------ When life hurts----

                Please find your Bible and read Matthew 5 : 1-12

Good morning- I pray that all are doing well. We face uncertain times today.  This is a very difficult time and certainly a time none of us have ever experienced before.  We can only read about times like this in our History books and in the Bible.  We know of only one thing to be unchanging in today’s world.  Do you know what that unchanging thing is?  You are right - JESUS CHRIST!  Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.    So, with things in such turmoil, I ask you,  how do we live when life hurts? Or, better yet, how should we live when life hurts?  
     Today presents great opportunity for all of us to share the Gospel with others. All we have to do is just start sharing God’s love with others.  We need to remember to Love our neighbor.  Please think, What can I do today to make the life of one person better?  Pray for someone, read scripture, call someone, visit, text, facetime, drop off a snack or meal, be kind, listen to others, serve or volunteer for your Church or a community organization or event.  We need to learn to be thankful and give thanks in all situations. -- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says--give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.    Jesus asks us to Lean on Him and TRUST Jesus to protect us.  Some of us may be faced with getting laid off, or losing our job totally.  Maybe we have not been good Shephard's of God’s money or maybe we have been frustrated at our jobs and have been thinking about a change for some time? Just maybe, this working from home is not so bad after all?  Maybe it has given us all an opportunity to slow down (STOP) and LOOK closely at our lives and our relationships with our family, friends and with God.  We need to take a sincere look at our lives and make some much needed but  very difficult decisions.  These decisions may not always be easy to follow through with, but we know that if we pray and ask God to guide us (LISTEN), these decisions must take place to bring the people that should be most important in our lives, God and Family into the correct priority.  Maybe just maybe we have spent more time with our children, grandchildren and our spouses in the last two months than we have in the last two years. Maybe God has allowed this Covid19 virus to enter into this world to bring us to our knees?  So, pray to Him our awesome, most powerful, all knowing King.  Just maybe this is our chance, yet again, to realize how much we need Jesus to lead our lives.  If we follow Jesus and repent of our sins and accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior, then this will have been a good experience.
     There is a new saying that is every where these days—"We are all in this together.”  Yes another way to look at this is we must remember God has given all of us the knowledge of Him in our hearts (Romans 1:19-20).  God has given all of us individual talents; some may be the gift of gab, some a hand to help others, some an ear to listen to others.  But all of us who believe have also been given a helper when Jesus ascended into heaven and the helper is the Holy Spirit!  So let's use these God given talents and gifts to help make another person’s day brighter


So, take the time today to Stop – Look – Listen.  Stop in our tracks – stop while the world has slowed down.  Look at ourselves honestly and see if we are honoring and loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind and if we love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40).  Sound familiar?  It should these are the two greatest commandments according to Jesus.  If not, we need to pray and listen for God and the Holy Spirit.  We all have to listen, open our hearts, ears, eyes, and minds and stop, look and listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling us.  How is the Spirit and Jesus telling us to use our gifts to serve others especially in this time of need today? Utilize one of our God given gifts to share God’s love and you will really enjoy it.  Can we talk? - Call someone.  Can we write? - Send someone a card or a letter.  Can we hear? - Again, call someone and just listen.  Can we cook? – Prepare  someone a meal. We are not all Billy Graham’s that can reach tens of thousands at every event. Nor did God want us to be.  But we can reach out to one person at a time.  And we know we can make a difference to that person.  Remember this saying:  ”There are millions of people in the world and you may be only one person but to one person you may be the world!” 
     So yes times are rough right now but I personally do not think that the end is near.  I think God wants every person on the earth to repent and turn to him.  That is why he is using this virus to bring us to our knees so we can realize Jesus is the WAY, TRUTH and the LIGHT, and we can only come to the Father through him!  Matthew 24:14 says – All will hear the good news and the good news about the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it, and then finally the end will come.  I do not think the Good News has been heard World wide as of yet.  Dueteronomy 31:8 says--

Remember God loves us for God goes before us and will be with you.  He will not fail or forsake you.
So, remember we today are experiencing something we have never seen before. Things like this happened in the past – 1917 flu epidemic, biblical times we had plagues that wiped out entire nations, we had a big flood that killed everyone on earth except for 8 humans.  But always remember Duet 31:8 – God loves us……

Stop – Look – Listen and take this opportunity that God has given us to make the necessary changes in our lives to put God first.  Repent and ask forgiveness and accept Jesus as our Savior and then use our gifts to love your neighbor and share the Gospel of God with others.     
I pray that we can all live life this way by showing and sharing God’s Love with everyone and we can make a positive impact in the world today
Thank you for your time and may God Bless you and your family