You are probably as lost as the random guy in this photo. You know, I think like most people, I had these big spring plans. Nothing in specifically planned details, but I was excited. This was my first spring with no football in like… sheesh.. 14 years or something. I was going to go fishing. I was going to play a lot of disc golf. I was working at a church, preaching. I was going to do all sorts of things. Then, when I came home and was told I had to stay home for the time being, I was still pretty hopeful. I was going to go hiking, camping, fishing– all of the outdoor stuff, which I figured was safe.
All of the stuff we like has gotten canceled. It’s pretty lame. I don’t mean that to extend any type of apathy toward the virus. COVID-19 is a big deal. It’s just kind of boring. I love my family, and I love being home, but it would be nice to do some things. But I really go to thinking yesterday while we were working in our yard at home: there are a lot of things we could still be doing.
My favorite music artist, nobigdyl. said this on Twitter pretty recently:
He’s right. I’m the hobby addict over here. I have all these things I can do. But it’s actually deeper than that. COVID-19 is keeping us from a lot of things. Sports are halted. Hiking is closed. Restaurants are limited. That’s all true. But for the Christian– and for some people in general– there are 5 things the virus is not keeping us from doing.
COVID-19 is not keeping you from growing spiritually.
My friend, Thomas, said this to me just last week, and it’s so true. If you call yourself a Christian, which I would assume is most people who read this blog, you should be reading your Bible. Frequently. Deliberately. Intentionally. God calls us to His word. In Psalm 1, David writes how the righteous man meditates on this “law day and night” (Psalm 1:2). A lot of us are home now. We are doing online school and work from home, sure. But you have at least got some free time you didn’t used to have now. Or you could create some. There is not a legitimate reason why a person wouldn’t grow spiritually during this time unless they are just complacent. Laziness is the only excuse, and it’s not an excuse. There is virtually no barrier to you growing during this time in Christ that is unfixable. Use this time to dive into God’s Word. Watch some sermons (except ones preached by some of the more popular heretics of our day). Read some books. Don’t sit on the couch binging a sinful TV show and then claim in 3 months that you can’t hear God. Grow. Now.
COVID-19 is not keeping you from going to church.
Okay, yeah it is keeping you from “going” physically to church. That’s a no-brainer. But the virus is not keeping you from being a part of a Sunday morning worship service. We are literally all doing the whole digital church thing now. Some of us really enjoyed going every week. I get that. For health reasons, we can’t do that right now. In light of that truth, nothing is keeping you from being a part of a local congregation now. There are virtually unlimited services happening every Sunday now. It’s not like you’re busy, unless you work. A lot of us don’t go to church for one reason or another. A lot of those reasons are illegitimate. There are plenty of fruitful and healthy churches to livestream every Sunday. There is an even smaller list of reasons why you should not be a part, if you call yourself a believer. If you don’t have a service to watch, check out my church: First Baptist Church Kings Mountain. We livestream on our website and Facebook. Solid stuff.
COVID-19 isn’t keeping you from loving your family… or your neighbors.
I’m biased and privilege on this one. My family is absolutely phenomenal. I love being home. I love to see them. They are amazing. I’m not trying to brow beat anyone and just assume we all live in the best home situations. Notice I didn’t say in the subheading “having fun with your family.” God isn’t calling us to fun. He’s calling us to obedience, and more specifically, to love (1 John speaks on this heavily). What am I really saying, though? I’m saying that you have no excuse now not to love your family in your everyday life. There is plenty of time to talk to your parents. There is plenty of time to talk to your spouse. There is plenty of time to have dinner as a family. There is plenty of time to put phones away and play board games. There is plenty of time to spring clean and go through old belongings. That all sounds corny. Maybe. To me, it all sounds perfect. You have no excuse not to be there for each other now. There is nowhere else for you to go. You’re at home like the rest of us. Sure, we will get tired of one another. Sure, there are tons of rough home situations. Everything is not amazing right now. But everything is vulnerable. And more importantly, everything is kind of paused for now. Don’t wish in 6 months that you would have had that conversation. 6 months may never come.
On the note of neighbors, some people are really struggling during this time. Some people are out of work, or missing a loved one. For a lot of our older community, this has made their isolation extreme. You can social distance and still interact with your neighbor. They made need you. Jesus called us literally to love our neighbors. He meant the word “neighbor” to mean everyone… people who live around us physically fall into that category. We need to be safe and minimize contact, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore your neighbors. Help feed and clean. Talk to them. Call and check up. And oh my goodness, pray for them.
COVID-19 isn’t keeping you from doing some chores.
This has no real spiritual depth to it. Some of your yards look like the Amazon. Some of you haven’t dusted in forever. Some of you… and me… need to get rid of some stuff. Stop acting like you’re going to do it some other time. Clean your closet out. Trim the bushes that look like trees now. Cut your grass. Give your smelly dog a bath. Quit hoarding random stuff in your garage.
That was all some truthful comic relief. There are plenty of physical chores to do, I know. You know that. Do some spiritual chores. There are theoretically different environments around us now. In terms of productivity, home is hard for me. In terms of temptation, home is great. I’m with like-minded people who love me. Get rid of some of your bad language. Focus on listening rather than talking (Cooper Short… talking to you, buddy). Find ways to curb your entertainment addictions. Unplug from social media for now. There are so many useful ways to take this change of pace and use it to fix some things in your life. God is calling you to sinless and obedient perfection. Some of that can start right now. Don’t wait. Do it now.
COVID-19 isn’t keeping you from Christ.
Some of you have read this far and you are a Christian. Some of you have read this far and you think you’re a Christian. Some of you have read this far and you are not a Christian. Some of you haven’t read this far. God created humanity to be in perfect harmony with Himself. Everything was perfect. That’s in Genesis chapters 1 through 2. Humanity– starting as Adam and Eve– chose to sin and ruin God’s perfect plan for our lives. The only difference between you, me, and Adam is timing. He sinned. We sin. That’s Genesis chapter 3. Because of this sin in our lives, we cannot have fellowship with God. Because of this sin in our lives, we are culpable and guilty of eternal damnation from a holy and righteous God of the universe. That can be found in Psalm 14, Romans 3, and Romans 6. But God, abounding in grace, mercy, and love, desired a relationship with us. Because of His grace only did He send His son– an extension of Himself– to die on a Cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. That can be found in John 3, Romans 5, and 1 John 1-3. By confessing and repenting of your sins while also believing in and on the Lord Jesus Christ to save you from these things, God will be “faithful and just to cleanse [you] from all unrighteousness.” Then, and only then, are you saved. Then, and only then, do you have the promise of eternal life and fellowship with God. Then, and only then, do you have any sort of lasting hope.
If you have never responded to that with a resounding “Yes!” and repentant spirit, you’re not a believer. And this blog doesn’t apply to you. And you are at risk of eternal Hell– far worse than any coronavirus.
This virus canceled the NCAA Tournament– boo-hoo. They play that every year. This virus closed all the state parks. That’s kind of lame, but I have birds in my yard. I’ll be fine. This virus sent a lot of us home for a while. That could be a blessing or a curse.
You see, the common theme in these five different things the virus is not keeping you from is that you should have already done them. You should be growing spiritually. You should be loving your families and neighbors. You should be going to church. You should be doing some chores. And you should definitely surrender your life to Christ. It shouldn’t take a global pandemic and tons of free time (that you lowkey already had) to realize that.
But the good news is that now there are no real excuses not to make these things happen.
If it matters, you will find away. If it doesn’t, you will make an excuse.
Wash your hands. Pray for people. Stop going places unnecessarily. Quit buying all of the toilet paper.
And get going.
And if you want a real finisher to this blog, read Mark 13:31-37. I’m not predicting the End times. I’m not saying that COVID-19 is the return of Jesus. I’m just saying… don’t twiddle your thumbs regardless.