Happy Stay-at-home Sunday! It’s our first Sunday since the COVID-19 isolation has shut down life as we used to know it across the country. Most cities and counties are either banning or advising against any gatherings larger than 250 people, so many of the best churches around America are conducting their services online this weekend. My church, Compassion Christian, out of Savannah, is one such church. I was hoping the head pastor would boldly stand fearless against the virus, because our God is much bigger than a little microscopic bug. But, heeding the restrictions by the Governor of Georgia, physical services are cancelled. Below I am linking the websites for live streams for my four favorite churches. Today’s a great day to stay in, watch services online, and get caught up on the Common Sense Reborn Bible reading plans.
This past Friday brought on the release of two great Christian albums, as well as some amazing singles that I will be sharing this week. Yesterday, I shared one of my favorite songs of 2019 that is the title track to Cody Carnes’ new album, Run to the Father. Today’s worship song is a powerful anthem from Vertical Worship, to remind everyone that our God is not done yet.
21When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from Heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22)
We’ve spent the first half of this month breaking down and looking at a handful of specific verses relating to the early life of Jesus and how Luke goes into detail unlike any other of the Gospel authors. Yesterday and today I wanted to highlight the repetitiveness of when JB (John the Baptist) baptizes JC(Jesus Christ). There is a reason all four authors of the Gospels included this scene in their historic accounts of the ministry of Jesus. For one, it shows the truthful accuracy of this world-changing day, when a revolutionary preacher paved the way for the Son of God to kick off His initial tour around the center of the world. JC needed to be baptized by JB because, like any good leader, He needed to demonstrate to all those who would come to follow Him, the act of being baptized. If you’ve ever held a position of leadership before you understand the importance of this. It’s hard to follow someone who’s not willing to do the same thing they are asking of their followers. So Jesus demonstrates excellent leadership here by doing the same act He will require of all His followers for centuries to come.
I really love how Luke describes the Holy Spirit by specifically stating that the Spirit “descended on (Jesus) in bodily form like a dove.” The Holy Spirit could have appeared to the crowd at the Jordan in the bodily form of any creature, the Spirit could have been an eagle, or a hawk, a warrior creature to show the world that the God of the Jewish faith was there to destroy and reign supreme. Just like Jesus had to be the example of how to be baptized, God sent the Holy Spirit down as a peaceful dove to show the world that He was there to save mankind through peace and love. The dominance of the Jewish lineage through war and power had ended. Jesus ushered in a new age of forgiveness, peace, kindness, compassion, generosity, and, of course, love like the world had never known. The authors of the New Testament all came to understand this message, this good news, and they made sure the world, for the rest of time, would know these events and these truths for generation after generation. Have you come to understand the simplistic truth of Jesus’ Gospel? If so, have you begun to share that knowledge with the world around you?
Reading plan: Luke 12
Deeper reading plan: 1 Samuel 20-22
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and thank God that He sent a Son to preach a message of peace and love.
Fitness challenge: Rest
Worship/journal: How you can be a model Christian to those around you to be the leader they need to guide them to a Christ-centered life?