Abundant life, Afraid, cononavirus, COVID-19, Death to self, Faith, fear, Love, Prayer, tongue, Trust
Note: Before we move on to other subjects, I felt the need to revise this particular post because it appears that several people have mis-understood what I was trying to say. One reader emailed me about their concerns. As I read their statements, it became clear they never read the whole article owing to their offense. When I showed them the paragraph in the article that addressed their issue, they realized their mistake, apologized and are now fine. Unfortunately, I think this one individual may represent many more who simply stopped reading and/or stopped following my blog. In my original post, I make reference to individuals who prayed with no concern about germs or washing their hands. Those instances have been changed to show they acted with no fear or concern for themselves. In addition, I am adding some additional remarks in the paragraph that explained these things in order to further clarify my meaning. That paragraph is in purple text.
For those who don’t care to read the whole article, let me state for the record that I am in no way advocating that we throw caution to the wind and purposely put ourselves in harm’s way. Jesus didn’t do that, nor did the apostles. However, when someone sought them out in faith, believing they could be healed, they were NEVER turned away. My point was to expose our own thoughts on this matter. What will you do if God brings someone to you for prayer and you realize they may be infected (this could be almost anybody)? This is the choice Jesus and the apostles faced in their day. Our choice today is no different. This was the point I was trying to make. I apologize for not making it clearer the first time around.
Love and COVID-19
Why are we tolerating this thing anyway?
I apologize for being silent for such a long time, but this was necessary to deal with some issues in my own life. I’m not quite done with those things, but I felt compelled to write again especially during this current crisis that has taken over everyone’s lives and even taken the lives of many others. So today I am going to merge our current teaching track with the need to talk about this crisis in some way.
I would encourage you to go back over the previous teachings in both the “Why Can’t We Love” series and the current “Flowing in God’s Love” series. The subject of love and especially walking in God’s love is critical for the days we are living in. Let’s start by taking a look at today’s foundation scriptures.
1Cor 12:27-31 And you are the body of Christ, and members in part. And God set some in the church, firstly, apostles; secondly, prophets; thirdly, teachers, then works of power, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, kinds of languages. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of power? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak languages? Do all interpret? But zealously strive after the better gifts. And yet I show to you a more excellent way.
1Cor 13:1-13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophecies, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give out all my goods, and if I deliver my body that I be burned, but I do not have love, I am not profited anything. Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they will be caused to cease; if tongues, they shall cease; if knowledge, it will be caused to cease. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect thing comes, then that which is in part will be caused to cease. When I was an infant, I spoke as an infant, I thought as an infant, I reasoned as an infant. But when I became a man, I caused to cease the things of the infant. For now we see through a mirror in dimness, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will fully know even as I also was fully known. And now faith, hope, and love, these three things remain; but the greatest of these is love.
So, what is the Apostle Paul saying here? For a complete discussion of this, take a look at Why Can’t We Love #5. But, in a nutshell what he’s basically saying is this: Love is the conduit through which the power of God flows. It is the train track that everything rides on. Without love, NOTHING happens. Do you want to see blind eyes opened, see the lame walk, or see the deaf hearing? Do you want signs and wonders in your ministry? Do you want to see people healed of COVID-19? Love is the more excellent way.
Matt 8:1-4 When He had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if You will, You can make me clean. And Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, I will; be clean! And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest. And offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.
It is love that motivates faith to grab hold of what is hoped for and see it come to pass. It was love that caused Jesus to reach out and touch the leper and heal him with no thought or fear about his own well being. What mattered to Jesus was cleansing the leper and making him clean (healed) once more.
In the book of Acts, we have another example.
Acts 9:36-42 And in Joppa was a certain disciple named Tabitha (which translated is called Dorcas). She was full of good works and kind deeds which she did. And it happened in those days, becoming sick, she died. And washing her, they laid her in an upper room. And, because Lydda was near Joppa, hearing that Peter is in it, the disciples sent two men to him, begging him not to delay to come to them. And rising up, Peter went with them. When he had come, they brought him into the upper room. And all the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made while she was with them. And putting them all out, Peter knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, Tabitha, arise! And she opened her eyes. And when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa. And many believed in the Lord.
We don’t know what sickness she had. All we know is it was bad enough that she died from it. After she was raised from the dead, Peter took her hand and help her up. She was raised up and healed of whatever killed her. Peter’s faith, motivated by love brought forth this miracle and no mention of any concern or fear for his own safety.
In more recent times, a man named John G. Lake was serving as a missionary in the early 1900’s during the bubonic plague. Motivated by love and consumed with the knowledge that he was filled with the Spirit of God he began burying the dead with no gloves or protective clothing whatsoever. Doctors were mortified and asked how he was able to not get infected. He answered them with these words:
“Brother that is the ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.’ I believe that just as long as I keep my soul in contact with the living God so that His Spirit is flowing into my soul and body, that no germ will ever attach itself to me, for the Spirit of God will kill it.”
He asked, “Don’t you think that you had better use our preventatives?”
I replied, “No, but doctor I think that you would like to experiment with me.
If you will go over to one of these dead people and take the foam that comes out of their lungs after death, then put it under the microscope you will see masses of living germs.
You will find they are alive until a reasonable time after a man is dead. You can fill my hand with them and I will keep it under the microscope, and instead of these germs remaining alive, they will die instantly.”
They tried it and found it was true. They questioned, “What is that?” I replied, “That is ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.’ When a man’s spirit and a man’s body are filled with the blessed presence of God, it oozes out of the pores of your flesh and kills the germs.”
This is faith motivated and activated by love to do what is normally considered impossible by man.
For the record, I am NOT advocating that you throw caution to the wind and purposely put yourself in harm’s way and I’m certainly not advising you to quit washing your hands. That would be nonsense. Keep in mind, God’s law required lepers to be put outside of the city. He originated the concept of “Social Distancing.” The examples I have presented are of men whose love and faith went past that to bring healing to others who were in faith and seeking help. In the case of John G. Lake, it was to help others by preventing the spread of the disease. They acted in accordance with their faith and the Spirit of God. You could have the same results wearing a space suit or rubber gloves. What matters is the obedience to pray. What DOESN’T matter is how you dress for the occasion. It’s about the prayer of faith, motivated by love. Yet, the question remains: What will you do if God brings someone to you for prayer and you don’t have the protective gear with you? Will you turn them away? – Food for thought. For the record, Jesus, the apostles and Mr. Lake all faced a similar decision in their day.
What is your faith in during this time of crisis? Is it in the promises of a loving God or the promises of nightly news? Turn with me to John 14.
John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father.
Read that verse carefully.
Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also
By saying Truly, truly he is saying I am emphatically telling you truthfully… Think of a blinking neon sign that says “I am telling you the truth here.” And what was the statement of truth?
He who believes on Me, the works that I do he shall do also,
In other words, I prayed for the sick and even lepers and they were healed and I was immune to their disease. I also raised the dead. YOU SHALL DO THESE THINGS ALSO.
But wait, there’s more…
and greater works than these he shall do, because I go to My Father.
Remember, this is still part of that emphatic statement of truth. This is His promise. He is saying “I did these things. You will do these same things and a whole lot more.”
How is it that we can do these things? Let’s keep reading through vs 14.
…because I go to My Father.
John 14:13 And whatever you may ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
John 14:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Think about that for a moment… Whatever YOU ask in My name, that I will do…
More on this in a moment. Then he says the following:
John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.
Do you remember his commandments?
John_13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another.
This is similar to what we talked about last time from the book of Matthew.
Mat 22:34-40 But hearing that He had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees were gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked, tempting Him and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.
Have you realized yet that this love thing is a pretty big deal to God? Well, that’s because his nature IS love and his nature is now our New nature. Everything in the whole Kingdom works through love.
Here’s a couple of attributes to love that I hope you can see from the life of Christ, the Apostles and many others.
Love kicks out fear
1John 4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment. He who fears has not been perfected in love.
Love reaches past the fear in order to bring heaven to earth for others. This why the Apostles did what they did even in the face of certain punishment or death. Love doesn’t look at the consequences to one’s self because it is focused on the joy of giving to others and to see their needs met for the glory of God.
Love lays down its life
John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
There is no doubt that somebody taking a bullet for someone is demonstrating tremendous love for that other person. That is certainly one meaning to that verse. But, I don’t think God wants us to go get killed or for us to take our own lives. As a practical matter, I think giving up a portion of our lives in the service of others also demonstrates the love that he is talking about here. How can we do that?
One way is to pray for others either by taking the time to visit them and lay hands on them and pray for their healing, etc. Another way is by praying for others in our own prayer closet and making intercession for those who need prayer.
By now you may be wondering what all of this has to do with the whole coronavirus – COVID-19 thing. I’m getting to that. But before we go there, I want to put you in remembrance of some of the tremendous promises that God has given us. Included in these promises is the authority to use the name of Jesus. Take a look for yourself.
Matt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
Mar 16:17-18 And miraculous signs will follow to those believing these things: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will be well.
Mar 11:22 And answering Jesus said to them, Have faith of God. For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said. Therefore I say to you, All things, whatever you ask, praying, believe that you shall receive them, and it will be to you.
John 16:23-24 And in that day you shall ask Me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Before now you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.
John 14:13-14 And whatever you may ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
Jesus said that ALL authority has been given to Him in heaven and in earth. We are to ask the Father in the name of Jesus and He will give it to us. Therefore, in light of these precious promises of God I ask you: Why are we putting up with this coronavirus/COVID-19 disease? Why are we in fear?
Philippians 2:9-10 Therefore God has highly exalted Him, and has given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of heavenly ones, and of earthly ones, and of ones under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Here we have access to the name that is above every name that can be named, the name of Jesus and we are allowing this thing to kill our family, neighbors and friends.
Unfortunately, many (even those in leadership) have taken to complaining about our president and the leaders of our country rather than praying for them as scripture indicates. This absolutely should not be.
1Timothy 2:1-4 First of all, then, I exhort that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Therefore, I would encourage you to pray for our president and the leaders of our country during this crisis. Here is a link that will show you how to pray for those in authority over us according to scripture. If you’re reading this from outside of the U.S., then substitute the name of your country for the U.S.
Lastly, I am going to ask you to join with me in prayer over this plague that is trying to destroy our families, our neighbors and friends, our cities and states, our nation and even the world. Let’s stop playing church and start being the church. Let’s use our God given authority in the name of Jesus to end this thing. You have neighbors who may be in need. Can you help them as you would want others to help you? You may know people that are crippled with fear, can you comfort them with your kindness and with prayer? Perhaps someone is sick, can you pray for them? These are things almost all of us can do. This is a time where you can look for ways to love others in your sphere of influence. This is the time where we can go and make disciples. It’s our time to shine and do the stuff that Jesus did and not be in fear.
If you aren’t in a place yet where you can do those things, no worries. Can you pray for others in secret? Everyone can do that. Join with me in prayer, will you? Add your faith to mine and others as we join together to combat this thing in prayer.
***Prayer to end the coronavirus pandemic ***
Father, we come to you today in the name of Jesus, acknowledging You as our Refuge and High Tower. You are our Refuge and Strength, a very present and proven help in times of trouble. Because we have made You, Lord, our Refuge, no evil shall befall us—no accident will overtake us—nor shall any plague or calamity come near us. For You will give Your angels charge over us, to accompany and defend and preserve us in all our ways. Father, because we have set our love upon You, therefore will You deliver us. We will call upon You, and You will answer us. You will be with us in trouble, and You will satisfy us with long life and will show us Your salvation. Not a hair of our heads shall perish.
Father, you are a good God and a kind and loving Father. We give thanks that you are supplying our need according to your riches in glory by Christ Jesus. We thank you that we have no need to fear because you care for us. You have not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.
Father you have said in your word that whatever we ask in Jesus’ name, you will give it to us, that our joy may be full. Therefore Father we ask you to put an end to this coronavirus and all of its strains that is plaguing our nation and the world. Father, we ask that you give wisdom and revelation to the doctors and scientists that are working on a cure and that you will show them exactly what needs to be done to end this plague. Father we ask these things in the name of Jesus.
Father, you have also said in your word that “whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said. ” Father, we choose to believe your word. Therefore, we speak to this coronavirus and specifically to COVID-19 and we curse it at it’s very root and command it to wither up and die in Jesus name. We declare and decree as men and women of God that this virus is coming to a halt and is dying a sudden and immediate death and shall be forever removed from this earth, never to return again in the name of Jesus.
Father, we thank you for restoring the economies of this nation and the world and we thank you that what the enemy had intended for our destruction, you will turn around for our good. Father, we give you praise, honor and all of the glory and we thank you in Jesus name – Amen
I would encourage you to pray this as often as you feel led to pray. Because it is based upon God’s word, your faith will increase as you do. I would also encourage you to review both the “Why Can’t we Love” and the current “Flowing in God’s Love” series and meditate on the scriptures daily and DO NOT give in to fear.
I have never asked this before. But, if this teaching has ministered to you please share it with others as we in the body of Christ absolutely must come together and stand with all of the authority in the name of Jesus and defeat this virus and we need to do it now. Until next time, my God’s richest blessings be yours in Christ today.
Copyright (C) 2020 – M. Unruh