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A message of encouragement from Lester and Janeese Spencer
As Christians, because of Easter and the Resurrection, we are people of faith! Through the resurrected Christ, God has given us His Spirit of power, love and self-discipline!
“God has not given us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.”
Paul, 2 Timothy 1:7
With the onslaught of information being released daily about the COVID 19 virus coupled with all the postponements, closures and cancellations, it can be overwhelming and a bit scary for everyone. But my wife, Janeese, and I want to take a few moments to assure you we are praying for each of you. We will be praying each day at 12:19 pm for you and concerning this COVID 19 pandemic, and we would love for you to join us in this prayer time wherever you may be each day.
As we continue in this crisis, we want to encourage you to consider some Biblical and Christ-like ways to navigate these challenging times.
Paul encourages us in 2 Timothy 1:7 by reminding us that we have the capacity to choose how we will handle this current pandemic COVID 19 crisis. We can choose faith over fear!
Choose love as your mandate in this situation. How?
* Choose to love yourself and take care of yourself by adhering to the proactive precautions that have been given to us by our Government and healthcare professionals.
* Choose to love and protect you family by helping them be cautious and wise too.
* Choose to love and serve your neighbor who may need help and assistance at this time. Check on each other, especially our high at risk elderly neighbors, fellow church members and friends. Example: Offer to go to the grocery store or pharmacy when you have to get out or cook a meal and drop one off.
* Choose to write some notes of appreciation that you haven’t had time to do.
* Choose to spend time with the Lord. Love Him by giving Him your time in prayer and in reading His Word.
* Choose to love others as you would love yourself, as Jesus said in Mark 12:31. Therefore, we should adhere to the precautions and recommendations of our healthcare leadership even if we don’t agree or understand. In other words, we are showing love for others when we practice social distancing and by not gathering in crowds of more than 10 people right now. When we wash our hands and practice proper hygiene, we are showing love and concern for others!
God has given us a Spirit of power....not fear and timidity or cowardice.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to give you His power, strength, courage and confidence so you can face this crisis without fear.
* Let’s increase our prayers! Our Saint James Church family just finished a message and Life Group series called 40 Days of Prayer. May we put what we learned into practice. Prayer suggestions: Pray for our President and our national leadership as they seek to guide us through this crisis. Pray for our Governor, State leadership and local healthcare professionals. Pray for all our Doctors, nurses, first responders and all health care workers. Pray for protection over every person especially our high risk elderly and those with compromised
* You have the power to take control of how you use this time at home. So use it wisely.
* Choose to enjoy some family time and love each other well.
* Get some projects done around the house that you haven’t had time to do. Catch up on some yard work.
* Spend time outside. There are no prohibitions about being out in God’s great outdoors. Sunshine and fresh air are the Lord’s natural disinfectants.
* Get some rest. Many of you need to catch up on your sleep. Doctors and medical research tell us that a rested body is much healthier and can fight off infections and viruses much easier.
* Get some exercise. There are no bans against taking a walk or a hike. There are no cancellations on going for a bike ride or jogging either.
Choose Self Discipline/ Sound Mind
In 2 Timothy 1:7, some translations say self discipline and some say sound mind. In part, self discipline means to take authority over your mind / your thoughts! So, how do we do that?
* Ask the Holy Spirit to help you control your thoughts so that you are not overwhelmed with fear and worry. One of the fruits of the Spirit is self control.
* Remember, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
* Memorize a few scriptures to guide your thoughts during this season: some suggestions – John 16:33, 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:4, 2 Corinthians 1:8-10.
* Listen to some worship music or try some out. Listen to some new artists.
* Practice gratitude and take time to count all the things you can be grateful for right now. Help your families do this as well.
* Guard against getting over obsessed with the 24 hour news cycle. Keep up but don’t over do it! Also, protect your young children from too much graphic detailed information. They need to know some basics about hygiene and protection but not necessarily every detail about the global pandemic.
* Jesus said, “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” – Matthew 10:16. Be wise in your choices to honor the recommendations of the CDC and our Federal, State and Local health officials. And be harmless as a dove by doing no harm to others as you practice good hygiene and proper social distancing right now.
Lester and Janeese Spencer
Dr. Lester Spencer
Saint James Church
Rev. Janeese Spencer
Founder and Executive Director
Venture Life Coaching