Finding Encouragement During the Pandemic, #1

Sunset Daily Devotion with Jeff Smith

I’m spending much more time than usual at home as mandated by our state and city governments… and by the president of our school! This means I have more time to look at the many emails and other digital media that come my way daily from the larger Christian community.

I have been on the mailing lists for some time of various ministries, publishers and respected leaders. Though I might have significant differences with some doctrinal views and practices, I respect these men and women for their deep faith and commitment to the fundamentals of the Gospel. That is never more evident than now as the whole Christian community is being powerfully impacted by the current pandemic. Combine this with their thoughts at the approach this Sunday of Easter in much of Western Christianity… and the fact that all public celebrations of it have been cancelled.

So I want to share some of the articles and other bits that have crossed by digital desk which have encouraged me and helped me to keep making “the most important thing the most important thing!”

Sunset daily devotionals – I must begin with my own school, Sunset International Bible Institute. All of our classes went digital back in March; our physical offices and classrooms presently shuttered. But we have always begun each school day with a chapel service. To continue that, each weekday for the past three weeks one of our staff or faculty has recorded a devotional message for all of our students and fellow staff to be uplifted by. The videos are available on YouTube by clicking here.

“The Resurrection Has Not Been Cancelled” – Several of the encouraging things I have read – including this one – have appeared on the Christianity Today Magazine website. This article is short, and is just one of series on Easter being published by the magazine this week. It has a powerful message we must always remember. Listen to this quote:

“Church doors are closed. Schools are no longer meeting. Businesses are shuttered. Restaurants and cafés are empty, cinema screens are dark, and concert halls are silent. Countless meetings and gatherings, weddings and funerals, conferences and events have been canceled.

“The resurrection is not canceled. God is always in the business of bringing life out of death. Jesus emerged from the tomb so that we can do the same—on Easter and every other day. There is nothing in all the world that could have stopped the resurrection of Jesus Christ two thousand years ago, and there is nothing that can stop it today.”

Coronavirus and Christ – a just-released book by John Piper. Crossway Publishing and John Piper’s Desiring God Ministry have joined together to offer free digital downloads of this new book by John Piper. Not yet in print, it can be downloaded free now as a PDF, Kindle or Apple Book, as well as in audio book format and podcast. It is available through the link provided here.

“Michael Archangel Reporting: A Heavenly Monologue” – Dr. Ralph Wilson on his Joyful Heart website put together this slightly fanciful view of the events of Thursday through Sunday of the Passion Week as it might be told by the Archangel Michael. Definitely worth reading and reflecting on!

“3 Things to Remember When Facing Valleys” – Rick Warren (of Saddleback Church) on his Pastors.com website has this very uplifting article reflecting on Psalm 23 and the great uncertainty many of us are feeling in the face of this pandemic.

“10 Powerful Prayers for Everyone Affected by the COVID-19 Crisis” – I have been both humbled and instructed by reading and re-reading these suggested prayers of faith. I encourage you to find ways to incorporate some of these thoughts into your own visits to the wonderful Throne of Grace!

Our image is of Jeff Smith, Director of DiscipleTrips at Sunset International Bible Institute, teaching a devotional on YouTube April 10, 2020.

This article is from reprinted Richard Cravy. Please see original for comments.

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