Can You See?
As a lifelong outdoor enthusiast I am fascinated and overjoyed by the reports from around the world as I read about the environment and how it is responding to this worldwide lockdown. The reports that are most endearing to me are from Nepal. Take a look at the picture below.
This photo was taken May 8th and shows the Kathmandu Valley where approximately 2 million people live. During the 20 years I have travelled to this country the pollution in this valley has steadily increased to the point the beautiful snow-capped Himalaya's were seldom seen. Now, can you see what I see in this photo? Blue skies, snow-capped mountains and the valley with it's eclectic mix of old and new buildings as far as the eyes can see. Stories from North India verify this phenomenon. In villages they are seeing only what they have been told by the elders; 'beautiful mountains are there, but you just cannot see them'. Now with clean, clear skies their eyes see what they have only ever heard with their ears.
The Ridley's sea turtle's recent India egg-laying season was the longest in years. The deserted beaches brought an estimated 400,000 plus turtles onto the beaches to lay an estimated 60 million eggs. These events have transpired in just a little over 2 months. Many other stories of renewal and restoration are pouring in from all over the world. One biblical phrase used for times like this is out of 1 Corinthians 15:46 that says first the natural then the spiritual.
What a fascinating thought to think of a spiritual renewal and restoration. Can you see this possibility before us? With this one condition that is needed we can see, in a short time, a spiritual clearing of the atmosphere over our lives, our churches, and our nation. That condition? Peter revealed it to the crowd gathered under the roof of Solomon's porch. His fiery sermon after Pentecost has this condition - "you must repent and turn back to God".
Acts 3:19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,
This brings a removal of the dark, pollution filled clouds of sin and a cooling breeze that soothes the soul.
As we approach Pentecost Sunday (May 31), what has shrouded your vision and spiritual fruitfulness? Can you see that what has taken place in the natural, God wants to do in the spiritual? The God of all power and might is still making all things new. Can you see this new day dawning, if, we do it His way?
Times Worth Remembering
Yesterday was our church's first gathering since Covid-19 took over the world. Amazing how a microscopic germ has transformed our planet, makes you wonder what a mustard seed of faith could do if released by Christ followers who would trust and obey? This was God's message to the children of Israel in the book of Judges, chapter 6. The enemy had forced the Israelites to hide in caves and the higher places away from the fertile fields where food was grown. In their shelter-in-place situation they cried out to God.
As always God responded by sending a prophet with a message. That message was not about a future event where everything will be fixed and the enemy wiped out. No, the word from God was about times past; do you remember when? Then God reminded them of a few of His mighty exploits. As kingdom minded people we are prone to be in such a forward moving stage that when we seem to hit a road block we tend to forget those "Times Worth Remembering."
God allows these momentary pauses so we can get a 180 degree view of not only what is ahead but also to always remember that if He has delivered you once, He can do it again! God has preserved His people over and over and over again. God's people, who trust and obey His word, have and always will overcome odds that are humanly impossible to comprehend. The Bible is full of odd defying exploits, men and women who took that mustard seed of faith and shaped history.
It seems in this story of Judges their biggest transgression was they fell into the trap of fear. God said, do not fear, and they fled to the hills in fear. The demonic spirit of fear is being unleashed upon the world in waves. Fear empties warehouses of toilet paper, distorts reason and common sense. Now the next fear factor is our nations meat supply. We are running low on meat!
Hmm let's see, the writer of Hebrews has something to say concerning meat. Lack of meat of the Word has caused you to be dull and sluggish. This has caused your spiritual senses to not perceive heavenly matters. (Hebrews 5). Our spiritual diet has caused a weakness in our ability to perceive and understand the ways of the Kingdom. Then in Hebrews 6 it says 'now is the time to progress! Move forward into this new dimension of faith'. We all have in our arsenal those "Times Worth Remembering" to push us forward!
Senior pastor at Grove Christian Center.