In The Midst Of Crisis
It has come to our attention that we here at Dwelling Place Ministries have filled our plate up with so much that we have neglected reaching out to all of you, for this we apologize.
We have been challenged by a sermon we were blessed to hear and we would like to pass along some points for you to ponder.
The sermon was from 1 Peter 4:7-11 and titled Directions For Living During a Pandemic, from Pastor Chad at Crossway Church.
It is important that we calmly understand the situation and make steps towards honoring God during this time. When our response is to give in to panic, we are living in fear. When our response is to get prideful it is fear attempting to gain control of a situation that is out of our control.
Our response needs to be motivated by love, focused on Jesus. Pastor Chad had four points that we think are so very important to remember:
1) Pray - with calmness and clarity. Vs 7b. Pray with a clear mind and with calmness. Pray according to what you know about God from the Word. Pray for the needs of people in regards to God's plans. Insert prayer into conversations with others. Ask God to be present in the moment people are in right now.
In regards to the first part 1 Peter 4:17 - This is not something to worry or be concerned over. The word used as end here means "ultimate end goal" which is God's great redemption. We are currently in this time of God's great redemption and no virus has changed that.
2) Love vs 8 - choose love over offense. In times like these, difficult decisions must be made quickly and without everyone's voices chiming in their opinions. Because of this current climate, people will at times respond with the pressure they are feeling. There are loads of opportunities to be offended. Instead, choose to love people who are feeling pressure. Suppress the need to address the relational faux pas we might encounter. We need unity, not offense. We choose to not respond in kind. Put energies into seeing and responding to a person's intent. Remember the facts, that they are our brothers, sisters, pastors, elders, friends...and they love us. They need our love more than we need their love right now.
BTW, this is what Jesus did for us. He loved us more than we loved him when he gave his life for our sins.
3) Act with open heartedness vs 9. This is having the intention to promote flourishing among others. Stay open hearted to others. This is the idea of hospitality - opening your heart to people even though it is costly. In a time where we need to distance ourselves from one another physically, we can still practice hospitality. Call someone and encourage them. Give them a verse or pray with them. Write an encouraging note.
4) Do what we can with what God has given us to serve the body. Vs 10-11. Talk to people about God, not your opinion. Serve with God's strength. We don't need to be the hero here. People already have a hero - Jesus Christ. Point people to The Hero. We need to be role players, high octane followers of the Lord. Everyone has gifts from God. Note: these aren't your gifts, they are God's. They are not designed to bring you glory, but to point others to God and for His glory. They are meant to help your brothers and sisters in Christ. Fill your plate in a way that points away from you and towards God. Depend on God's strength to serve others. Be plugged into the source of strength, God, through constant prayer.
Beloved, these points are so very important for dealing with this time. Work to incorporate these thoughts into your family life at home. It can get challenging when we have to readjust our way of thinking and we can get short and snippy with our spouses and families. Take a step back and remember to pray, love, act with open hospitality, and serve our loved ones while being plugged into the source of power.
At Dwelling Place Ministries, we are praying for each of you and we are here for you. How can we specifically pray for you? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.