The Old Spot2020-03-25T01:33:23-05:00

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Read today’s reflection on Romans

T H I S   D A Y   |   Mar 24 Devotional with Paul Sands

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Devotionals

2503, 2020

3 A’s for Anxiety

March 25th, 2020|0 Comments

With worries about coronavirus swirling in society right now, it is natural to feel anxious about the future. As Christians, we can face this anxiety by following the three A's: Acknowledge, Ask, and Act. Acknowledge: Sometimes as Christians, we think that we are somehow being unfaithful when we feel anxious. After all, isn't anxiety a sign of lack of faith? The thing to remember here is that we aren't yet who we will be. In Philippians 4:11-13, the apostle offers these words of personal testimony: I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Notice here that Paul learned to be content whatever the circumstances. That means there was a time when he wasn't content! It was only through a learning process that Paul came to understand what it means to find contentment by relying on Christ. We Christians sometimes get frustrated because we don't feel like we are as mature as we think we should be. The problem with this line of thought is that we forget that God is molding us in our present circumstances. The thing to focus on isn't so much on how we fall short as it is on how God is working in and through us right where we are. Anxiety is a natural emotion that Christians that even the most mature Christians will feel. We certainly don't want to let it control us, but we also don't want to act like its not real and normal. The first step in facing anxiety is to acknowledge that it is there. After all, we can only face something when we admit that it exists! Ask: Once we acknowledge the anxiety that we are feeling, we can bring it to God in prayer. This means that we bring both the situation and our anxious feelings to the Father to ask for help. When it comes to the situation, we ask God to resolve it for us. When it comes to the feelings, we ask God to give us peace to still our troubled hearts. I can't stress enough how important asking is for Christians. Sometimes we think that God is too busy to hear our requests or that we are being selfish by focusing on our own needs. But scripture clearly tells us to bring our needs to our good Father, who inclines his ear to his children. Think of it this way: To assume that God doesn't have time for us is to have too small a view of God. God is big enough to hear all of the prayers lifted to him! Similarly, to assume that we are being selfish by bringing our needs to God is to underestimate his [...]

2403, 2020

A Good Citizen

March 24th, 2020|0 Comments

When I heard that the government was advising us not to gather in groups larger than 10 people my jaw dropped. Now, it seems every day there are new guidelines coming out across our community. It might be tempting to disregard the warnings and guidelines coming out from our government. However, the question we should be asking isn’t, “What guidelines should I adhere to?” For believers, we have no problem submitting to whatever keeps our neighbor safe. The question we really need to ask is, “What does it mean to be a good citizen in this crazy moment?” In Titus 3:1-2, Paul writes to Titus: Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone Essentially, Paul is telling Titus to instruct the people of God live as good citizens. This isn’t an isolated thought within scripture. Paul speaks about this idea in Romans 13 as well. I remember at a time in my life where I really wrestled with this idea. After all, I was called to submit to the Kingdom of God not any other country or empire. I’m a citizen of the Kingdom of God (Philippians 3:20). Why would Paul instruct us to be good citizens if our citizenship is elsewhere? Several years ago I took a year out to live in England. I absolutely loved England. I loved the people, the church I served, and even some of the food. I even started dressing similar to my English brothers and sisters. If you saw me on the street, you might think that I had lived there my entire life. However, I was definitely not a natural citizen of that country. My friends knew it and I knew it. Even though I implored them not to assume things about Americans – people often assumed most Americans were probably like me. For this reason, I was always considerate as to what I might be saying through my actions and my words. I knew that I represented my home country in a foreign land. Why should you be a good citizen in this time of crisis? We could point to a whole host of theological arguments surrounding this topic. However, it basically comes down to that you are a citizen of the Kingdom of God. As you live in this foreign land, what testimony do you want to offer the people around you about your true home? If we’re not careful, we might be offering our neighbors a poor picture of what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. It’s at moments like these that the church can step up in our community and demonstrate how Kingdom citizens can bring healthy lasting change to our surrounding community. Eugene Peterson wrote, “So, why church? The short answer is because the Holy Spirit formed it to be a colony [...]

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