THE CITY ON A HILL

2020 has thus far been a most trying year.  No one can deny the negative impact that the COVID19 pandemic, the ongoing violence in our cities, and the major political upheaval played out day after day has had on our nations’s general health and wellbeing.  From the news media to social media we are daily bombarded with a myriad of voices each screaming for attention and claiming to be telling the truth.

It is the Church that Christ has commissioned and equipped to tell the truth, and mentor the nations in the way God had designed humanity to live and behave on His earth. The Church has a vested interest in the health and wellbeing of every nation, since the nations belong to God and they are the inheritence of Christ (Psalm2), and the Church is joint heir together with him.

The City on a Hill

In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says to the Church, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Jesus addresses believers as “the light of the world.”  Light is symbolic of the salvation and life only Jesus provides. For believers (the Church), the analogy as a city set on a hill providing light to those living in the valley is unmistakable. In the darkness, that city becomes a focal point for the traveler to gain their bearings.

While many governing voices are attempting to shut the Church down, believers should be allowing their light (behaviors driven by Christ-centered values) to shine even brighter on all who come into contact with them. In the face of widespread fear and panic that has gripped the general public this year, it is the Church stepping forward as the prophetic voice of truth and reason that the nations need most in times of crisis.

While medical experts grapple with prevention and may be closing in on a cure, leaders with integrity seek to calm the masses with useful and timely direction while those of lesser character seize the moment for political gain. It is for such a time as this that the Church is commissioned by Christ to discern the season and understand the issues in order to speak the truth to a lost hurting and fearful society. If the Church isn’t speaking the uncompromised truth to the issues who will?

The gospel means “good news,” for all who believe the gospel message the light goes on leading them out of the darkness of fear, panic, and uncertainty.  The Church is obligated by the great commission to speak the truth, in this crisis the Church should communicate the most accurate information available to the public and stand apart from all others on the face of the earth because of God’s presence with us (Exodus 33:12-16, Deuteronomy 32:6, Hebrews 13:5).

It is the Church who should be demonstrating to the masses the proper measures, precautions, and conduct to protect themselves and their families, while leading the way out of the confusion, away from voices with ulterior motives, and the poor leadership of many, into the light of God’s purpose so clearly stated in His Word (Matthew11:28-30, Philippians).

Prayer

The most powerful weapon at the Church’s disposal is prayer. Believers throughout history prayed for opportunities to share the Gospel with those around them. People facing the reality of their own mortality are fearful and need to hear the truth about this life, God’s remedy, and what lies ahead when it all ends.

The scriptures are replete with instructions and examples of God’s people successefully navigating dangerous times by their unted prayers and wise behavior. The immense power of united prayer under the inspiration of the Spirit of God has altered the course of history many times always conforming it to God’s inteded purpose (Romans 8:26-28, Ephesians 1:9-11 and 6:12-20).

Never Give Place to Fear

The fear of death has no place in the life of the believer who has already put their life in the hands of Jesus Christ. When it comes to the storms of life, Jesus said the wise build their life upon his words and weather the storms in tact, those who ignore his words are not so fortunate. (Matthew 7:24-25, 2 Timothy 1:7)

Humanity has been experiencing a global reality check, no one knows what the future holds, and that is unsettling to many but,  God alone provides the assurance we need in times like these, and the power of prayer, heartfelt believing prayer, always changes things, allowing them to conform to God’s purpose.

Governing authorities desperately need answers, and the Church is instructed to pray for all leaders everywhere (2 Timothy 2:1-4). As believers we are co-laborers with God (1 Corinthians 3:9) and have the opportunity and authority to pray for the nations to come through any crisis with God opening doors of opportunity for the Gospel to be heard. This current pandemic, political turbulance, and any other threat to humanity is no match for our all-powerful all-loving prayer-answering God, who hasn’t changed his mind about this world he loves so much.

Nothing is impossible when the Church humbles herself before God in fervent united prayer for His will to be done in any nation as it is in heaven. Let your light shine – and Be Encouraged!

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