Essential. This is a word that we are using in ever increasing capacities: only buy what is essential; only go where it is essential; only work if you are essential. The essential label has shut down much of the country and put many out of work and in desperate financial situations all thanks to COVID-19. A lot of industries where workers felt overlooked and under appreciated are finally getting the gratitude they have longed deserved, in a way they never would have wanted. America’s “burger flippers” are keeping people fed with their drive-thru. Hundreds of thousands of grocery workers are putting their health and their families health on the line every day as they work relentlessly to get their stores restocked. Line cooks are still working tirelessly behind the scenes at many restaurants to provide food for their communities. Toilet paper companies across America are working around the clock to try to meet the demand of so many people staying home and the increased output that entails. The last shall be first, and the first shall be last.
Whether society is currently labeling you as essential or non-essential, you need to know that you have always been essential to Jesus and God. You were essential to this world the day you were born. You are an essential part of this story. There is no doubting your importance to this world, this country, this time and place. If you have been stuck at home for the last three weeks, find ways of making outreach from your home. I have a handful of volunteer websites listed on the Save the World page on this website. But a simple GOOGLE search will provide many more ways you can help in this crisis. Do not make yourself non-essential by just wasting this time watching endless hours of Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming service. You were made for more than that. Live a life that is crucial, not just essential. Make a difference. Create a testimony that all the Angels in heaven will brag about.
29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”(John 1:29-31)
The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John’s account of JB (John the Baptist) introducing Jesus should be a very familiar passage. The Book of John includes some of the most quoted lines of scripture. Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! I love that introduction. But reading this entire passage allows you to see so much more detail and beauty in the words from this author. Jesus(JC) comes after JB, and JC has surpassed JB because JC was before JB! John the Baptist knew his purpose in the greater plan of JC. JB states that even though he did not know JC, he understood the “reason” he came baptizing with water. So that JB could properly reveal the truth of who Jesus Christ was to Israel. John the Baptist knew how “essential” he was in the story of Jesus. Jesus knew how essential JB was for the story of mankind. From that day in the Jordan River, the ministry of Jesus would begin and Jesus would travel around Israel, forming His squad of disciples and growing His followers by the thousands.
By now, I hope you understand the truth of who Jesus is. And even more importantly, you understand your purpose in the life of Jesus. The story is not over, it never ends. Share the truth with everyone in your life. We need to show our faith and wisdom with the world today! The hour is at hand, the time is now.
Continue to pray for God to use this pandemic to open the eyes of the world and bring everyone’s focus back to God and allow them to fix their eyes on Jesus. Maudy Thursday will be the day COVID stops spreading and Good Friday will see the first day of recovery. And Easter Sunday will be the day of resurrection for this country. Pray this prayer with me every day.
Reading plan: John 2
Deeper reading plan: 1 Kings 7, 8
Prayer and meditation: Pray for all medical personnel around the world, that God wraps them in heavenly protection to keep them healthy and keep their families protected. Pray for protection for your loved ones and that God will continue to keep them safe and healthy. Pray for all those personally affected by COVID-19.
Fitness challenge: This week take us into our fourth month of calisthenics. Soon I am going to start mixing up the exercises, but for this week, we are keeping our original seven but increasing our amount of reps per set. Instead of just 14 reps, it’s now 21 reps per set, but for this first week, we only have two sets. So do 21 reps of each exercise 1-7, then repeat :
1. Standard push-up
2. Sit-up or crunches
3. Air squats
4. Hand-release push-up
5. Leg lifts
6. Lunges (7-each leg)
7. 4-count flutter kicks