Updated: Mar 30
There is an honest question that we must urgently ask ourselves. The COVID-19 virus is a game-changer for the entire world and the believer must know how to navigate through these difficult times that we are living in. Today, I feel that I must challenge our thinking about how we ought to shine our light through this crisis. Transactional Giving Did you know that the world we live in is based upon the ethos of transactional giving? ‘I will give/do for you if you give/do for me’. However, when the Lord came to earth, He showed us a way that was far more superior than that of the world. He showed us a love that transcended all others when He died on the cross while we were still sinners. Jesus GAVE His life for all, even when most hated Him and crucified Him. His love wasn’t returned. He didn’t receive anything from the people but He GAVE His life anyway. Matthew 5 explains this very well. ‘For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’ When God’s love is perfected in us, we will have a greater understanding of how much He loves us and we will also be filled with love for others, including and especially the lowly. The lowly are not second-class citizens, but they are those who can never repay us for the good we do. Jesus made the point that even non-believers do these very things. How many people are around you right now that you have overlooked or not shown any genuine care for? Do you care about the homeless, the disabled, the widow, the single parent, the elderly, the afflicted and so on? Do you have a transactional type of love or do you have a love like Christ? (James 1:27, Matthew 25:31-46) Ministers, do you care about those who support and give to your ministry the most, giving them the best seat in your house and shouting praises over them? Or do you especially encourage and reach out to the quiet one in the background, the one who cannot give as much? Jesus ate with the tax collector and prostitute. He showed no partiality for the rich. Can you say the same or do you sit with your ‘in-crowd’ and show little regard to those outside of the circle? James 2:2-4: ‘...if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?’ To love is to give. When we look at John 3:16, we read: ‘for God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only begotten son’ In a time such as this where the COVID-19 virus is spreading throughout the world, we need to reflect on our hearts as to whether we truly love as Christ loves, or whether we love as the world loves. When we read James 2, we see that we do not really have a genuine faith if our faith has no action of giving with it. Do you pass the test of genuine faith? Even if we do not possess much in terms of monetary value, we still have time, and sometimes giving those who are overlooked our time and attention can be one of the greatest gifts of all. Don’t hide your light, let it shine for all to see, especially in this hour (Matthew 5:15). Right now, during this time of social distancing and self-isolation, people are lonelier and more fearful than ever. We have a great opportunity to encourage others on the internet or by phone. We can also drop off parcels of pantry and personal items (while maintaining a safe distance), transfer money or organise a delivery of items and so on. This is not the time to panic buy but to calmly give, knowing that the Lord provides and takes care of all our needs. Many have lost their jobs already and the situation is likely to get a lot worse. As I said at the end of last year before COVID-19 broke out, 2020 is the time to get serious about the Lord. If not now, then when?
The Question ‘I place no value on anything I have or may possess, except in relation to the kingdom of God. If anything will advance the interests of the kingdom, it shall be given away or kept, only as by giving or keeping it I shall most promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity.’ David Livingstone The honest question we must urgently ask ourselves is, ‘How can I promote the glory of Him to whom I owe all my hopes in time or eternity?’ COVID-19 can be seen as a gift, just like all trials. We have an opportunity to see how genuine our faith really is. Lord search out our hearts. Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. AMEN