From Our Dear Brother in Christ Dr. Jim Denison:
Bible sales increase 62 percent
Operators of New York State’s power grid have been camped out since March 23 in parking lots adjacent to plants and control rooms that must be staffed 24/7 to keep the state’s lights on. They work in specialized, confined spaces. If one of them became sick with coronavirus, they could quickly infect others, resulting in a personnel shortage that could disrupt operations. As a result, they are living in trailers apart from their families during this crisis.
The buildings they are powering include hospitals and homes, structures vital to life in these days of pandemic crisis and stay-at-home orders. By contrast, churches across the country are observing Holy Week online and through other technological means.
But this doesn’t mean that the church cannot be the church. As Evangel Church shows, the church is not a building. Christians can make a difference in this crisis in ways that transcend their physical locations.
LifeWay Christian Resources saw a 62 percent increase in Bible sales last week compared to the previous year. “We believe this is no accident,” said Ben Mandrell, LifeWay CEO. “People draw hope from Scripture because in it they see a God who is with us during our suffering.” Our own ministry has seen our website traffic double in recent weeks.
There are so many ways we can be the church together even as we are apart physically. One of the most significant, of course, is through prayer. When we pray, we address the same God. The closer we come to him, the closer we come to each other. And the more passionately we pray, the more powerfully his Spirit works in the world in response.
Three prayers that will change the world
As we noted in this morning’s Daily Article, Jesus spent Holy Wednesday in communion with his Father. We can do the same today and every day. In fact, we are taught to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), a present-tense imperative that allows for no extenuating circumstances.
The more we are socially distanced from others, the more we have time to draw closer to our Lord. Consider three practical ways to pray today:
Pray for ways to help people in need.
In Matthew 9:37, Jesus taught his disciples to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” The next verse tells us one way God answered their prayer: “He called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and affliction.” (Matthew 10:1). Then, “these twelve Jesus sent out” (v. 5).
When we pray for those who are suffering, God often empowers and calls us to be the answer to our prayers.
Pray for God to use this crisis for his glory and our good.
Acts 1:8 is Jesus’ well-known mandate for the first Christians to take the gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the “end of the earth.” However, for the next seven chapters, their movement remained centered in Jerusalem.
Then, after the martyrdom of Stephen, “there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles” (Acts 8:1).
In other words, Acts 8:1 fulfilled the mandate of Acts 1:8. As a result, “those who were scattered went about preaching the word” (Acts 8:4).
Pray for ways to know God more intimately than ever before.
The psalmist called us to “sing to the LORD a new song” (Psalm 98:1). Whatever our present circumstances, we are to “make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!” (v. 4).
When all seems well, it is easy to become comfortable and complacent in our faith. When crisis comes, we recognize our need for strength beyond our own.
The psalmist testified, “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:19).
Will your soul be cheered today?
Did someone forward this email to you?
To subscribe to The Daily Article, visit denisonforum.org/subscribe.
|Denison Ministries, 17304 Preston Rd, Suite 1060, Dallas, TX 75252|
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives. Titus 3:14
I have been getting calls for help from food to housing…….it is very heart breaking to hear some of the stories. I had a sweet lady contact me about housing for her and her two-year-old son……..another lovely woman had her lease cancelled at her place of business, because she us unable to conduct business, as her business, cosmetology, is considered non-essential. The landlord wants to fill that office with a business that is active. I try to help all people. Another lady was let go by the company she worked for.
Here is a wonderful story…..I told Franchesca to call and she did, the Angeles delivered!
From Franchesca Stevens, who is pictured above.
With everything we are all going through right now, I would like to tell you about something incredibly good that is happening within our community.
A friend gave me a number this week to call for a free food delivery since I, like everyone else, am confined to my home because of Coronavirus, and am also a senior who is immunosuppressed due to my fight with breast cancer. I was told that this number would connect me with a local charity, but, to my surprise, I soon found out that this relief effort is not funded by the government, but, rather, PERSONALLY by our own NM State Auditor Brian Colon and one of his friends, Erin Chisolm, who owns Chisolm Trail RV. It’s called Brian’s Angels and Team Chisholm and they, with the help of a small group of volunteers, have already delivered 8,000 free meals and more than 1,000 free food care packages over the past few weeks. They also have a GOFUNDME campaign called BriansAngels and TeamChisolm.
In my experience, I called the number I was given around 3 p.m. one day this week and within TWO HOURS someone was at my doorstep with two bags full of delicious perishable and non perishable food: things like canned beans, potato chips, meat, applesauce, lunch snack packs, tortillas, frozen vegetables, Ramen noodles, etc.
When I later talked to Auditor Colon on the phone to thank him, he simply said, “We’re just a couple of folks who wanted to help families out during this time. We are dropping boxes but spreading love and hope while we restore people’s faith in humanity.”
He also encouraged anyone else who needs help to text him on his personal phone at 505-270-2154. It’s my guess you won’t wait long!
Franchesca Stevens in Albuquerque
Thank you for sharing Franchesca! Thank you Brian Colon and Erin Chisolm and your TEAM of ANGELS for all your doing for God’s people. God Bless you all! I follow this team of Angels on Facebook, I beleive they were in Gallup, NM yesterday!!!!!!
Please pray for Franchesca as she has cancer, pray for healing. It is so wonderful to see unity building in America at this time. I pray this unity of love with go on even after this pandemic! Pray for all, good health for all! We are also ministering too many widow’s out there who are shut ins. Thank the Lord for the telephone!
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18