Summary: The current Corona Virus crisis teaches of how important people are.
Philippians 4:10-13 10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
1. Great Lessons in Our Current Events
a. Making Major adjustments – taking precautions such as hand washing; social distancing
b. Better awareness of our surroundings and people
2. I am trying to be like the men if Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32a 32 Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do,
a. We learn what is going on
b. We learn how to respond
3. We will probably reevaluate our activities as Christians and as a Church
a. I suspect we have learned to rest and wait on the LORD – Psalm 37:7a Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him
b. I suspect we’ll simplify what we can do in worship and activities of the congregation
c. I suspect our drivers will be to Love God and Love Neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40)
4. Better use of technology
a. When I started in Ministry there was no special technology – landline telephones; overhead projectors; mimeograph machines
b. I’m not a technology person but I’m learning some tech things that I didn’t know/care about before
c. [When I was an Education Minister I worked with an older preacher who cared nothing for technology. However, when we moved into new offices he asked the Technology Ministry to put a monitor and keyboard on his desk. He wanted to appear tech savvy. I am not and don’t mind telling you I am not, but I am learning to do things that we need to do. We have others who are very capable of taking us where we need to go in technology.
5. A BIG emphasis is a renewed focus on people
I. Focus on the Value of People
A. We See People Valued in this Crisis
1. POTUS – 2.2 MILLION people would have died if certain precautions had not been initiated
2. THOUSANDS of ventilators are being made and purchased
3. Why? People are important!
B. God Values Every Single Person Galatians 2:20
II. Focus on People Above Traditions (Matthew 15:1-20 – paraphrase)
A. Leaders: Emphasis on TRADITION of Elders for washing Hands
B. Jesus: Emphasis on Violation of Scripture – Matthew 15:8-9
8 “‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
C. The INSIDE Defiles, Not the Outside – Matthew 15:18-20
18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
D. Traditions can drive people away – Dress Codes, etc.
III. Focus on People in Spite of Separations
A. We See People Alone and Lonely
1. Remember the “good old days” when neighbors knew one another? Sat on porches and talked?
2. We’re seeing a renewal – [Neighbors speaking across the street to each other; crossing the street to share with each other; Children playing “HORSE” on separate basketball goals
3. “Apart but together” – Last week one of our elders encouraged us to call the person below us in the directory – everybody would get a call!
B. We See a Renewal of Family Interests
1. Realization of the importance of Family – foundation of society; destroy the family, destroy the society
2. Family is important to God – Ephesians 3:14-15 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
3. First command to Adam and Eve – “Start a family” – Genesis 1:28a And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it,
4. Church = Family of God
5. Instructions for Families in both sides of the Book!
IV. Focus on People to Give Hope
A. Fertile Time for the Gospel: Fearful Times – seek God to relieve fears – 1 John 4:8a - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
B. Fertile Time for the Gospel: When We Need Hope (Steadfast Anchor for Soul – Hebrews 6:19-20)