Empty Is Good


“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

Matthew 28:19


For weeks now, churches around the world have been empty, and for the most part the faithful are “missing in action” not as if they went to war and have never returned. By missing I mean they are missed as the weeks continue to pass and the church is unable to enjoy the fellowship of being together worshiping the Lord due to the “sheltering in place” order that prevents churches from gathering together in person. But the good news is though every member is missed many are still “in action” the way that Jesus instructed us it should be. What the church has rediscovered this past month is that the gospel of Jesus spreads even faster than the coronavirus, saving peoples lives as we continue to go about making disciples in all the world. In an age of statistics, here is one I hope motivates you! If every person who calls themselves christian told one person about Jesus every day who then told one person about Jesus every day it wouldn’t take long for the entire worlds population to hear the good news. It’s called “compound interest.” Have you ever heard the financial example that it's better to have a single penny that doubles everyday for a month, versus $1 million up front. This is because of the power of compound interest. If you took a single penny and doubled it everyday, by day 30, you would have $5,368,709.12. Obviously, Jesus knew what He was doing when He commissioned His disciples in sharing the gospel one on one.  

Yes, churches are empty just as the tomb of Jesus is empty and empty churches empowered by the Spirit of God with the news of an empty tomb are now spreading it from house to house and person to person unlike at any other time I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. With the use of social media and time that use to be completely devoted to our jobs, the church has become extremely innovative, learning to utilize all the resources available to us to make Jesus known throughout the world. From live-streaming our weekly services and online bible studies, to prayer and support groups, the gospel continues to flourish. Hungry people are still being fed and hurting people are finding peace and comfort because many “Front Line” followers of Jesus have remembered the old missionary maxim, “wrap your bible in shoe leather.” It seems like the Coronavirus has divided the church into two groups of people these days, those who make excuses and those who are making a difference. One thing we all know for sure is, you can’t do both.

What many have discovered this past month is that there are things in life that can’t be done via the internet. Sometimes going in person and seeing each other face to face is what’s needed to communicate love even if that means breaking the letter of the law. Keeping the spirit of the law car parades and convoys of love are happening every day across the country as teachers decorate their cars driving through neighborhoods to bring their students joy reminding them they are missed. Family members and friends are doing the same thing for loved ones who are celebrating birthdays and anniversaries. Yesterday my wife and I had the privilege to take part in a drive by “send off” for a young man who joined the Air Force and is heading out today to begin bootcamp. Love is best shown in person. People are visiting shut in’s and the hospitalized in person even while practicing “social distancing.” My uncle Bruce is in the hospital currently and his wife visits him through a wrought iron fence where they can see and hear each other.

The Gospel, which is love is best shared in person. Think about this. Wouldn’t it have been much easier for Jesus to just send us a letter telling us He loved us instead of dying on a Cross for us? It would have been basically pain free had The Lord just organized a parade or a car rally to convey His love to us. Imagine Jesus doing a “Heaven Live” made for television special with worship and singing accompanied by the “angelic host of heaven” band behind Him. Of course it would have been free and not a pay per view event. Yet none of those things would work as there is no salvation without the Cross, without Jesus sacrifice, love is just an emotion. And to think, being God, Jesus has every form of communication and then some at His fingertips and yet He delivered the message of salvation in person when He came from heaven to earth. Jesus didn’t see coming in the form of a man and living in a world of disease and death as a risk at all. Jesus saw it as His mission, the opportunity to fulfill the very purpose in His first coming.

Let me encourage you today if the coronavirus got you feeling a little empty today? Remember, empty is good because its an opportunity for God to fill you up! Don’t forget, you discover your purpose as you fulfill His purpose! Be creative today and find new ways to show Gods love to the world around you as you seek to go into all the world making disciples in Jesus name!

 
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

John 13:35

I LOVE YOU!

Michael Osthimer

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