Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Blog

Ten Practical Steps to Honor God in the Crisis

Here are ten practical, put-it-into-action steps to take as we love God, love others, and follow Jesus during the COVID-19 crisis.
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  1. Engage with God through Scripture and prayer every day. Join with hundreds of us as we read God’s word “a chapter a day” (text the word Chapter to 22828 or sign up online here).  Jesus said: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples” (John 8:31b, ESV).  By God’s grace, deep spiritual roots will enable us to weather any storm.
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  2. Worship with our family of faith online. We are not gathering on campus for now, but you can join our live-streamed worship service at ingleside.org/live (and on Facebook and YouTube) every Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. We will resume our “in person” gatherings as soon as is prudent and wise.  After all, the Bible says: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV).
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  3. Love your neighbor by doing your part to slow the spread of the virus. Follow the guidance of our local governmental leaders (Macon-Bibb Emergency Order) and national leaders (15 Days to Slow the Spread). Practice social distancing.  If you are older, take special precautions.  Avoid discretionary travel, shopping, and social visits.  Work or do school from home if possible.  Practice good hygiene.  As the Bible says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17, ESV).
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  4. Stay connected by phone, FaceTime, Zoom, social media, and other technology. Our pastoral staff and ministry leaders are stepping up our contacts with Ingleside members – especially those who are older.  I hope you will join us.  Don’t make face-to-face visits now.  But as you talk on the phone, offer encouragement, identify needs you can help meet, and pray together.  Isolation and loneliness are tools the enemy uses to try to discourage us.  So stay in touch often – “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, ESV).
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  5. Trust and transmit only information from reliable sources. Facts are our friends.  But we should be careful not to believe everything we read or hear.  Don’t post, forward, like, or share unverified rumors.  The Bible teaches us to “test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, ESV) and warns us not to be “gossips and busybodies, saying what [we] should not” (1 Timothy 5:13, ESV).
  1. Look for practical ways to serve others. Offer to get groceries or medicine for older people.  Consider giving blood or making a contribution to a food bank.  Patronize local restaurants (use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery) and other businesses.  Make sure that even in your serving that you practice appropriate social distancing.  Scripture says: “through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13, ESV).
  1. Reach out if you need assistance. We are thankful that financial assistance appears to be on the way from governmental sources for those who have lost jobs as a result of this crisis.  In addition, however, we want to know if you have critical needs that our church can help meet.  Let us know about your need online here.  We are eager to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2, ESV).
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  2. Give faithfully and generously. If you are continuing to receive your income, I hope you will continue to give your tithe and offerings to the Lord’s work at Ingleside.  Our pastors and staff remain fully engaged, and we want our ministries in Jesus’ name to continue to be steady and strong – especially during this time of crisis.  You may mail your gifts to the church (834 Wimbish Road, Macon, GA 31210) or give online here.  As you give, I am thanking God in advance for your generosity and praying that he “will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, ESV).
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  3. Pray earnestly. Pray for the spread of the virus to be slowed and eliminated.  Pray for the recovery of those who have been infected.  Pray for the protection of all who are providing medical care.  Pray for the speedy development of a vaccine and new treatments.  Pray God’s comfort and mercy for those who have lost loved ones.  Pray that God would guide our governmental and business leaders.  Pray that God would use this crisis to lead many to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith.  The Scripture says that “prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16, ESV).
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  4. Share the gospel boldly and winsomely. As a result of the threat of the coronavirus, God may bring about new openness to the gospel. So, look for opportunities to tell others about Jesus.  The gospel is as simple as John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (ESV).  Ask God to help you love others generously and share the gospel with confidence and joy.

Remember, the Bible says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7, ESV).

I’m praying God’s peace, provision, and protection for you and your family today.  His grace is sufficient, and he is faithful – even in a crisis!

Your Pastor and Friend,
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