Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Will the Western Church Please Stand Up

The Western Church is so used to being hunkered down inside it’s four walls that this lockdown is not so different than what it’s become accustomed to.

(Apart from the tithes of course.)

In fact, it comes as a mild relief to have the excuse not to evangelize or minister at all. “Well what can we do, we are in lockdown??”

Cosy and comfy in our Christian bubbles we console ourselves that we can’t do anything anyway so why not turn on Netflix?

I had a fellow minister say to me today “Belinda, why are we the only ones who will still minister to people?”

And I’m sure we aren’t actually the only ones, but it kinda feels like it sometimes. I guess this is what we already knew – the church isn’t the buildings, it’s the living, mystical Body of Christ.

He had actually asked someone else first to minister to the guy last week who’d been heavily involved in the occult but he’d said no. He is not ministering to anyone during the pandemic….

…And we led this guy to Christ…

He’s also asked people to help him feed the baby Christians that had recently come to Christ in his ministry, but they’d also said no. No to bible study…because of the pandemic.

Listen, I’m not advocating for unwisely putting people in harm’s way at this time. I also understand that some people are genuinely fearful of the virus and of copping a fine for being out, and the fines are huge. But also- what the heck?? I can’t help comparing us with the apostles in Acts…what would those who “turned the world upside down” do right now?

 

“So one came and told them, [f]saying, “Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!”
Then the captain went with the officers and brought them without violence, for they feared the people, lest they should be stoned. And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, 28 saying, “Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!”
But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” ….
And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for [j]His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5

 

 

 


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A Pandemic Dance

How will the covid-19

acrylic and gouache

Change the way

We see A.I.?

 

Will the fear

Be so great

We will accept now

What would have been unthinkable

before?

 

Tracking

Tracing

Monitoring

Vaccinating

 

Surveillance

Apps

Identity bracelets

Micro-chips?

 

People calling for government

To lock them down:

“Please just lock us down!“

 

And then I knew

It wouldn’t take that much

To scare people into complete submission

 

Revival or Revolution?

I think both revival and revolution

At once

Is coming


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Paul Brought the Gospel to Rome from Home Lockdown

Paul was under house-arrest in Rome for two years.  Chained to a prison guard, he couldn’t leave his own home.

“The Rise of A.I.” acrylic and gouache

Sound familiar…?

During his home-imprisonment he asked the Church to pray for him :

“and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that in it I may speak boldly as I ought to speak” Ephesians 6:19, 20 (emphasis mine)

Paul couldn’t go to church, he couldn’t street-preach, he couldn’t go to Synagogue.  Paul was physically restricted as soon as he arrived in Rome, and that’s how he stayed for two whole years.  But in it, in this very situation Paul was asking for prayer to be able to speak forth the gospel boldly.

Do we think Paul’s situation caught God by surprise?  Do we think He did not know that Paul’s arrival in Rome would be under hard circumstances? That His man would not be free to move about as previously?  No – it was in to this very situation that God brought Paul, and thus the gospel, to Rome.

At that time Rome was becoming the centre of the world’s wealth.  The art, the artists, the architects were moving there as it became recognised as the world’s most cosmopolitan city.  This place was of diverse culture, containing many different beliefs and ideas.  In some ways it was advanced, as in the case of women’s rights.  It was to this worldly city that God chose to send His man, chained and bound to one small house.

God’s strategy to evangelise a whole city was through a man bound to his own home.

Paul may have been restricted, but never is the Gospel of Jesus Christ restricted!

Never will it be restrained.

God still used Paul, even chained to a prison-guard, unable to leave his own home. One man, in one house, but in that one house God brought revival to Rome.

“So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening.”  Acts 28:23

Do we think this Covid-19 pandemic has caught God by surprise? Do we think He had no idea all the churches would be shutdown and outlawed?  Of course He knew.  And it is into this very situation that He has called us.

The gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be stopped, no matter if our church buildings are shut.  The gospel will go forth.

The gates of hell will never prevail against His Church!  It’s time to recognise that this is how God has chosen to use us for this season.  God’s plans are not being stymied by the enemy, God is still Sovereign and from the Throne He has decreed that right now this is how His church will go forth.

Without high-tech sound systems, church buildings and programs, once again from the simplicity of our homes!  Prayer with our families, Bible studies online, prayer in the closet.  Could this be God’s plan…?

We have the internet, social media, telephones. We can walk around our neighbourhoods, dropping leaflets in letterboxes. We have many ways we can answer God’s call from our homes:

““Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Who will join me in saying “Here I am Lord, send me!”

“Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.” Acts 28:30,31

Blessings,

Belinda 🙂