“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart”—Hebrews 4:12 (NIV).
Depending on what time of day you go to the grocery or big box store, you’ll find many shelves are empty or almost empty. Some individual’s carts are overflowing.
Discussing this panic-buying trend, a friend and I agreed people were stuffing their pantries and shelves in fear of not having enough. Instead, shouldn’t we be filling-up on the Word of God, allowing scriptures to soothe our fears.
After Jesus fasts in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, he is hungry. Satan challenges Him to turn the stones into bread if He is the Son of God. Jesus replies, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Every Word from the Mouth of God
If you’re like me, this new “normal” in our daily lives has us asking questions. We’re desperate for answers. Daily updates we read or hear about concerning this pandemic can lead to two reactions: panic or peace.
We must make a choice. To panic, clearing out the grocery shelves and hoarding for ourselves, or to trust that God is our provider. In Philippians 4:19, we’re reminded that “God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (NIV).
Which will you choose? To find peace, we must spend time filling-up on the Word of God, instead of filling up our grocery carts to overflowing. This should also be a time for self-reflection.
A Time for Reflection
If given a choice, I doubt anyone would choose this pandemic as a means of getting our attention. Is it a coincidence that it showed up during Lent in this country? What do you think?
Lent is already an opportunity to reflect on our sinful natures. It’s a time to return to God and contemplate what Jesus did for us on the Cross. Ultimately, it points us to the hope of the Resurrection and life everlasting.
Even more so than before, we need to be in self-examination. Are we reflecting on our relationships, especially our need for God? Are we more aware of our mortality, our sin, and that the Word of God is the only answer?
Questions for Self-Examination
An article by Michelle Medlock Adams, posted on Guideposts.org, offers these 10 questions to aid in self-reflection:
Am I openly, honestly and enthusiastically sharing the message of Jesus Christ with unsaved family members and those I encounter in everyday life?
Do I have a gracious and patient attitude with the people in my life?
Do I look for the best in others, or do I have a judgmental attitude?
Am I spending enough time studying His Word and praying?
Do I have a thankful heart, or am I constantly complaining about situations and people in my life?
What are the lurking sin problems that still tempt me?
Do I speak up for the less fortunate, or do I remain silent and inactive?
Do I stand up for my Christian beliefs, or do I compromise my faith in order to be politically correct?
What is God dealing with me about right now: exercising to improve my health? Spending more time studying His Word? Going back to school to further my education? Answering the call to go to the mission field?
When people look at me, do they see a reflection of Jesus?
Reflection of Jesus
All the above questions are worthy of asking as we spend time with the Lord. As we seek His face in the pages of scripture and in prayer, let’s be open to that still, small voice whispering in our spirits.
If we want others to see Jesus in us, it requires us to stay focused on Him and His Word. Because we are flawed human beings with selfish tendencies, it requires us to die to self each morning.
Right now, more than ever, we need to be reflecting God’s character. Seek His Holy Face in scripture and prayer. Let us be Easter people every day, giving thanks for the selfless sacrifice of God’s sinless Son.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. (See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.) When she isn’t writing, she can be found spending time with her seven grandchildren, working in her yard, volunteering, shooting photos, hiking, going on mission trips and playing with her spoiled rotten dog, Harley.