Happy 3.14! It’s Pi Day, that amazing day where we eat pies and pretend we like math, only for an excuse to eat those yummy desserts. I am getting this email out late because our local provider had a outage this morning and I had a few things I wanted to share, a few links I felt I needed to be able to link and a very special worship song I could only post on here with good old WiFi. Technology is amazing when it works, but we grow more and more dependent on it, and even this blog is a great example of the current conundrum we exist in as Americans. I urge you all to get away from technology, yet all these messages I deliver is through that same technology I am telling you all to avoid.
The COVID-19 craziness continues. Here is some sensible advice to follow to help rationally slow down the spread of this disease. There is some good that has come out of this nation wide self-quarantine. Professional sports are cancelled, which is one of the main points I made in my book Common Sense Reborn in how America has allowed mixed priorities to corrupt our country. My local church finally joined the list of closures and “virtual” sermons late last night. I was holding onto the hope that they were not going to let fear stop them from closing their doors. Of course, this is all being done not out of fear, but out of strategy to cut the virus off and stop the spread. So while everyone is staying at home and away from large gatherings, this is the perfect time to catch up on your scripture readings and listening to some amazing worship music.
Two of my favorite worship artists dropped albums yesterday: Cody Carnes and Vertical Worship. I’ll start with Mr. Carnes, and share a perfect song for our nation right now. Run to the Father is great advice for all those who feel apprehension with the current events happening around the world. Run to God and allow His heavenly protection keep you healthy, safe, and sane.
15The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful that I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. (Luke 3:15-17)
It’s that time of the month again when I highlight these verses from the current Gospel we are studying. This is the third time we have looked at the moment when John the Baptist (JB) addresses the crowd that he is baptizing, who is asking if John is the Messiah. Three different authors capture almost the same words from JB: “I baptize you with water… He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
We’re mid-month, it’s a great time to reach out to your church leaders and ask about the process to get baptized at your church. 2020 is the year I am getting baptized again, because the first time, when I was just 8-years old, did not do what it was meant to do. I didn’t fully understand what being baptized meant, and surely did not live a life with Christ as the center. I strayed far, far from God and Jesus for the next thirty years. Being baptized is that chance to publicly declare that Jesus is Lord of your life and be physically dunked under water to wash clean all the sins of your past life. But what does it mean once you emerge from that pool? Getting baptized is that first step in making a forever change in your life. If you get baptized and continuing sinning or following the ways of this world, then the entire act of baptism was a waste. So if you are not ready to go all-in on putting Jesus front and center in your life, then you are not ready to be baptized. Putting Jesus as the center in your life means you most likely will change many of the things you do day-in and day-out. Most of these changes we will focus on as we continue to dive deeper into the New Testament and read the teachings and letters of Paul. But if you are ready to be washed clean by the waters, March is a great month to dive in!
Reading plan: Luke 11
Deeper reading plan: 1 Samuel 17-19 (Great reading today, the story of David and Goliath!)
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray that God continues to push you to be baptized this year.
Fitness challenge: Run a mile and a half for time.
Serve Day: we’re into three months of serving!