The church does not take vacations.
The church never waits.
The church is who we are. It never closes.
Living in this time of social distancing and quarantine has not been easy for many.
Many have recalled from studies, jobs, social gatherings, and even the structures we call churches are closed but the church does not stop. We are not on hiatus hoping that we can work in a structured way.
But do those who served as leaders and pastors and teachers continue with their ministries? The answer is: Of course yes!
Your where they are with you, your brothers in faith continue to need support, love, empathy, and ministry.
You may not be able to teach in a classroom but you can in a virtual one.
You may not be able to invite others to church evangelistic activities, but you can invite them to a live on Facebook.
We can still reach out to whoever needs it and offer our help, even over the phone.
More efficient still is the one that you share your testimony of how you have found in God’s strength and peace in the midst of all the circumstances that we have lived.
It is time to tell others not to wait any longer, that arriving on time at the feet of the Master, of the Son of God is the best thing that can happen to us.
Today I was listening to a song that reminded me of the time I was apart from the Lord and although it was a very bad decision to walk away, and I found many thorns and wounds on the way, He waited for me and hugged me, cleaned me and now every day I wake up giving thanks to who gave everything for me.
I don’t want to go back because what I have now is so powerful that it is everything. Living for Christ is without comparison. I want others to experience that blessing every day. I want them to meet, not with a temple, with Christ.
The fields are ready for harvest. The need is great, every day more. We have the solution to be able to live in blessing even in times of crisis, why not share it?
We may not know how, but in practice and teaching through the Holy Spirit, we can work for the glory of God.
It is still time to work.
Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for such an undeserved gift that we have received, the eternal visa. Let us come to Him in humility to use us as instruments of messengers of the gospel.
We are living a time to stay in our homes because of something unexpected: a pandemic that even with all the advances in science and technology that we have available today, managed to enter the world as it would have done in past times.
All this shows us that when we already think that we have everything under control, and we have obtained enough knowledge to go one step ahead of microscopic viruses and bacteria, they can bring us to the reality of our human fragility.
So much effort, so much work, so many vain things that can disappear in a second. It’s not that we shouldn’t work. It is not that we shouldn’t struggle to get ahead in life and provide for our families, but we must not forget that we have a more important job that has its reach in eternity.
I love how apostle Paul with that passion speaks to Titus about his goal: that others know the hope of eternal life. He describes it as his job.
We as children of God have the same mission, the same job. But do we love it with passion like Paul? Are we really doing it? You may think that in these times of confinement the work cannot be done, but that’s not right.
In my photo, I use a typewriter, which would have made Paul’s life easier, but in his time resources were scarce. He could not easily communicate with other parts of the world, could not travel, and within hours reached his destination.
But you know something? Much of his ministry was carried out from his confinement, the times he was imprisoned and could not get where he wanted to go to evangelize. Paul did not stop. The Holy Spirit in him was burning hot enough for him to move and be creative in moving on his way to the goal.
Paul not only had his resources. This letter to Titus is motivation. He prayerfully and financially supported others who also brought the good news of salvation. Paul knew that he alone could not have the scope he longed for, so he motivated others to join the work, strengthened them by teaching them the Word and reinforcing doctrines, tried to strengthen the weaknesses of others, and led them to Christ, being him. example with their testimony that in Him they could do everything.
We have no excuses. We have more resources than Paul had in his time, even in our confinement. Am I using them? Do I know that there are people in great physical and spiritual need in these times? The closure has not solved the problems that existed before the Covid-19, but perhaps it has hidden them.
You may not be able to see where there is a need, but we can pray like Paul for God to direct us, use us and be instruments in these times in which we live.
May others see in us that love and passion for our great work, as Paul had it.
Let us pray to the Lord knowing that He enables us and directs us to work in His work. May we be sensitive to his voice, pray for our brothers in the faith, the missionaries and for those who must believe in his gospel. May it revive in us that passion to bring the good news of salvation.
We didn’t have time for anything.
We lived exhausted from moving around, from thinking, from being busy all the time.
Our agenda was filled with work, family, friends, meetings …
We lived exhausted. We looked like slaves many times. Time flew by.
The difficult people around us exhausted us.
Quarantine has taken us away from everything that bound us, which exhausted us and kept us busy. Of course, there are exceptions depending on the profession they are in, although there are no social gatherings after work.
These times have led us to live very quickly, without sitting down to breathe and contemplate the stars or smell the flowers.
But quarantine has changed reality, the one who more or less, now
there must be more time. We are more at home, more with the family.
But as the days go by, perhaps the spiritual goals are not those that have occupied the priority and as we get used to the new reality we continue to become slaves, but in a different way. Do you live exhausted now?
The truth is that God’s plan of redemption for us included freedom that begins now. His good plans for us offer us rest, delight in his presence, joy, and peace.
Perhaps quarantine has taught us that problems follow us, or that the cause of lack of joy or feeling tired is ourselves. That the relationship with God does not depend on how many days we visited the church, or if it rained or was sunny, depends on our surrender to Him.
God has not moved, have we
moved us? God still expects us to spend time with Him, is that our priority? God expects us to live by faith, do we believe him? He still wants to lead us, shall we follow in his footsteps?
That the quarantine shows us how we really are and can go to the feet of Jesus to make the most of the time and enjoy the freedom that he has already given us.
Let us pray to the Lord asking Him to search our lives and help us to surrender everything that takes away our peace and exhausts us.
For many, this Good Friday seems like a different one. We were not looking for new clothes to wear for this Easter campaign, we were not preparing materials or distributing promotions, we did not have to add chairs in the temple for the visits that we could get.
The truth is that with each passing year, instead of more visits, the opposite happened. Every year more Christians went on vacation or to spend a day at the beach taking advantage of days off from work. But these changes in the agenda left God in a place where he would be very safe, on the four walls of the church.
Every year we invited more people to come to visit our services, but more Christians rationed the services they would attend. After all, you don’t have to go several times a week!
Every year more believers walked away from the church walls, wounded by the spiritual pride of many who felt better than they did instead of shaking hands with them so that they would not fall.
Every year more congregations gathered to pray for a great revival in the church. But why did they pray? What was the intention in the heart? See miracles as they were seen before or that people easily came to our repentant churches? Does the church lose power?
God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Its power does not change and will definitely not wane. His promises and prophecies will always be fulfilled. Our approach as a church? It changes as we adapt and get used to this world that is only a passage where we must walk as pilgrims and foreigners.
We have limited God to four walls, to large and comfortable temples, with luxuries and special effects but leaving aside humility and remembering daily that we are like pottery vessels carrying such a great, so undeserved treasure.
We forget that the greatest blessing is being at his feet in his presence instead of working all week for his work.
We forget that battles are won on our knees in prayer and not in our great knowledge.
We forget that we should not criticize the one who fails but rather help him to support himself so that he rises because we ourselves fall.
We forget that the great commission sends us to carry the gospel, to help the widow and the needy, and in the name of Jesus to lead them to heal their broken hearts.
We forget how beautiful are the feet of those who announce the good news.
A small and microscopic virus, under the omnipotence of God, has taken the church from the four walls where she felt safe. Our foundation, however, has not moved, stayed firm and keep holding us.
It is time to see God everywhere. It is time to proclaim his name from the simplicity of our homes, from the humility of our hearts showing the world that we are imperfect but loved by a perfect God who has given us his love and the salvation of our souls.
Let us show that we serve a living God that the four walls cannot contain. Let us show others how God works without limitations and does not depend on what happens in the world, but that He conquered the world and supports the foundations of the earth.
The God we serve cannot be contained by anything or anyone. He is the one who holds the water of the seas in the palm of his hand and who not only redeems us, he also redeems his creation, when nature groans together waiting for his redemption. This time the mercy of God has been poured out on nature and it is cleaning it from the damage that we in our sinful actions have done to it.
Today Good Friday the temple is closed but God continues to sit on his throne reigning in glory and majesty. Let’s proclaim his name!
It was inevitable for the crowd that recognized that the one who entered Jerusalem was the Son of God, the Messiah that for so many years they had been waiting for, did not keep silent.
It was inevitable to exalt the name of God when his promise was being fulfilled and all the prophecies that had been written about him who could deliver us from sin could now be seen in a palpable way.
It was inevitable to express words of amazement and worship at what they saw at that moment. The Son of God entering the city riding a donkey with all humility but with great authority.
It must be inevitable for us today not to remain silent before his presence that we know accompanies us at all times and not only when we see him pass.
It must be inevitable for us today to remain silent when we know the story in its entirety and we can firmly say that he was sacrificed on the cross for love of us but was resurrected on the third day.
It must be inevitable for us today to tell others about the wonders that God has done in our lives on a daily basis and how his grace was poured out on us to give us life.
It must be inevitable for us today not to remain silent before a world that suffers from despair, from lack of love knowing that there is still hope and there is love.
It must be inevitable for us today that we share with others that in the midst of this pandemic you can still save your soul that will live for eternity.
That in this time where the temples and physical gathering structures of the churches are closed, the true church loudly proclaims the good news of salvation.
That in this time of social distancing we can communicate with those who did not have time to speak.
That in this time of being confined to our homes, our spirit is freer than ever following the will of God.
It is not a time to be silent, it is a time to carry the message of salvation.
Let us pray to ask God to show us how we can serve him in the midst of what we are living and give us the wisdom to carry the message of life to those who need it.
It is common to use labels to refer to people.
Do you remember the one who studied with you? The fatty. The skinny. The blond. The one with glasses. The one with the big eyes. ”
The physical appearance is the first label that we are placed in life. But we want to divert attention to other aspects of ourselves as we grow and we can do it on many occasions.
“I ran into Wanda. The one who is a lawyer. The one who is a doctor. The one who studied the doctorate with Juan. The one who is the bank manager. The one that is influential in social networks. ”
But sometimes we are labeled by those around us on a daily basis.
“Antonio’s wife Lola, Paco’s daughter Maria, Santiago’s sister Carmelita.”
And no matter how hard you try, people always end up tagging you. So, we continue to strive to maintain the labels we like and to achieve the ones we long for. And I’m not talking about having goals in life. I mean what defines your identity.
In these moments of social distancing so unexpected, but necessary, we can feel lost because at home our labels do not apply. There are people who may feel that they are not doing anything productive or who feel that they are not feeling well being at home, such as being purposeless.
Let me remind you that your identity is defined by God. Your true identity is defined by the relationship you have with Him.
There is no greater honor than being called children of God. Your value is protected, not by the stock market, not by how the economy is and it is definitely not protected by what others think of you. Your worth is protected by the creator of the universe, of the heavens and the earth, and the only one who is Almighty.
This time of isolation provides you with the opportunity to meditate on the Scriptures and reaffirm your identity in the Lord. If you don’t have a personal relationship with God yet, this is the best time to do it.
God is love but I love that he works with us individually. He has a plan for each of us. Although we join the church, where the church is defined as each child of God, He sees and listens to each of us personally.
Drop and remove from you all the labels that make you exhausted and carry alone, the one that gives you rest and eternal life. Meditate today on the blessing of being a child of God.
Let us pray to the Lord giving thanks for his redemption and adoption. May we reflect and meditate on the identity that we have in Him. What defines us does not change or perish.
For years I have heard about “empty nest syndrome”. It refers to the moment in which the children leave the home to go to study far away or to become independent.
Many marital relationships build their firm foundation by leaning on children. But what happens when they leave? Then the emptiness in the house becomes evident. Then you cannot find the things that are in common with your spouse and many ties that were for life, which until now seemed to be so, are dissolved at an age of promised stability.
This happens when it was not built on the correct foundation.
As Christians, God has guided us to a point that we never thought would come, just as we see the day when our children leave home very distant.
This social distancing has separated us from the community of faith as we knew it to date. Until now, what was the center of our relationship with God? What were we building our faith on?
Just as our children are a tremendous blessing from God, gathering together is another great blessing, so much so that God motivates us with a mandate. But the church we attend is not the correct foundation for our faith. The basis for our faith is the relationship with Jesus Christ.
In these times when we cannot be busy in ministries, when we cannot have fellowship with brothers, is our faith firm? Do the tempest winds move us to the point of thinking that we will be shipwrecked?
This morning I was reading a phrase that said that we prayed to God to send us where there was a need and He sent us to our homes. What remains in my life as a Christian when I cannot move in my congregation’s circle?
Let this be a time to strengthen roots and adjust foundations. May this be a time to listen to the voice of God and allow ourselves to be led by Him to learn new ways of walking with Him and serving Him.
May it be a time of refreshment where we enjoy in all humility the presence of God in our lives and adjust the foundation that sustains our life and our home. Routines and ministries can change, but our faith, which we have by grace, must remain.
Let us pray to the Lord in complete humility and transparency to show us what we base our faith on and to help us redirect where we should go.