I heard someone this morning say that churches across the country are closed. It hit me hard. I just want you to know that the church is not closed. Yes, we are not having services for the next two weeks and all of our scheduled events are cancelled but we are not closed.
The church building maybe locked up but the church is open. The body of Christ is active. You can close a church building but you can never close the church.
The first thing I want to say is that our regular morning service will be live streamed on Sunday at 11:00 as usual. We will be having prayer, preaching, and maybe even a song or two. We will also have communion together (you will have to provide your own juice and cracker). Beside the live stream you will also be able to get our podcast and info on our website.
The church is also open for prayer. If you have a prayer need or concern you can call the church parsonage and we will pray with you or you can leave a request on the answering machine. The elders and I along with our prayer team will pray for you.
The church is also open to assist. If you have a need for food or other assistance we will work to try and get the resources that you need to get you through this emergency. We are working with other organizations to try and get assistance for our people who are in need.
As a part of the church you can help us with your prayers and support. Even if you are at home in self-isolation you can have a part of the ministry of Jesus. Please take some time and call other members of the church to offer words of encouragement and to pray together for each others needs. If you know of anyone who has an need please contact the church so our leaders can pray and encourage them too.
Isolation for others doesn't mean that you have to be isolated from God. Take some time... turn off that TV that is filling your head with fear... and talk to God. Spend some time in His Word readying and studying. There are many great sites online to help you get closer to God. You can contact me for some ideas if you want some help.
Finally, remember that the fellowship of believers is not dependent on physically being in the same room with each other. Remember that your brothers and sisters in Christ are praying for you during this time and you can pray for them. Not only can you pray for them but you might want to send them a note of encouragement by the long forgotten form of the US Mail (LOL). I am sure that your brothers and sisters in Christ will remember a card, letter, or even a brief note. It is something physical that they can have in their hands to know that your care and are praying for them.
Just because the building is closed the church is not. You might think of some things that you can do to encourage, support, and pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ and for the community. IF so, send a comment or message.
God is Good. May he bless you now and throughout this whole emergency.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are maker of heaven and earth. You control it all in your hands. So we trust in you during this time to help us and to intervene. We ask for you peace, calm, and a spirit of clear thought. We also asked that you will help us to help others through this crisis. We ask that you will help our light to shine and that we will comfort each other and encourage each other. You are our God, and we are your people, your church. We pray all this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. AMEN!
If Jesus had a vision statement it would probably have been Luke 19:10 - “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Jesus came to this world with a plan and a purpose. And Jesus worked that plan which glorified God every step of the way.
Jesus didn’t look back. He looked forward pressing onward to the cross because that was the plan and the purpose. There were other things he did along the way but he never lost track of the plan.
In fact, that vision to fulfill his purpose of salvation for all humanity was so powerful that he let nothing get in His way of accomplishing His mission. When one of his disciples suggested a different course he said, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Mt 16:23; Mk 8:33). “You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” He was talking to Peter at that time.
We also read in Luke 9:51, that there came a time in His life when Jesus “resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” He knew the cross was before him. My Father used to say, “You march yourself right up here, young man,” and I did...knowing I was going to get a whooping. Jesus marched up to Jerusalem one last time to take a whooping for you and I for our sins.
Jesus did not live in the glories of the past. He did not say to his disciples at the last supper...”Hey guys, remember that time when I turned the water into wine?” or “How about that scary time when I cast out 1,000 demons from that guy in the graveyard... remember that?” No, Jesus instituted the last supper, the fruit of the vine representing his blood and the bread representing his body and he said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” Jesus was always looking ahead to the mission of saving the lost.
We have a vision too. We can’t look back to past glories and accomplishments. We must press on. We want to start off the new year with the correct vision for Jesus Christ.
The purpose of BCCC is revealed in the New Testament:
• *To win people to faith in Jesus Christ and commit them active service and participation in the church (Matt.
• *To help them grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2
Peter 3:18) that increasingly they may know and do His will
• *To work for the unity of all Christians (Eph. 4:2-5) and with
them engage in the common task of building the kingdom of
God (Eph. 4:16)
• *To promote an interest in home and foreign missions, and
lending a helping hand to its members whenever possible
(Matt. 25:34-40; James 1:27).
We pray that this will be your vision for the new year too!
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God; Holy is your name and your plans are perfect. Help me to work the plans that you have for my life. May my vision be true. Forgive me where I am distracted by other things. In Jesus' name, AMEN!