Because of the Coronavirus threat, many of us have chosen to watch church online. In fact, many services have canceled public worship and reminded us that the church is not a building, but a body of believers.
Every weekend, even though I worship here in Nashville, I typically watch several pastors preach online before gathering in person. For instance, I’ll listen to Christ Fellowship online, the church we attended in Florida. And if I happen to stay awake until the end of Saturday Night Live, I’ll catch Andy Stanley’s Your Move.
3 Ways to Stay Connected
Pastor Kevin Queen preached from a vineyard about the 3 ways to stay connected. This is especially applicable during a time when we’re being called to practice social distancing.
So whether or not you have time to listen to his entire message, I wanted to share his three main points in an effort to encourage you in the middle of whatever you may be going through today.
1. Look Up (Worship)
Neuroscience tells us we get a hit of dopamine when we look up.
Psalm 104: 2 says, “The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent”. Just as a tent protects us when we’re camping, the heavens are like God’s tent covering us in protection.
So lift your focus to God. We receive peace and grace as we stay connected with God’s Word.
2. Look In (Confession & Repentance)
Obedience enables us to receive and rest in God’s love.
Kevin described an incident this week where he got in an argument with his wife and later had to call back to apologize because he realized the issue wasn’t the issue, but a reflection of the anxiety about everything else going on.
In the end, if we don’t repent, we live with pretense.
3. Look Around (Demonstrate Fruit)
God says, “Remain in me and you’ll bear fruit”.
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
What comes out of you is evidence of what you’re connected to. Regardless of what field you’re in, the greatest gift a leader gives when the storm comes is a non-anxious presence.
Keep in mind, the above are simply notes I took while listening to Crosspoint online. Yet, the most poignant thing I heard that will remain with me this week was this:
Our thougts and disposition are a reflection of our primary connection. What are you connected to?– Kevin Queen, Lead Pastor, Crosspoint Church
Before I leave you, I wanted to provide a list of relevant scriptures I’ve heard over and over again the past few days. I pray they will bring peace and serve as a reminder that nothing under the sun is new to God. While this feels heavy and burdensome, our God is in control.
Bible Verse on Anxiety
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?– Luke 12:25-26
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.– Philippians 4:4-8
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.– 1 Peter 5:6-7
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.– Psalm 94:19
Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.– Proverbs 12:25
No matter where you are, in life or in your walk with God, I pray this message bring you hope and comfort.
Remember, you are not alone. God is with you. Community is near. Hope is ever-present in our times of trouble. Look up, my friends.