Oh No!! It might be Covid19!!!

As serious or even seriously misunderstood as Covid19 may be, it does not have to stop you from being you and it certainly doesn’t stop God from being God. God is good, all the time, and His mercy endures forever. You’ve likely recently experienced a conversation where the person you’re talking to jumps to a conclusion of Covid19 when you told them about a sniffle. That’s what the devil does too. If you have a simple symptom, he suggests the thought of something major. He turns a cyst into Cancer and a cough into Covid. The dreaded “C” words. (Dun, Dun, Dunnnn.) The truth is, it doesn’t really matter what it is. Christ is more powerful than any other “C” word or any other name. Phillipians 2:9 “…God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name…”

So, if you have been diagnosed with Covid19 or any other thing, here are some things I think you should know…

  1. Your God is greater! 1 John 4:4 declares, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Simply put and to quote VeggieTales, “God is bigger than the Boogie Man.” In Mark 4:39, Jesus got up and rebuked the storm. If you are faced with the storm of Covid19 stand up and rebuke it. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The storms of life face all of us. Who you are and what you do is far more valuable and powerful than what comes against you.Psalm 34:3 says, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Have you ever wondered why there is so much talk in every media outlet about Covid19 and its negative statistics? Why not talk about the overwhelming number of recoveries? They are attempting to get people into agreement and magnify the problem together. Otherwise, it just won’t seem big. Don’t do it! Don’t agree with the advisories. Agree with God. Keep Him before your own eyes as greater than anything that can come against you.
  2. Your Faith works! Galatians 5:6 “…but faith which worketh by love.” Listen to this commentary note: But faith availeth–the faith in Christ; the faith which uses love as its medium and method of working. There is first faith in Christ; then the love of Christ.  Matthew 9:29 says, “…according to your faith be it unto you.”  You must function at your level of believing. You can only truly have confidence or trust in doing what you know in your own heart.Many people will advise you as to what to do; “Go to the doctor!” “Take this or that medicine.” “Don’t trust the doctor!” “Don’t take this or that medicine.” It can get confusing. So, what do you do? You hear from God and obey. In John 2:4, at the wedding in Cana, Jesus’ mother, Mary, said to his servants, “Whatever he tells you to do, Do It!”  John 14:21 “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” Take confidence in obeying the instruction of the Lord. Follow His leading. “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” That’s what Jesus said in Mark 5:34. Why? Because fear is paralyzing. 1 John4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” Don’t be in fear; be in love. Your faith works by love and love obeys. Love on Jesus during this time and let him love on you and you will see your faith work.
  3. Have no shame! Psalm 43:5 says, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” And  Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
    Shame and condemnation will cause you to hang your head down instead of lifting up your eyes (Psalm 121:1). It is a tactic of the enemy to cause you to look at sin, sickness, and self rather than Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We must keep our gaze fixed on Him who is our salvation (preservation, healing, deliverance, safety, soundness). In Numbers 21:8-9 we see the typology of Jesus in the serpent on the pole; “And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a standard: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he seeth it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it upon the standard: and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of brass, he lived.” Those that locked their eyes on the serpent on the pole lived. Keep your head up.In John 9 Jesus heals a blind man. (I highly recommend you read this amazing chapter.) Jesus’ disciples were looking at sin and whose fault it was rather than looking at the solution. Jesus basically said (vs 3, 4), “No one is at fault, but God’s glory will be seen.

I have been made aware of people within the church family that have been diagnosed with Covid19 or that are experiencing symptoms. What you may not have been aware of is that throughout the past 18 months there has nearly always been someone within our circles having Covid19. Some went through great lengths of protection, staying away from people, wearing masks, and even stayed away from church yet they still got it. And then there are those that have lived their life with no extra precautions: some have gotten Covid19, and some have not. The greater reality is that everyone has recovered.

The church remains open. We continue to do what we have done from the beginning; listen and obey. If you are sick, then you should stay home and recover. Let us know so we can minister to you. If you are well then you should come and assemble with the saints. The building is regularly sanitized, and the power of God is present to heal.

Looking forward to being with all of you,

Pastor Jonathan Friedt

Guard Your Mind

Guard your mind – Guard your heart – Guard your mouth (in 3 separate posts)

The enemy is always looking for a place of access and Ephesians 3:4 directs us to not give him any place. These 3 things are needed always and will help you especially in challenging times.  

Guard You Mind.  

The mind is the first thing to guard because what you entertain with your mind will eventually find its way into your heart and then your mouth. Your thoughts will eventually dominate you and your actions. 

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” This verse tends to sound soft and comfortable but in reality, following its instruction can require great discipline and boldness. It may mean separating yourself from things that are common, popular, and widely accepted. You may have to separate yourself from certain people that think and talk in certain ways. You may become the unpopular one. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” That one doesn’t sound as gentle. It will take effort and intentionality, even strong force at times. We must cast down and take captive thoughts that don’t line up with God’s thinking. 

Yes, God has a way of thinking and we can have the same. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” We can see and understand according to His sight and understanding. Ask Him for the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation in the knowledge of Him (Eph 1:17). 1 Corinthians 2:16 NLT says, “For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” 

 

Additional verses for study:
Romans 12:2     Ephesians 4:23     Philippians 4:6-7     Colossians 3:2     1 Peter 1:13     Isaiah 26:3

Risky Business?

 Luke 14:26-33
26 “If you want to be my disciple, you must, by comparison, hate everyone else—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. 27 And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. 28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’ 31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. 33 So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.

Our current times of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world demand those same ideas displayed in this passage. Even President Trump has used the term “war” when addressing the Corona Virus, yet he may not fully understand the accuracy of his words. Folks, we are definitely in a war. Not only is the world in a war against an evil sickness but we are in a greater war with fear-lords of the media. We as believers in God’s Word concerning faith and healing are also in many ways at war with many others in the “Christian world.” They don’t all believe what you and I believe and sometimes we take on friendly fire. I do not say any of this to put you in fear in any way or to diminish the power of your faith but rather to stress the importance of obedience to God. This boils down to counting the cost of war and deciding if you can fight this good fight of faith and lay hold of eternal life. Let me assure you, YOU CAN! You can do whatever He tells you to do.

As this continues, it can be easy to grow weary in doing what is necessary, both in the natural and the spiritual, but it is important to “be sober and vigilant” and to not drop your guard. Remember Gideon’s Army? Those that were fearful and those that dropped their guard were sent home. Don’t be fearful and don’t drop your guard. Stay intent on following every word that the Lord speaks to you. He speaks to us through His Word and His Spirit, but know with certainty that He speaks. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to trust Him and not ourselves and to acknowledge Him in every way we go and He will direct our paths. He will direct you on how to take care of your family. He will direct you on how to stay safe from harm. He will direct you in every way but you must follow His leading. DO what He says to do and how He says to do it. Go where He says to go and when He says to go.  

Your faith will always work for you. The righteous live by their faith (Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11) but they do not live by someone else’s faith. You must work out your own salvation (preservation, healing, deliverance, safety, and soundness) with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12). You cannot live by someone else’s convictions. You must follow your faith and do so confidently – no shame. Die to ego and reputation and obey God. This is not about playing it safe to make the world happy or about impressing those around you in the church. Sometimes obeying God can seem like risky business but rest assured, anyone that fully trusts in Him shall never be put to shame (Rom 10:11).

Faith begins with knowing God’s will. Find out what His will is for you. 

Helpful Hint:

If you are asking your friends, “Should I go to church or stay home?” – Stay home… and smile about it!

Please embrace my sincerity when I say that there is no shame, no pressure, and no obligation to attend services in person or online, especially during this time. 


** New Restrictions at Church Services

*There will not be classes for children during this time. This includes Nursery, Little Lambs, and Children’s Church during all services including Sunday School. The corresponding rooms will remain locked and not accessible even for private use. Parents must keep responsibility for their children. Families will need to sit and stay together.