Have you thought these questions? I have heard them uttered. I have read them as well. I even heard them in the tone of the guy in line outside of Home Depot Saturday.
The truth of scripture reminds me when I am anxious or afraid that God is right where He has always been. He is on His throne. Isaiah 6:1 “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Exodus 24:10 “and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.” Revelation 5:1 “Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals.”
The rule of God has never been lessened. He is in control. He is steering and guiding and controlling the virus to bring about His will! Glory to His name! Also, He is extending His manifold mercies and abundant grace throughout the world! How could He allow this to happen? Because He is bringing about the plan He has been working before the foundation of the earth. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all” (1 Chronicles 29:11).
Where is God during this pandemic? He is on the throne! We can be confident in His direction, even when there is upheaval. We can rejoice that even if His hand of provision is taken away, He has not left us or forsaken us!
Remember the great words of Psalm 46:10 when, like me, you find yourself anxious. “”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Are you looking for a new read? Most of that list is a great time investment. Specifically, the cheap Kindle version of Eric Metaxas’ Martin Luther and the free Pilgrim’s Progress are ones everyone should pick up.
Virtual Coffee Hour continues Wednesdays and Fridays at 9 am. Drop in, stay the whole time, and learn something new about each other https://zoom.us/j/202192408.
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Many of you have asked how they can help. Would you send a text, make a phone call, mail a card, or email the people you would regularly see on Sunday? This will help us to stay connected with each other.
What an unexpected couple of weeks this has been. We are gearing up for online church. We are cancelling in person meetings. We are looking to protect each other and walk in wisdom. How do we do this?
We pray. We pray for patience for those who are spending more time with their families in close quarters throughout the day. We pray for those whose jobs may be affected. We remember those going through cancer in prayer. We uphold each other to avoid temptation, be delivered from evil, and to walk upright an godly lives. We pray for our neighbors and for those we have never met.
We read. We devour scripture. We memorize passages of comfort (Psalm 23, Philippians 4, and Joshua 1 are all great options.) We rejoice that the 66 books of the Bible are true, entirely truth, and preserved for us.
We serve. We can serve others and carry their burdens. We can find out who needs help, and help. We can explore new avenues of help, even when we cannot be in close proximity (I don’t need to be near you to rake your yard).
We strategize. We need to make a plan for the next days ahead. We need to know how to conduct ourselves if this continues for weeks or even months.
We labor in the work of ministry. Some are going to plant food to share. Some are going to prepare a 4-session Bible study to share. Some are going to write the hymns for the next generation.
We connect. The body of Christ is all the members. Jesus is the head of the body and everyone in Jesus is vital to the body. We reach out more often. We call, video call, text, message more often. We do more more often!
Believers in Jesus don’t live in fear, for our God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46). We do follow the instructions of the government, serve like Jesus, do good to all (especially those of the household of faith), and rejoice with hope. Tonight, gather your family on the couch, pray together, read Psalm 23, and enjoy pasture in which God has provided.
God has really shaken things up! It is amazing how things have changed in the last week. The passage Frank preached on Sunday, Psalm 103, continues to be true (as it has always been true). Especially apt is Psalm 103:19 “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all.” He is not surprised by the disruption to our normal schedules, even when we are besides ourselves.
Disruption is affecting even our Sunday morning. I have joked in the past that it would be nice to have church in our pajamas; I didn’t think it was about to happen. We will be live streaming Sunday’s service on our YouTube page. Please subscribe to this page to be informed when live streams are happening. We will begin with prayer at 9:15 am and the Sunday service at 10 am. If you want to catch up on past sermons, visit www.cornerstoneofutah.com/sermons.
Please do not attend the facility Sunday morning. An advisory board meeting will be held Saturday to determine the best course of action for the next couple of weeks. We will follow the recommendations from our state and national government limit gatherings and cooperate with social distancing.
We are praying the Lord will use this time to impact our community with the gospel of the glory of Christ. The “Hello Neighbor!” flyer is an intentional way to connect with your neighbors.
I encourage you to make use of the church app to stay connected while we practice social distancing. We bear each other’s burdens and lessen anxiety when we stay in contact. The pastoral team is available if you need to talk, pray, get books from the church library, or need connection.
I hope you have a peace that passes all understanding.
Do you feel grounded in Bible? Not just can you read it, but do you understand how Genesis connects to Isaiah? Do you know why Revelation points so heavily to events not yet fulfilled? Are you confident of you standing with God?
Discipleship, the process of helping believers follow Jesus. It starts with gathering Sundays, and continues through the week. Getting together can look like drinking coffee,skiing down a hill, or asking “why do we have to believe in Jesus” (as one of the kids of Cornerstone did last night at small group). The goal is to enjoy life while building up in Christ.
Cornerstone Bible Church has been “building on Jesus verse by verse” for nearly 8 years. We have sought to reach our community with the gospel, encourage believers to grow in maturity, and train leaders for the days to come. All of this work has been done because men, women, and children to know the only Savior, Jesus.
How are we going to expand with the growth of Cornerstone? We are going to draw believers into fellowship, evangelize the lost, and equip those willing to serve. You can join in Building Up through drawing new families into fellowship. Invite them to eat with you, attend small group, or even sit near you Sunday. Take the time to share what the Lord is teaching you in your walk with Christ, or ask how you can pray for them this week.
“Building on Jesus verse by verse” will be our aim until He returns. After all, the Lord’s Supper reminds us, “for as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). We don’t know the day nor the hour, but we know He will return, and we will keep building up until that day.
There is a viral video of woman experiencing literal push back from reclining her seat on an airplane. Whether you have seen the video or not, it is a reminder that we live in close proximity to one another.
There is danger in living in close proximity, if we are not guided by clear standard of conduct. Romans 12:16, 17 tell us “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.”
Our unity is through the work of the gospel to save us from the eternal consequences of sin, and to create a people who belong to Jesus and are zealous for good works. Pastor Frank reminded us of those good works this past Sunday. This Sunday, we are going to study the boundaries of good works, looking at John’s warnings to not misconstrue doing good with living in sin.
Living in harmony requires work on everyone’s part. Though poor choices (sin) will happen, we are always able to come back to living in harmony. The best way to live in harmony is to build on Jesus, verse by verse.