Coronavirus Testing for Christians – The First Test

There’s a lot out there in the world about testing and coronavirus.  I’m going to be giving some other “coronavirus tests” – for Christians.

There’s a lot of upheaval in a lot of lives right now.  Normal routines are broken.  Many things that used to be easy are difficult.  All that is true, even if you and those you care about haven’t become ill, or lost their jobs or businesses.  If there is illness or financial pain as well, then this is even more difficult.

Thus, the first test for Christians.

James 1

2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I Thessalonians 5

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

John 16

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Joy, thanks, peace.  In every trial, in EVERYTHING.  Is that our response?  That “in everything” zaps any excuses, by the way.

If that isn’t our response to what is happening in our life, then we’ve failed this “coronavirus test” for Christians.  Christians who are led by the Holy Spirit will respond differently to difficult situations than those who aren’t trusting the Lord.  Jesus said He would give us peace — if we don’t have peace, something is wrong.  If we can’t be thankful for all that we have in Christ, if that thankfulness doesn’t override even the most difficult of circumstances in this temporary life, something has gone amiss.

It doesn’t matter how difficult things are in this life, eternal glory supersedes it.  If you’ve failed this test it’s probably because you are too earth-focused.  Either you never really had Heavenly citizenship (sadly, probably some who read this never did), or you’ve forgotten that citizenship and all it means.

If it’s the first problem, you need to be saved.  You need to really learn what Jesus’ death on the cross was all about, and turn from a life of sin to a life of trust.

If it’s the second problem, it’s time to get back to the Lord, back to His Word, to prayer, to thinking about the things HE wants you to think about in the way HE wants you to think about them.

We’ve been bought with a price, we belong to Him, and so we are in His care.  He wants us to have joy, thankfulness, and peace, and if they are missing, we’ve drifted from His plan.

If you’ve failed this first test, fix it today.  There are more “coronavirus tests” for Christians coming!

The Second Test
The Third Test
The Fourth Test
The Fifth Test

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Free Baptist Church Services Suspended

I’ve written this to our church family but thought parts of it might be useful to others.

The Scottish government’s current advice isn’t entirely clear for us in this matter.  But, at-risk people (those over 70 and with conditions) are being told not to meet with family for Sunday dinner.  Most other churches in Scotland (in fact, in the UK) are cancelling all their services.  I believe the risk as of today/tomorrow is very low (there are still only 7 reported cases in Fife) but I do not want our church to be the one that spreads it.  It is too dangerous to those who are at risk.  Therefore, I believe we need to cancel the ladies lunch tomorrow and all services until further notice.

The Scripture says in Romans 12:17, “Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”  We want to not only do that which is right, but that which is seen by the world (“in the sight of all men”) to be right.  Even if I believed the risk was nil, I do not want the world around us to see us as people who are not concerned about spreading illness through the community.  They should see us as those who love their neighbours, not those who are careless.

We know we are in the Lord’s hand.  We know where we are going, and that there is no need for us to fear.  Many of those around us do not have that confidence, many are afraid, and it would be uncharitable to them to add to their fears.

In the interim, we will use video meetings.  More on this soon.

I would encourage you to be in touch with your neighbours.  You may have elderly neighbours who can’t get out.  Maybe you can run to the shop for them if they need something.  You may have neighbours who fall ill and are unable to walk their dog, and you could do that for them.  You may have neighbours who have no needs at all but would just be relieved to know there is someone they could call if necessary.

You can help your neighbours without taking any significant risk.  If you go to their door stand well back while they answer it.  It may be best just to put a note through their door with your phone number.  But recognise that you have an opportunity to show them real Christian love.

In Him

Pastor Jon

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Repost: Twelve Things to Do In Times of Trouble

Given the concerns many have over coronavirus, and the impact it is having on many lives in terms of health problems, financial problems, impact on savings / retirement funds, etc, I’ve decided to repost this article that I wrote back in 2013.

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Subduing the Earth

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to experience the skill of the surgeon’s knife, and the potency of antibiotics for dealing with a nasty infection.  As we live in a fallen world, where man’s sin has made such a mess of God’s wonderful creation, sickness, injury, and death are always around us, and sometimes with us directly.

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Peter and the Keys — Introduction

In Matthew 16, Jesus told Peter, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”  Several aspects of this passage are often misinterpreted, and I’d like to write some articles on it.  It removes a lot of the confusion if we look at what exactly the passage says (and what it doesn’t say) and compare it to other Scriptures.

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“According to the Law of Moses” — Why it Matters

In my previous post, “According to the Law of Moses,” I mentioned the sub-theme running through the chapter after it records that “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God….”  Luke, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, repeatedly emphasised throughout the rest of the chapter that the Son of God had been brought into a family that was very serious about keeping not only the letter but the spirit of the Law.  They loved the Lord their God.

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“According to the Law of Moses”

The first twenty verses of Luke chapter 2 is one of the most beloved passages of Scripture.  Our family memorised it together, and we still recite it together every Christmas morning.  Who does not love the story of Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem, no room in the inn, the Baby in the manger, the shepherds and the angels?

But of course, the story doesn’t stop when “the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”  The story goes on to the Cross, to an empty tomb, to a return in power and might, a great white Throne, and to an eternity, whether in the Lake of Fire or in the New Heavens and New Earth.

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