As Christians, we know and believe that Christ conquered death through his resurrection, after which he was transfigured and returned to Heaven, making way for the Holy Spirit’s arrival. This knowledge and belief assure us that when we experience physical death, we will join Christ in Heaven. That’s all good, as far as it goes.
God’s mercy in our lives, his working in ways both small and large, and our hearts full of his love are all joyous reasons to celebrate his provision and presence. It is easy to celebrate the good things that come to us in life. It is not as easy to celebrate the hard times that come in life, the times that test, tempt, and try us. These may not be from God, but they are still reasons to celebrate when we overcome through them.
The title phrase is attributed to both Socrates and Corrie Ten Boom. Regardless of who said it first, I can attest to its truth. I’ve long been one who makes detailed to-do lists, manages my calendar closely, and focuses on getting things done. If being busy is good, then I am awesome! That all sounds great, right?
In the first words of 1 Timothy, Paul begins by returning to a familiar theme, deception in the church. In this case, he is writing as a mentor to his young friend, Timothy.
In Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, we find instruction for our lives and time today. His letter cautions against falling prey to wrong beliefs and idleness, both of which he knew were poisons to faith and death to witness. The wisdom has always been for all time, but in today’s time it seems especially applicable.
I often think of where I’ve come from and who I’ve become, but rarely about what I am. Knowing what we are defines us to ourselves more than to others, and adds a sense of certainty to life.
Believers are followers of Christ, the Word Incarnate who is, in fact, God come to earth to show us how to live. If we believe this as we say we do, then we should be living the life He intends for us, even in these difficult times.
Faith alone is not enough. We are called to live lives that witness God’s full provision in all circumstances. Yes, we can pray for all we need or desire, but should always keep Peter’s wisdom at the forefront of our mind. His illumination of God’s provisions “to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature” is a reminder that living a godly life is the believer’s first and foremost responsibility. It is our “prime directive.”
I am not sure whether I am perplexed, bemused, or agitated by the response of believers to the Coronavirus. I am sure that I am left wondering who God is really speaking to when I hear the vast discrepancy between the pronouncements of current day “prophets.” Understand, I am in no way saying that God does not speak, but we clearly are not hearing the same voice, and that is a problem.
Soon after Saul’s Damascus Road experience he begins his new ministry in earnest. We can imagine the surprise and understand the initial mistrust of those he set out to persecute when he instead rises to defend Jesus and proclaim Him as our Liberator. What enabled Saul, later to be Paul , to step into his new role and purpose so quickly and so powerfully?