Today’s message summary of March 15, 2020 from Pastor Gus Brown:
I want to discuss this issue with the CoronaVirus that’s happening right now. What we’re going through right now is something that we haven’t really seen in our lifetime.
How are we to respond to what is going on?
I received direction from our District Superintendent about this matter. We are to follow certain protocols to protect those people who come into our church and to remain vigilant. As of right now, the expectation is that this matter will get worse before it gets better, which is causing a considerable amount of fear. There has been a number of stores that have empty shelves, and people are definitely panicking over what is happening.
If you remember the year 1999 moving into 2000, a lot of people were preparing for something to happen by storing water and dried goods. Of course, you know that nothing happened.
Is it possible that God is allowing all of this to happen in order to have people to look to Him? I just want to encourage you. If Mother Teresa could go into India and touch people who were ravaged with disease, then we certainly need to have faith in the power of God and His protection.
We listen to the government when it comes to matters of health and welfare, but we also need to be conscious of who we are to trust. We are to trust God.
Bottom line: If you get sick–stay home. If you don’t have the help of relatives, then call the church. God’s people ultimately need to seek after Him for comfort and guidance.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
We are taking the prudent care to make sure to keep the church a safe environment. While we will not have Communion in a couple of weeks, we still will gather together for church.
The important thing is for the people of God to recognize is that we are not to be fearful. We are to respond to situations like this differently because we have Jesus Christ to look to. Government does not run the church–Jesus runs the church.
Please pray for our government and our leadership. We want to embrace hope and look upward. We are not to rely upon government–we are to rely upon God.
Who are you trusting in?
2 Timothy 3:1
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
Look at the times that we live in. The Spirit gives you guidance and discernment to remind you that the return of Jesus is near. Things will get worse, for sure.
There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness.
How will you respond if there is a famine? We are not entitled to have a steak for dinner. Some of you don’t even like hot dogs. We are used to having what we desire, but yet this may change.
There is no telling where this virus is going to go. We need to be a people that assures others to have faith in God, but if you don’t have it, then you certainly won’t be able to reassure others.
There is nowhere in Scripture where we are promised relief from suffering.
Have you noticed that people who don’t go to church, or even an atheist, when something catastrophic happens, there may be a declaration of “Oh, God!” While some are fearful, you, as a believer, should not be.
God wants us together to worship it is good for us to be together.
…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Do you have the confidence that God will keep you during this CoronaVirus outbreak? Please know that even if you do get sick and are in the hospital, please witness to others while you’re there.
Are you allowing your faith to help you along, or are you allowing fear to push you in a different direction?
Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
We are told over and over to wash our hands and avoid unnecessary touching, but we also are mindful of a spiritual redemption where we need to cleans our hands and our hearts.
There are times when we need to be prudent in our ministry, and we minister to other human beings that need to know that someone cares about them. We are not to minister in fear. We are to minister according to how God leads us. God will give you the direction you need to share with others.
Devote yourself to prayer. This is the time to pray that this event will pass. God hears the righteous when we call on Him. When you are willing to pray and put the matter on the altar of God, He will hear you.
Be joyful in spite of what is going on. Know that the Lord will not put more on you than that you can handle. It is God who provides the comfort and the confidence to be able to endure what is going on.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Be thankful for everything that God has done in His provision for you–even in difficult times.
We don’t understand everything that happens in this world, but nothing happens without God’s awareness. He allows things like this to occur to bring people to a place where they go to Him.