How Christians in China and Tennessee Are Responding


From Man of God Dr. Jim Denison:

How Christians in China are responding 

Here’s another side of the coronavirus epidemic that is receiving less attention: doctors around the world are risking their personal health to fight a pandemic no one fully understands. They are also risking the health of their spouses, children, and other close family members if they become infected.

They’re not the only people serving others at personal sacrifice.

Faith-based disaster-relief groups are working in Tennessee after tornadoes killed at least two dozen people. (For my first response to this disaster, go here.) They are assisting with cleanup and are raising funds for survivors.

And Christians in China are sharing the gospel with coronavirus victims in remarkable ways. In January, for example, Pastor Paul Peng called a woman from Wuhan who had fallen ill from the disease and led her to Christ before she died. He then led a memorial service via videoconference for about one hundred of her family and friends.

After the service, several of the attendees professed faith in Christ. The service has been seen about eighty thousand times on social media.

The pastor says, “Through this, we’ve seen God’s grace and the love between the brothers and sisters in the church. The church members also feel a greater burden to evangelize with their family members.”

A fascinating study of “terror management theory” 

Such sacrificial compassion obviously follows the example of our Savior who “was pierced for our transgressions” and “crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). He called us to serve others just as he has served us (John 13:15), a command early Christians obeyed diligently (cf. Acts 3:1–10; 4:34–35; 5:14–16; 6:1–6; 8:4–8; 9:32–42; 10:34–43; 14:8–10; 16:16–24, 28–33; 19:11–20; 20:7–12; 28:7–9).

Such compassion became a powerful part of their witness in the following centuries. For instance, during epidemics in AD 165 and 251, Christians were unafraid to die and thus stayed behind when others fled, caring for the sick and dying at great personal risk. African American Christians did the same during the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793. (For more, see my paper, “Where is God when pandemics strike? A biblical and practical response.”)

Why is service in fearful times so powerful? A fascinating study offers some surprising answers.

Social psychologists speak of “terror management theory,” the idea that humans will go to great lengths to avoid reminders of their own mortality. A group studying this phenomenon found that individuals high in “extrinsic religiosity”—those who engage in religion for its personal and social benefits—are more fearful during stressful times. They also tend to be more prejudiced towards refugees and others they identify as threats.

By contrast, those who scored high in “intrinsic religiosity”—people for whom religion is more central to their daily lives and who seek to live by their religious beliefs—were less fearful of threats and threatening people.

Demonstrating “intrinsic religiosity” today 

How can we demonstrate more “intrinsic religiosity” in these days?

In Luke 21, Jesus looks to the destruction of the temple and the time of his return. However, there are principles in his discourse that speak to our present circumstances as well, offering us four ways to share the compassion of God with hurting people.

One: Serve sacrificially. Jesus commended the “poor widow” who put “two small copper coins” in the temple offering (vv. 1–4), showing that God measures our service by its cost to us. Obviously, the more we keep for ourselves, the less we have given to God and to others.

Two: Serve people over possessions. Herod’s temple was more than twice the size of the Acropolis in Athens, but Jesus predicted that “the days will come when there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (v. 6).

Three: See suffering and persecution as “your opportunity to bear witness” (v. 13), knowing that God will give you the courage and words to make public your faith (vv. 14–15).

Four: Serve with urgency, for the day when we will go to heaven or Jesus will come to earth is closer than ever before (cf. v. 34).

Author James Clear observed, “Your success depends on the risks you take. Your survival depends on the risks you avoid.”

What risks will you take for someone in Jesus’ name today?

NOTE: I tweet often throughout the day on breaking news with a biblical perspective. To follow me, go here.


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Past Posts:


Thankful for radio stations that still serve their communities! I have been in radio over 40 years, starting in news at the Minnesota State News Network in 1978. I am sadden how many stations have cut news coverage or have completely gutted their news department, like many Christian stations! Very tragic! Radio can still shine with dedicated owners serving their communities. It is horrible that Christian TV/Radio stations do not lead the way in local news in their communities! When I managed KKIM Christian Radio in Albuquerque we had a news team of 5 or more! I have spent much of my life in radio and some TV. I still do radio programming, “House of Hope” in Minnesota. We cover news here at FGGAM starting each day anywhere from 2am to 4am. If Christians do not report the news from a Biblical perspective who will? I think so many Christian Broadcasters and secular Broadcasters have gotten lazy and rely on news from networks.

We are strongly and passionately committed here at FGGAM by our Lord to serve you!

We continue to pray for the Nashville area and all those who have lost family and friends……we pray for the many heroes that are helping in the area! President Trump is set to visit the area on Friday.

Earlier this week, minutes after midnight, with little warning, a very powerful tornado whipped through Nashville. When the sun came up the next day the damage and destruction was severe. 24 people were dead, property was destroyed, the community devastated. [read more]
Your prayers are needed ...
Dear Friend,Yesterday, multiple tornadoes touched down across central Tennessee and around the city of Nashville. These storms have claimed more than 20 lives, injured 200 others, and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses. People in this region desperately need your prayers.

Right now, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are deploying to Tennessee to comfort and pray with survivors and first responders. We want the people affected by the tornadoes to know about the “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:3–4, ESV). Will you pray for these men, women, and children? Please also ask the Lord to strengthen emergency personnel and those working long hours to restore power.

Thank you for your heart to comfort people with the hope of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for friends like you.

May God richly bless you,

Franklin Graham signature
Franklin Graham
President & CEO
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

P.S. Will you prayerfully consider a gift today to share the love of Christ with people in Tennessee—and around the world?



A ministry of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
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My Report From Yesterday:

President Donald Trump has announced plans to visit Nashville on Friday, to view damages to the city caused by a devastating tornado earlier this week.

President Trump to Visit Nashville Area

We are in constant prayer for the entire area that was hit so very hard! My Dear Freind Roger Cole lives in the area and he said this morning that 24 people were Killed in Cookeville, Tennessee, plus many missing. We pray for all those who have lost family and friends. We pray the missing are found safe and we pray for all the First Responders and all the folks who are trying to restore electricity to the area. I am sure there are many unsung heroes working so very hard to help.

Please be in constant prayer.

Death Toll at Least 24

Homes and Businesses in ruins

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