad thing to repeat them, for many of them are axiomatic, and may be, even on occasion, accurate. But we do a disservice to God’s Word, and reveal our ignorance when we lead others to believe “it’s in there - somewhere.” I could provide several other misstatements; things like: “Cleanliness is next to godliness” - “Neither borrower nor lender be” - “Pride goes before a fall” - “The eye is the window to the soul” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” In this last example, Jesus actually says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12, KJV). My point, however, goes beyond making a case for vetting “real” Bible verses. There is a promise given to us by God we would do well to remember, especially when we are trying to pass along sound advice or wise counsel. The Lord said, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV). Oft-repeated remarks like: “Where there’s a will there’s a way,” may be just what your friend needs to hear, but those words do not come with a guarantee of Divine sanction and support. It could be he/she needs to muster the courage to do the right thing - “gut-it-out”...persevere. If, on the other hand, they need to make a necessary change, break away from a relationship leading them away from the Lord, etc., it might be unhelpful advice at best. It would be better to remind them of the verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). I simply believe quoting God is better than quoting man. Facing life’s many challenges and obstacles, we need more than will-power - we need Christ! As believers we demonstrate wisdom and POWER when we speak the vocabulary of the Bible. We fail because we aren’t regular in Bible reading, and it’s understandably easier to memorize something we’ve heard all our lives. Recently I read: “Worry is like a good rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” Obviously God could have chosen to have that placed in Holy Writ. Instead, He chose to say it this way, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7, NLT). What would we rather do, say something clever, or speak words that come with a promise of eternal consequence? Please don’t misunderstand me; old adages and maxims aren’t evil - they’re simply second best. Perhaps you’ve heard of the book, Say it in Spanish? Whether in Spanish, German, Arkansassian or Swahili - I pray we will allow God to help us repeat exactly what He says.

 

I Love You,
Pastor David

 

May 5, 2020

The parking lot was full, and there was a steady flow of people entering the building. I sat back and watched throngs of seekers scurrying about, it was obvious something was going on inside. I thought, “They must be finding what they’re looking for.”  I could contain myself no longer, and hurried to the door.  Met by the casual smile of an older gentleman, I passed with a respectful nod, acknowledging his greeting of welcome. My progress was halted, however, as he spoke and said, “Sir, are you a member?” “No sir,” I replied, “I was curious about this place, and just wanted to have a look around.” He smiled and said, “The only ones who are allowed to enter are official members of our establishment. If you are interested in becoming a member turn left and see those ladies at the desk.”  To be honest, it really didn’t surprise me, for I heard from others this was a place where membership was required.  Not to be denied, I thanked the man, and proceeded in the direction he pointed. There I found three ladies moving feverishly between keyboards and a photo station.  Prospective members were either standing against a wall having their picture taken, or waiting patiently at the counter for final approval. “So this is it,” I thought, “this is where you join up and gain the privileges so many are talking about.” Would they accept me? I’m not that bad of a person.  Stepping to the counter, a lady smiled and said, “May I help you?” I responded, “Yes, I would like to become a member.” Again, with a smile, she said, “Sure; it will only take a few minutes and you’ll be on your way.” Not to be rushed into something I would later regret, I asked, “What are the benefits of joining?” For the next several minutes this evangelistic young woman shared with me the benefits of membership - mainly it was all about the word: SAVING.  Now that was a word I liked.  How could anyone turn away from an organization whose most cherished word is SAVE! I paid my dues; they took my picture, and my new career in the saving business took off like a rocket. 

   The years have passed, and I must confess I’m not as enthusiastic as I used to be - about membership that is. My attitude has really taken a turn for the worse. When I attend, the thought of saving doesn’t excite me like it did at first. People get on my nerves, and if I can’t find a convenient parking place my thoughts about the cars parked in a better spot are at best - covetous.  I have noticed myself frequently critical of this exclusive society. They don’t really provide the saving I anticipated - in fact - they’re self-serving, often rude, greedy, manipulative and monopolistic. If it weren’t for the few things I get out of going, I would probably stop attending all together. Frankly, I sometimes do attend other places, mainly because they do the saving better than where I am a member. To be fair, now and then when something good comes along, it sure makes me proud to be a part of my primary place of membership. The great advantages and benefits aren’t always what I thought they would be, but I discovered if you hang around, wait for the right time, and don’t fail to read the FaceBook page - you can score big and find what you’re looking for with little to no pain to your conscience or wallet. Isn’t that what being a member is all about? This club exists to save, serve and meet my needs. I’ll tell you truly, if the day comes they stop doing these things...well...I think it will just mean getting what I want somewhere else. 

   Dear Reader, Jesus said, “...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (John 20:28).  Jesus also said, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).  The story above is not intended to question the leadership of God’s Spirit in anyone’s life. God definitely leads us to new places of blessing and service.  It is, however, a reminder if we aren’t careful, the Sam’s Club spirit of our age will permeate the Church.  I will close with a quote: “That person may last, but never lives - Who much receives, but nothing gives - Whom none can love, whom none can thank - Creation’s blot, creation’s blank.” I pray the Lord Jesus will rescue us from such a legacy.

 

I Love You,

Pastor David

 

April 27, 2020

The Lord Jesus is the answer to all of life’s bitter and trying circumstances. He was fully aware that He must die on the Cross. He was and is the Son of God, and His death for our sins was planned in eternity.  Jesus prayed, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42).   Knowing now how events unfolded, a cynic might view such a prayer as wasted breath.  Yes, even we as believers can be tempted to view our prayers as equally futile.  Jesus KNEW what He MUST do, yet He prays, “...if thou be willing, remove this cup from me.”  Another term for impossible, is “useless.”  I, for one, am supremely grateful to God for placing this passage in the Bible.  Mainly because I ask God for impossible things all the time, but to Him, my pleas are not useless.  Think about this:  Jesus experienced the loneliness of a seemingly impossible situation.  He came to the planet full of love, devotion, miracles, deeds of compassion - and the leaders of His own people responded by having Him tortured and executed.  Jesus spoke of this event, He called it “mine hour” (Mark 14:35).  He cried, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour” (John 12:27).  The Lord Jesus knew the anxiety of an impossible situation.  The agonizing event was before Him, and in His humanity He prayed for the removal of the “cup” - the tortuous moment about to unfold.  But note this: Jesus prayed in a spirit of trust and surrender.  He prayed, “Not my will but thine be done.” THIS is the key to peace and victory.  Jesus said, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me” (John 6:38).  Have you read further how the Father answered this prayer? The Bible says, “And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43). It is in this spirit of resolve we too can face the apparent unworkable (or seemingly random) experiences of our journey. In some way we also will have to “drink the cup,” but the Lord will supply the strength to go through it. We will be given the “angel of His presence.”  It was a tremendous struggle for the Lord Jesus - likewise our own contest will be traumatic.  In the midst of a staggering ordeal, He found comfort and fortitude in yielding to the Father’s will.  Dear reader, everything coming our way is filtered through His loving and sovereign heart. We can be assured that “weeping may endure for a night, but JOY COMES IN THE MORNING”  The delight of Jesus was surrendering to the Father’s will.  This is where our joy and victory over the “situation” is realized. Unfortunately it is also the place where many of us abandon all consolation and hope. We turn aside and say, “Father, Your will is offensive to me - too hard. Not Your will, but my will be done.” Oh, perfect joy and peace can only be experienced in the faith that says, “Dear Father, if thou be willing, remove this __________ from me, nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.” (You fill in the blank).  Yes, all things (including everything that seems for the moment to be random and useless) are working together for the good of those who love God, to those “that are called according to HIS PURPOSE” (Romans 8:28). 

I Love You,

Pastor David 

 

April 7, 2020

Judging by the way religion in general and Christianity in particular is portrayed in popular media, it might lead you to believe spirituality has fallen on hard times - even when faced with a pandemic. You would be wrong.  Currently there are over 1.8 billion Muslims (and growing), and 2.3 billion Christians in the world. The "non-religious" crowd make up only 15% of the earth's population - and most of these are not true atheists.  This fact squares with the Bible, when it says, The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God (Psalm 14:1).  The Word of God teaches mankind knows intuitively God exists: They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God (Rom. 1:19-20).  The numbers don't lie: Most people believe in God...or in some form of deity. Nevertheless, just because a person believes in God doesn't mean they have weighed the evidence of His appearance in human flesh 2,020 years ago, embraced His infallible message of salvation through Jesus Christ and relish a personal relationship with Him through the Holy Spirit.  It is important to remember, even though there are many "brands" of religion, from God's perspective every human being falls into one of two designations: Just or Unjust.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust (Matt. 5:44-45). We see clearly that with God there is no "middle class", no sub-set or identity group who are "almost" saved or barely saved or partially saved. When it comes to how you deal with your hope of Heaven you need to know - at this very moment - you are either IN or OUT.  Do you know which one it is? Do you know why you think so? It is hard to tell sometimes based on how God blesses or withholds blessings from an individual (or a nation).  One may say, "I don't believe in God, and look at me; I am healthy, well-educated and financially set." Another responds, "I too am quite blessed, and I most definitely believe Jesus is God's Son."  Mere circumstantial evidence, frankly, isn't enough to go on. Look closely and you'll see sunshine and rain in the lives of the Just and Unjust.  Sunshine in all its forms: health, talents, attractiveness, cash, etc., as well as rain in all its variety: divorce, bankruptcy, substance abuse, cancer, etc. So, how can you tell the difference? The short answer would be: "Only God knows."  But the Bible also says, By their fruits you shall know them. In the few lines remaining I will add a little more to the discussion. When Jesus Christ lives in you it means LOVE has taken up residence in your heart. Jesus said, Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. A tall order you say? No! It is impossible unless the One who is love reigns in your heart. God knows how to love and pursue His enemies. That is exactly how you and I came to know Him - enemies of God though we were. Dear Reader, don't ever forget everyone you know is either lost or saved. Only the fool believes there is no God.  Let the living Christ rekindle the fires of a Savior's love in your soul. Tell someone how much they matter to the Lord Jesus, how much He matters to you and, therefore, how much they mean to you.  
 
I Love You, Pastor David

March 31, 2020

Christians often voice the desire to see God move in a powerful way.  What would such an experience mean to you?  If God manifested in your life in some undeniable fashion, what would that look like? If, for example, you were stranded on a deserted island (which might sound attractive during a pandemic), in time your prayer to God would most likely include a plea for rescue.  Some passing ship or airplane would become synonymous with what we call a "divine appointment" - the answer to our prayer.  A more practical line of questioning would be: What if you lost your job and asked God to bare His strong arm on your behalf?  In this case God's deliverance would certainly involve a new opportunity, successful job interview and offer, starting date, etc. Would you understand the new development as an answer to your prayer - or a mere coincidence? To God's credit, He often rescues people whether they ask for His help or not.  We read a story about a little girl lost in the forest for days - found shivering, thirsty, but safe. Yes, in some cases things turn out alright; something miraculous happens, a life is spared.  A tornado rips through a town with minimal loss of life.  If you ask the Lord to act in a powerful way during this present Covid19 crisis - how would you word your request? Perhaps you aren't thinking so much in terms of a miracle drug or vaccine; instead you would ask that the great power of God would transform the hearts and minds of a nation who has lost its way. When we pray for Him to move we are actually asking for God to send a great outpouring of His Holy Spirit. When God takes action, when He reveals Himself, lost people receive the new-birth and believers experience a break-through to holy living. Sin loses its grip on our lives, old habits are broken and the higher, nobler virtues replace them.  I believe this is definitely a prayer worth praying. You might ask, "Why, Lord, why does this not happen?" God answers, "If My people which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:14).  In this verse we recognize the parts we've "mastered". When we're in trouble we pray and when trials come, we seek His face.  But the "humility" part? ...that's a tough one! The opposite of humility is pride. Pride loves to prioritize selfish ambition, money, good health, pleasures and prosperity. Pride gets offended over even minor hindrances. Pride feeds itself on carrying grudges and is resistant to forgiveness and reconciliation. The proud person waits for others to make the first move when there is a misunderstanding or conflict in the relationship. Prideful people want God to move in a powerful way, because they are sure "other people" desperately need a "Divine Makeover."  Sadly, the proud person seldom (if ever) turns from his/her "wicked ways", which means God refuses to "hear from heaven" , "forgive their sin" and "heal their land."  Truly, "God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).  Dear Reader, these are hard words to write, and I am sure they are difficult words to read.  Remember, the Bible says, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:32). Whatever we are going through now - we deserve worse. Furthermore, whatever we're going through will only get worse if we refuse to humble ourselves before God. I pray we won't be guilty of blaming God for things - I pray we will stop blaming other people for the problems we face, and that we will stop making excuses for the way we live. IF God were to move in a powerful way in YOUR life, what would it look like?

 
I Love You,
Pastor David 

 

March 24, 2020

During this time when we are tempted to be afraid, and nerves can be on edge, allow me to offer this as perhaps a distraction - and I pray - an encouragement.  The English language never ceases to amaze me. There are so many words that, to one who is trying to learn our language, could be down-right confusing. For example, to immigrate means to “enter a country to live”, and to emigrate means to “exit your current homeland.”  “Flout” means to disregard, and “flaunt” means to show off. Even our common expressions would be hard to translate into, for example, Bulgarian. How would you explain this sentence to your friend from Estonia: “I could hardly bear the burden of walking my bear, in my bare feet on the rocks and decided to bear the news of this unbearable burden to the bear keeper.”  In Arkansas this would require a translator even for English speakers: “I could hardly bar the burdin uh walkin muh bar in muh bar fa-eet an dessited-tuh bar thuh nuze uv diss unbarrable burdin to thuh bar kayeeper.” It’s hard to say things like giss and like gat. Many of these linguistic twists of meaning are called “Puns.” Samples: 1. “The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.” 2. “I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.”  3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.” 4. “No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationary.” and 5. “Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.” On a more serious note, and perhaps closer to my reason for this article, is the result of having looked closer at the word: “Curse”. In McGehee the word is often pronounced “Cuss”...but I digress. It isn’t in reference to four-letter words we’ve learned and used that captures my attention, but the word “cur-sed” as opposed to “cursed”. Diving deeper into the contrast of meanings, it led me to the very first chapters of the Bible, and to a very profound truth lifting my spirit.  “Cur-sed” is an adjective, and “cursed”, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary is, “the past tense and past participle of “to curse” - which is a verb. Please stay with me. Using our ability to spin a pun, try out this sentence: “He cursed the cursed horse-fly because it left a cursed whelp on the back of his neck.” Now, this is where reading in the third chapter of Genesis became the source of my meditation and joy. The consequences of our parents’ disobedience brought a curse on Satan and the world that God created. God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:14).  It was in this declaration of condemnation that we find God’s first reference to the virgin birth and the triumphant sacrifice of Jesus: “the seed of the woman shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (3:15).  God also said, “...cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field” (3:17b-18).  Now, the physical vessel the devil used (the serpent) was cursed; Satan himself was cursed, and the ground was cursed. What about Adam and Eve?  To be cursed by God is to be eternally consigned to suffer the fate of the damned. My joy came, however, when I learned that our Father in Heaven did NOT curse our parents: Adam and Eve.  Yes, they were punished. This is where the Grace of God shines. God cursed the serpent, He cursed the devil, and He cursed the ground. But He didn’t curse me! Quite the contrary! The Bible says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13).  Adam and Eve “sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Gen. 3:7) .  Perhaps you’ve never heard of “fig-leaf righteousness?”  It refers to those who try to make peace with God, who try to remove themselves from the Law’s Curse, by walking down an aisle, getting dunked in the creek or baptistry, completing a catechism or submitting to any number of rituals or sacraments.  How I pray the awesome reality of having the curse removed by the Cross of Jesus Christ has set you free from the chains of guilt and shame. Don’t settle for a life of sin/purge/sin/purge. Our sins have been forgiven: past, present and future when we “call upon the name of the Lord” (Rom. 10:13).  You may ask: “Yeah, but what about the sins I commit each day?”  Yes, what about them? If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, you are lost, and sinning is not so much what you do - it is who you are - and that is your shame! Even now, as you read this, you are under the curse of the Law.  As a believer, when you sin, guilt is the natural response - no! ...the “supernatural” response to sin. Shame says, “You sin because that is what you ARE, a cursed rebel.” Guilt says, “You sin because your old nature has managed to lead you into behavior making you feel like the cursed rebel, though you are not a cursed rebel any more.  Shame speaks to what a person is - guilt speaks to what a person does. Praise the Lord Jesus today, for He would not allow us to remain in the garments of religious or non-religious shame. He clothed our parents in the skins of animals - and that meant the death of an innocent creature to cover their humiliation. Likewise, Jesus would not allow us to cover our lostness with religion.  Instead, He covers us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Because of the Cross, and the gift of Faith, we will one day soon be presented before God “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing...holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).   Don’t ya jest luv plane Inglish?

 

I Love You,

Pastor David

 

 

March 21, 2020

Anxiety and panic do not find their source in God.

 
Obviously if it’s expressing God-given fear of imminent danger, this is necessary for human survival. The influence of our Living Savior stimulates hope and resolve.  It isn’t merely possible, but expected of us to face life’s most traumatic events in the power of the Holy Spirit. Our feet are standing on the Rock - and that Rock is Jesus.  In times like these, we would do well to think of those who have gone before. Acquaint yourself with the stories of the martyrs who “...stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were
made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated - of whom the world was not worthy - wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in the caves of the earth” (Heb. 11:33-38, emphasis mine.)  Dear faint-hearted believer, we are made of the same stuff! This will be our legacy come what may.  It isn’t only ancient “saints” who have discovered the power of God during a crisis. You may have heard the story of Pastor John Harper. He had pastored churches in Glasgow and London.  He and his six-year-old daughter boarded the Titanic, traveling to Chicago to accept the position as new pastor of the famous Moody Bible Church. After the ship struck the iceberg, Harper began sharing Christ with everyone he could.  As the ship began to sink, he was heard shouting, “women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats!” One man mocked him, and Harper took off his life vest, saying, “You need this more than I do.” One person testifying at a survivor’s meeting four years after the accident told how Pastor Harper clung to debris from the ship, and swam around telling others, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.”  The man said, “After refusing him the first time, he swam away. But he came back a few minutes later, and I accepted the Lord Jesus in those frigid waters.” Minutes later, as the pastor sank into the Atlantic, the newly saved man was rescued. We all know the cold abyss did not have the last word in Bro. Harper’s experience. Covid19 won’t have the last word in ours either. Such accounts of how God’s servants handle calamity speaks volumes to hearts like ours - pampered, soft and spoiled by years of chasing the American Dream.  Dear Reader, don’t allow the cold icy fingers of Satan spook you - causing you to loosen your moorings. Tighten your grip even tighter to the hand of Living and Present Lord Jesus. There is nothing enjoyable, helpful or redeeming in yielding to our society’s gnawing anxiety or paranoia. It has been said anxiety only “saddens a person and multiplies obstacles.” So true. Panic is the twin sister of Confusion. Spend more time in the Word of God. It is full of stories the Holy Spirit will use to cleanse and strengthen your physical and spiritual vitality.  God uses His Word to build the muscles of your faith, causing you to fight on your knees - and stand upon your feet - with an upward gaze. Listen to the familiar words of Jesus, “Fear not,” “Let not your heart be troubled,” and “Do not be afraid.” I don’t want us to merely “survive” this calamity, but “overcome” and “conquer” it through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, listen to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Take note of sound advice from our doctors and medical professionals. The Bible admonishes us: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Rom. 13:1-2).  Finally, May God grant us obedience to be “as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” (Matt. 10:16).  There is perfect balance in this directive. When the bravado of a snake might tempt us to become proud or cavalier when it comes to discerning media-hype or globalist agendas, we can balance that out with a gentleness and tender heart toward others who are truly stressed out without lecturing or scolding them.  Become a bright star in the sky of someone else’s dark night of testing. The victory is already ours, and right now we are proving that “...our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! (2 Cor. 4:17).
I Love You, Pastor David