Hey everyone, welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit!
I pray that you and your families are keeping well despite what is going on. Please leave any prayer request you may have (COVID-19 related or not) here, we would love to pray for you.
Today, I wanted to try something a little different - a Bible Study post. Due to the lock-down, I've had way more time on my hands and I have chosen to use some of this time to spend longer at the feet of Jesus. I've taken more time to read the Word and spend time in worship and prayer - something I recommend we all try if you haven't already. In my quiet time the Lord gave me this idea as I was reading John 6 and I was reminded that the Word of God is very much alive and relevant in the world today contrary to popular belief.
To begin with, a very quick background. The book of John is one of the four Gospels in the New Testament that tell the events of Jesus' life, death and Resurrection. Chapter 6 Verses 1-14 speak of the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000. Before you go any further, take a read...it will help you to understand the context of what I will discuss.
I would firstly like to point out that the familiarity of this miracle should not detract from the miracle itself. Jesus took TWO fish and FIVE loafs to feed FIVE THOUSAND people and there was food LEFT OVER. The first thing that struck me about this passage whilst reading it recently is that God truly can do anything. As the creator of everything, it is impossible for anything to be beyond His capability.
However, I feel we sometimes have a tendency to imagine that these characteristics are only displayed by the God of the Bible, not the God of today. Spoiler alert: The God of the Bible is the God of today. God has not changed one bit over the years and He is still as powerful today as He always has been. Okay, but what does that actually mean? It means that God could completely wipe COVID-19 from the face of this Earth if it was His will. Do you believe that? If not, why not? God's Word tells us of His unchanging nature (Malachi 3:6) and it is therefore not 'silly' or a 'waste of time' to pray asking God for a miracle no matter how big.
Some people at this point may ask, well if He can do it, why doesn't He? Unfortunately, I cannot answer that but I do know that God's timing is perfect and He can actually bring good out of this situation however unlikely that may seem. He sees the bigger picture. I have written about the topic of suffering before but if you would like something specifically about COVID-19 let me know - I suggest a good starting point is seeking God's heart through prayer.
Secondly, I was reminded that not only does God provide for our spiritual needs but He satisfies our physical needs too. Jesus could have simply preached to the 5,000 and then left them to find their own food at lunch time but He did not. Whilst performing this miracle was a form of ministering to those who followed Him, and therefore helped them grow spiritually, Jesus could have picked anything to demonstrate the power of God. Instead He chose to feed His followers until they could eat no more despite there being so many of them.
Okay, but what does that actually mean today? It means whatever physical needs (hunger, financial struggles etc.) you may have, God can satisfy them so continue asking for His provision in prayer. It also means that as Christians who should be following Jesus' example, in these tough times we should be providing physical support where possible to those around us. Although we should all abide by the latest government advice regarding isolation and lock-down, there are ways we could provide physical and practical support. There have been plenty of ideas floating around on social media but perhaps a great place to start would be calling those who you know are considered vulnerable to check-in on them. If you are able, you may wish to take a look at the volunteering opportunities offered by the NHS to provide further physical support to the vulnerable in our communities.
Later on in the book of John (13:15), Jesus tells us that we are to follow His example. Let's show the world a bit of Jesus by providing physical support in addition to the spiritual acts of prayer and fasting during this pandemic.
Thanks for reading guys, let me know what you think of the idea of Bible Study on the blog. The aim is to provoke thoughts and discussion about how the Word of God, though written many years ago, can help us in modern times.
As always, please leave a comment to let me know what you thought of this week's post, any prayer requests or anything else. To remain anonymous you can use this link.
Take care and God Bless,
Song of the Post: Open Heaven - Miranda Curtis