March 15, 2020
Rose of Sharon Baptist Church March 15, 2020
Church Service Notes
AM Service – Statement on coronavirus
Scripture: 2 Timothy 1:7 & John 16:33
To begin our morning service I would like to address coronavirus. Our world is facing this outbreak and we in America are too. These verses remind us that we will have troubling circumstances in our lives – trouble is not a surprise to God and it should not be a surprise to us. Furthermore, God wants us to have no fear in face of our troubles but rather to have courage, good cheer, peace, and a sound mind. As Christians, we can rest in the Lord and live with confidence.
As of this morning there are confirmed cases of the virus in Georgia but not yet in Colquitt County. Lowndes, Dougherty, and Lee counties are communities where people have tested positive for the virus at this time. I want to share with you information that has been shared with me about the virus, I am not a medical expert, but hopefully I can provide some shared knowledge and assurance with you. The symptoms of the virus include coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. People with these symptoms are advised to call their doctor or an urgent care center and discuss their symptoms over the phone. The doctor can provide guidance over the phone for how to proceed based on the symptoms. Please, do not go to a doctor office or hospital for these symptoms unless they are severe. People will risk unnecessary exposure to the virus by go to a doctor in person rather than speaking over the phone. People over the age of 60, people with chronic health issues, and people with lowered immune systems are the most at risk for the virus and complications from the virus. The majority of people who may be infected by the virus would only experience mild symptoms and are expected to recover. Georgia has experience one death among approximately 100 confirmed infections.
What will we do as a church in response to the virus? We are going to pray! Our national and state leaders have requested our prayers and the Southern Baptist Convention has outlined prayer focus points for us to join together with other children of God to request of our Father. As of this week we have cancelled Sunday School, Sunday evening service, and Wednesday services. We will reassess our services on a weekly basis for the time being. I expect that we will continue to meet for the 11:00 worship service at least. The Scriptures tell us to share one another’s burdens and we want to be obedient to the Lord’s teaching and share His love and our love with each other. If you are at high risk for the virus and are concerned about leaving your home to go to a store or run errands; we have several church members who are willing and happy to help you get what you need. Please email or call us and let us know if you need assistance. If we don’t answer your initial call leave a message and we will return your call. We don’t want people sitting at home worrying over how to get by during this time when medical experts are advising against certain public interactions.
Please join me in praying for the following:
- Lord, please stop the spread of this virus so that lives might be spared and saved. Please stop this virus in our state, country, and world.
- God, please grant wisdom to the leaders You have allowed to be in authority across the world, in our nation, our state, and our local officials as to how to direct actions in response to this virus. God give wisdom to all leaders beyond the government to know how to respond; the leaders of our churches, families, work places, and others.
- Lord, please protect the medical workers medical support staffs who will be working among those who are sick. Please protect the workers who will be working overtime to produce testing equipment, deliver and transport medical supplies and others who will integral pieces of the response to this virus. Please bless their families as they work during this time.
- Father, please bring healing to those who are sickened by this virus. Provide Your presence, peace, wisdom, and courage to patients and their families.
- Father, please protect the missionaries spread across the globe and their families so that they may continue to minister to communities, continue to share love with the gospel, and introduce You to people who need You!
- Father, please calm fears, reveal Yourself to Your people that we may have Your peace and courage and that we may share Your peace with others!
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 7:1-5
This morning I want to continue to discuss family. In this section of 1 Corinthians Paul discusses marriage and we will focus on the marriage piece of our families.
In verse 1, Paul addresses singleness and tells us that it is acceptable to be single. Many people can be concerned that if they remain single longer than they expected that something about them is wrong or that they have failed in some way. This feeling is not from God. Paul affirms that singleness is acceptable. When we are single we can live fully for Christ without so many of the responsibilities that those with families must attend. So, for those who are single, pray for the Lord’s wisdom as to who to date and marry. Pray for confidence in God’s plan for your life regarding marriage. Pray for your future spouse.
Prior to marriage, we need to consider the Lord’s teaching concerning our conduct. God has a perfect plan for life. When we choose to move away from God’s plan we bring brokenness into our life. In 2 Corinthians 6:14 we are told as Christians to be in relationships with other Christians and we are to apply this in dating and marriage. I encourage you to pray for your children and grandchildren that their spouses would be Christians. As you consider who to date, I encourage you to seek Christians in dating. Evangelize and witness to a non-Christian but I believe the Bible tells us not to enter marriage relationships with non-Christians. Now, if you are currently in a dating relationship or marital relationship with a non-Christian I do not believe you should end the relationship, particularly a marriage. Use the circumstance to be a witness for Christ within your relationship to bring God glory and to reveal God to your companion and pray for their salvation!
Back in 1 Corinthians 7, Paul affirms marriage in verse 2. Genesis 2:22-24 which we reviewed last week, affirms marriage and describes it origin in God. Hebrews 13:4 tells us marriage is honorable. These verses and others establish truths we can understand and know about God’s plan for marriage. When we know God’s plan and obey it we can experience His blessing more; when we reject God’s plan and make marriage something other than God intended then we experience brokenness. These verses tell us that marriage is to be between one woman and one man. This eliminates any confusion on polygamy or homosexual marriages. These verses tell us intimate relations are reserved for marriage. Sexual relations are not for dating, explorations of self-discovery, shacking up, or affairs. Sexual relations are to be reserved for marriage where God’s blessing of intimacy can be fully realized. The world is very confused about marriage and many experience the brokenness resulting from trying to redefine marriage and its blessings. They also spread that brokenness to others in their lives. We must accept God’s intentions and plans for marriage and obey them.
In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 Paul tells us about the oneness of marriage. It seems to echo the description in Genesis of two coming together to become one in marriage. Verse 4 tells us that our spouse owns our body not ourselves. This teaching portrays the sacrifice involved in marriage and the commitment to one another marriage needs. We should be one in marriage in our communication, our respect, and our love. Certainly, marriages will have times of disagreement and troubles, but the marriage covenant, the commitment to each other should transcend the disagreement and allow the marriage to move forward and to continue in goodness. God has good plans for us, marriage is part of God’s plan; therefore, marriage should be good. Some of us need to acknowledge God’s goodness in our marriages and experience our marriages with restored hope.
God’s plan for marriage also includes permanence. Verses 10-11 speak of the wife and husband remaining committed to each other. In Matthew 19:6 Jesus tells us that marriages should not be torn apart. Divorce rates are over 50% in our country. Divorce is not a part of God’s original plan for marriage and clearly we experience the brokenness that results from divorce in many ways. As many in our church our divorced, I do want to share with you that divorce does not make a person a lesser Christian or inferior. I believe the Bible teaches divorce is a sin. The Bible clearly teaches sins can be forgiven and that the Lord redeems His people and gives them new life. So if you are divorced, do not live in guilt but seek the Lords wisdom, peace, and guidance for your life. God has a good plan for us all and we can experience when we pursue Him!
As we conclude I want to consider the why question. Why did God create marriage? Why not just allow free love however we want? Ephesians 5:22-33 answers these questions for us. These verses in Ephesians show us that our marriages are to reflect the love God has for us. People should look at Christian marriages and see a husbands and wives loving each other sacrificially. They should see us united in loving companionship just as God loves and walks with us. Our marriages should be light in our world inviting others to know more about God! Let’s commit to keeping our marriages strong in the Lord for His glory!
In Christ’s Love,