I really appreciate D.A. Carson and all the books I’ve been able to read by him. Showing the Spirit, not surprisingly did not disappoint. Here are some quotes that stuck out to me from the book:
“There is a long tradition of reading one’s particular ecclesiastical tradition into the text” (D.A. Carson, Showing the Spirit, 44).
“The healings and other miracles of Jesus are explicitly connected not only with the person of Jesus, but also with the new age he is inaugurating” (Carson, Showing the Spirit, 156).
“The greatest evidence that heaven has invaded our sphere, that the Spirit has been poured out upon us, that we are citizens of a kingdom not yet consummated, is Christian love” (p. 76).
Singing songs of worship is a great means of encouragement and transformation.
“Worship is one of the most transforming activities for us to engage in as Christians… When we become duly impressed with God our lives change because the things that matter to us change.”
So, I encourage you to sing along with these songs or check out the playlist on Spotify.
“Be Thou My Vision” – Audrey Assad
“Beautiful Things” – Gungor
“Seasons” – Hillsong Worship
“Rescue” – Lauren Daigle
“Relief” – Wolves At The Gace
Photo by Ben White
Does the 2% death rate statistic comfort you? What does the Bible say about comfort during calamity?
Some sources are saying that the mortality rate of COVID-19 looks to be 2%. However, it is too early to say. The percentage will be bigger or smaller depending on various factors (such as the age of the people infected, access to the needed medical treatment, etc.). I think we should acknowledge a few things about the statistic. First, 2% looks like a small number. And it is. At least, relative to a larger number.
Second, to put it into perspective, 2% of the population of the world is around 140 million people. That, as we can see, is a lot of people. COVID-19 could rival the AIDS epidemic. Of course, it seems highly unlikely that everyone in the world will get the virus. But even a fraction of that number is a lot of people. And it’s important for us to see the numbers from this vantage point so that we don’t play the numbers down.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4)
Notice, we are to rejoice in the Lord, not just in our circumstances. Circumstances change and can not always give grounds for joy. But Jesus brings untouchable joy.
“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything” (v. 4:5-6a).
We can relax; we don’t have to be anxious because the Lord is always near. He is always with us.
I really enjoyed Zach Eswine’s book, Preaching to a Post-Everything World, here are some highlights:
On the importance of illustration…
Eswine quotes Calvin Miller and says: “Jesus himself told lots of stories, and his sermons were full of images…. When asked, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ Jesus in effect does not say, ‘Let me give you three Hebrew roots on the word neighbor.’ What he does say is, ‘A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho….’ In other words he follows the question, ‘Who is my neighbor?’ with an immediate ‘Once upon a time’ and then launches into a story” (p. 61).
“Those who are precision oriented must learn to tell the stories of the text. Those who are poetic must learn to surrender to the precision of the text” (p. 108).
On the importance of modeling how to think about reality…
“When we preach we publicly model for a community how a human being is meant by God to relate to reality” (p. 85).
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
5 things for Christians to do in the midst of the coronavirus:
1. Continue in faith and fight against fear.
One way you can work at doing that is by memorizing these verses:
“We can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6).
“My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2).
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22).
“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for Him” (Isaiah 64:4).
2. Feast on God’s word and fast social media & entertainment.
The Bible is the authoritative word of God and as such, it is uniquely profitable (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Scripture is a light (Ps. 119:105,130), sword (Eph. 6:17), hammer (Jer. 23:29), and surgeon (Heb. 4:12). Scripture is more essential than bread (Matt. 4:4), better than gold (Ps. 19:10; 119:72), and we need it to live (Ps. 119:144). Scripture is perfect (Ps. 19:7), true (Ps. 19:9), pure (Ps. 19:8), and eternal (1 Pet. 1:25). Scripture contains the words of life (Jn. 6:68) and the words that are breathed out by God (2 Tim. 3:16). Scripture gives joy (Ps. 119:111; Jer. 15:16), makes wise (Ps. 19:7), equips (2 Tim. 3:17), guards (Ps. 119:9), guides (Ps. 73:24; 119:105), saves (1 Pet. 1:23), sanctifies (Ps. 119:9,11; Jn. 17:17), and satisfies because by it we know God (1 Pet. 2:3). The Bible is of absolute importance.
So, feast on God’s word and spend less time on social media and entertainment.