In order to fully live a surrendered life to God, we must be able to trust him in all circumstances. I struggle with this. I say I trust God, and sometimes I really think I do, but when I’m faced with a health scare like the COVID-19 pandemic, I naturally resort to relying on my own abilities. I assume God is somewhere far away, as though he isn’t involved or concerned with my stormy reality. How easy is it to forego faith when the seas are choppy and we’re drifting away? Thanks be to Jesus for pursuing us, nonetheless.
In this Scripture study from Caring Magazine, we explore four ways to live by what Christ asks of us as his followers.
In Matthew 14:22-33 we read about how a lack of faith will cause one to sink beneath their circumstances. Given the state of the world, and with Christians wondering what faith should or could look like during such times of uncertainty, let’s turn to God’s Word for inspiration.
Go all in
They say my generation, the millennial generation, is skeptical about institutions and timid about commitments. The thing about commitment is, well, it means there is pressure to go all in. If you go all in, there is no going back. It’s all or nothing.
A part of me is enticed by the thought of staying “socially distanced” and using this as leverage to commit to nothing for a while. Yet, the commitment of following Jesus doesn’t just give in to the temptation of nothingness in social distancing or Netflix on the regular. Jesus calls on us to go all in and go all out for God and his will. He calls on us to be creative and equally as passionate for lost souls and discipleship. The Bible says things like “give our bodies as living sacrifices” and “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” So what now?
Now, in our world of uncertainty, is the best time to be certain about our walk with the Lord. These are three Scriptures to chew on while we contemplate our calling to go all in for Jesus, especially while the world is at a standstill.
We, the Church, are called to be holy in times of crisis—especially when the world is yearning for someone to give them hope and love, somehow, as social isolation takes its toll. No matter the decade, or whether on a mountain top or in a valley, God calls each of us to be holy. But what does “holy” mean?
The primary Old Testament word for holiness means “to cut” or “to separate.” Fundamentally, holiness is a cutting off or separation from what is unclean, and consecration to what is pure. In the New Testament, “holy,” the adjective, is hagios, which fundamentally signifies “separated.” For the Greeks, it meant to be dedicated to the gods. In Scripture, the moral and spiritual significance of the word “holy” highlights the state of being separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God.
Practically speaking, the concept of being holy deals with the proximity to and resemblance of someone completely “other.” That is, proximity and resemblance to God (and therefore separated or cut away from those things in contrast to him). To be holy, one must be like or resemble the Holy One. But no worries, God does the work. He draws us in. He makes it happen by his Spirit.
Focus in on two staples of being holy so that we can not only understand holiness in general, but so we might be able to better gauge what holiness looks like in our current age.
Love isn’t easy, especially when the entire world is being asked to isolate themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is no secret that the global crisis which ensued from this virus threw a wrench into the plans and function of millions of churches. Why? Because churches gather. This is how they love one another and edify.
Yet, love is a command from God. It defines his church. When love is hard, but then it becomes even harder due to social isolation, how do we proceed? Something that already necessitates work, energy, sacrifice, devotion, commitment and perseverance has suddenly become more glaringly necessary during the COVID-19 era and for the generations to come.
Download this study now and dive into each of these ideas in your exploration of Scripture.
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