sundays 10 am

wednesdays 6:30 pm

11500 Sheridan Blvd. Westminster, CO 80020

a message from pastor dan

covid-19: What Is Our Response?

Well, COVID19 is spreading to our particular area as we knew it would, but somehow it still seems like a dream doesn't it? Historic measures and new happenings are always unsettling, but let us not fear. This is an adventure with our Lord.

What are we doing as a church? Are we going to John Wayne this virus or Chicken Little it? Well, now that it is upon us what are we to do?

I have been thinking, praying, studying the Scriptures and researching a bit. By no means am I an expert or know what is best thing to do for anyone of us. But I sympathize with our governing authorities as I, the pastors and elders have to make decisions for a few hundred people while some governing authorities have to make decisions for thousands and still others for millions. Quite a responsibility. So after consulting with the Elders and Pastors...

How do we respond: John Wayne or Chicken Little? Hallelujah we have a better example to follow than that. We are to respond in the manner of Christ (I John 2:6). He has instructed us in His Word on how we are to respond. As I am looking at this situation I am seeing God's hand in a very clear direction that gives me a great deal of comfort in decision making.

We as believers are to walk like Christ walked and the two guiderails to this narrow path will keep us from responding out of fear or out of pride; they will keep us from selfish panic and keep us from arrogant presumption. The guiderails are Truth on one side and Love on the other (II John 1-6).

We do not live by sight, but by faith (II Corinthians 5:7) and as such we must respond believing in our Lord's protection (Psalm 91) and also His Sovereignty to do as we wills and what is best for our hearts (Job 36, II Kings 8:39-40, 59-60, Psalm 119:66-76). Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, so how do I respond when I am perplexed and don't know what I should do? Follow the Lord's Word and lean not on my own understanding (Isaiah 50:10-11, Proverbs 3:5-6).

hang in there with me...

I'm getting there...keep reading. I think it is essential we have a clear thought process from Scripture so we can go forward in faith and confidence not in fear or presumption.

We are called to be doers of good from trust in the Lord (I Peter 3:8-13), not fearing what people might do {hoard, riot, sneeze on us} (Hebrews 13:6). We are to be the ones giving, not taking (Acts 20:35). We are to share not hoard (Hebrews 13:16, Proverbs 11:26). We must serve not be self-seeking (Romans 2:8, Titus 3:8). We have to make our decisions based on what is good for others not what is convenient, normal, safe or easy for ourselves (I Corinthians 10:24).

So what is the good we ought to do? Here is where I see God's hand in what is going on to give us clear guidance on what good He wants us as His children to do. And if we understand the good we ought to do and don't do it...then we are sinning (James 4:17).

Please understand this is my conviction and responsive leading in the church. I am not saying all churches or even all of you have to do just as I am convicted (I Corinthians 8:1-3), but we must all make decisions not on what is best for MYSELF but rather for OTHERS.

Right, get back to God's hand in guiding...

Here is where I see God's hand clearly. I'd even go as far to say that it seems like a wink and a smile to us as believers to recognize His hand even through unbelieving leaders to do us good (John 11:49-52).

We have been told by the Lord to obey our secular authorities (Romans 13:4-5) and to make their job easier rather than harder because whether they know it or not God is using them to look out for our souls (Hebrews 13:17).

Our governing authorities and health officials ARE ASKING for help in curtailing this virus by not meeting in groups over 20. Basically, they are saying if you don't have to be together with others DON'T. They are ASKING this so the system is not overrun by needless infections, medical care limitations and the vulnerable being scarred for life (lungs) or even dying. Our leaders are ASKING to make their job easier in a very serious situation.

Why is this God's hand and a wink and a smile from Him? Couldn't our authorities ORDER us to be quarantined? Couldn't they MAKE us do what they want? Instead our secular, unbelieving, selfish, limited-knowledge leaders are APPEALING to us on the basis of.....waaaiiiit for iiiiiiiiiiiiit….LOVE!

Are you kidding me? They are ASKING us not to meet (for a season of time) to make their job's easier to care for the sick and avoid an overload of the system. They are ASKING on the basis of concern for others. Whether they are sincere or not, does this not cry out God's leading for us?!!!!

In Philemon 8-9 it is written, "Although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do as you ought to do, yet I appeal to you on the basis of love." WOW! GLORY! HALLELUJAH!!! I am thrilled as I study this situation to so clearly see God's hand guiding us. Our governing authorities are appealing to us and on the basis of love: not fear, not pride, not money, not self-righteousness...Whether they mean it or not, God is using them to appeal to us on the basis of love.

On the basis of love given the truth that God speaks through governing authorities and those authorities are not asking us to sin but rather to do what is beneficial for others (Acts 5:29, Romans 13:10); we as a church will be augmenting how we do ministry to just as they have asked. We will only meet in person starting this weekend on a NEEDFUL basis, not by convenience, not by pride and not for money.

so, we are cancelling...

So we are not going to be meeting this Sunday physically, but we will stream a service for all to participate in. We are thinking of ways to send out daily encouragements, stimulate us to good deeds that are NEEDED. Its going to be different in our lives for a while. That's ok. God will teach us through this.

Let's keep this body going by texting, calling, emailing, streaming, video chatting, etc. with each other during this season of sickness. We can even keep the organization of our church going through mailing in our giving or giving digitally. No worries. So let's make the job of our authorities easier.

YOU'RE ALMOST DONE!

Just as it would be if someone got in an accident and we were helping. When the paramedics come you get out of the way for the sake of all. We step in as asked and we do what is NEEDED. We don't turn away from a need, but we don't needlessly cause suffering. We are not doing convenient ministry but NEEDED ministry for the sake of others' needs. We should not shrink back in fear, but also not spread suffering through pride. For now we are doing what is reasonably asked.

We'll keep informing you of our body's steps. We'll pass on helpful information and we will give you ideas for how to minister even as we are apart. But this is a loooong enough email as it is. So be watching for more information.

Got my number and need something?

Text/Call me. You don't have my number. Email me back and I will give it to you.

God is with us, dear ones. God is smiling on His children even as some are fearful we can make decisions in full confidence that the Lord is calling us to get out of the way for a bit and let Him work. So let's trust our Lord, minister in our own homes, help neighbors in need, share what we have, etc. God will bring us through this. God will bring us through. Why? Because our Father loves us. No fear. Trust and Obey. Truth and Love!

love, pastor dan