Dear Church Family,
Greetings again in the Savior’s name. We thank the Lord for each of you and for the encouragement it is to see you online and to know that we are connected by the grace of God and under His watchful eye. We are truly blessed that the only person touched by the virus in our immediate church family (Marge) is recovering, and to witness the good news today that the number of deaths is dropping nationally!
Meanwhile, we hope that you will keep us posted in regard to any needs you may have, either for prayer or action. Remember the deacons and session are ready to help.
In his letter to the Romans, which the Holy Spirit designed for the Church in all ages, Paul says this…
Romans 12:9-13 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
The Scripture is so full of wise instructions and its application fits all circumstances, including the present situation. Any time something like this drags on, people get edgy and as more noise is produced—and often that’s all it is, noise—there is a temptation to react to that noise.
So, it is good to pull back and look at what the Word says should characterize the demeanor and behavior of the Christian.
As believers, we are not only to have no taste for what is evil, we are to detest it. Detest is a word that comes from the idea of testifying against something. The notion here is that we testify against evil by our hatred of it.
To cling is to stick to something. Picture yourself high up on a cliff and being held up on its face by your grip on whatever hand or footholds you can clench—this is the sort of clinging referred to here.
The believer is to testify against evil by his or her hatred of it and to, in effect, do the same for good by clinging to it with all his or her might.
As we close today’s update, look at the context in which Paul gives these commands.
Abhor, or testify against, anything that is contrary to brotherly love, anything that would lead to dishonoring one another. Abhor any laziness of spirit in serving the Lord, anything that dampens your hope, makes you impatient in trial or cause you to appear like those who have no faith in a loving and gracious God. Abhor anything that might interfere with steadfastness in prayer or might cause you to withhold anything needful from your brother or sister in Christ, or any stranger, whether it is something temporal or even a proper attitude.
Rather, we must tightly hold on to that kindness and honor which is due to others. To be seeking, even in times like these, to be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, and despite all the noise, to be rejoicing in hope—a hope not created or sustained by men or women, but by God through the Savior to us.
We all need patience, steadfastness in prayer and a willingness to be distributers of God’s Word and blessing to others.
May God sustain us in every way for His glory and help us to be a testimony against all that is evil and contrary to brotherly love and honor during these days of testing.
Father in heaven, equip us Your people to serve You in all things. Give us the courage and fortitude to clearly and consistently abhor evil and give to us the grace and strength to cling faithfully and continually to what is good.
Keep our brothers and sisters in harm’s way safe and make us all, first and foremost, living testimonies of your grace and love, whether at home or abroad. We thank you for every good thing in Jesus name, Amen.
Our prayers and love are with each of you, Pastor (and Bonnie)