Jump Start # 2568
Galatians 6:9 “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.”
A friend asked recently how it was going with keeping up with technology and preaching via video. It’s been a month now. And, it may be another month still. Personally, I don’t like it. There are two aspects of preaching. One is taking the information, the word of God, and communicating it to the people. That, I feel, we are still doing very heavily. The other aspect is connecting that message to hearts. This is where distance hurts. Livestreaming and videos is a great way of teaching during our social distancing, but it’s just not the same as being there. We understand that in other areas. Someone shows us a picture taken from their vacation. It looks nice. They tell us, “this picture just isn’t like being there.”
Last century, in 1918, there was a massive Spanish flu epidemic that swept the country. Stores closed. Churches were ordered to stop meeting. People stayed home. But what was missing back then was the technological connections that we have today. There were several out in the rural communities who did not have phones in 1918. There were no videos being made of sermons. There were no means of recording sermons for most congregations. Brethren were left on their own. But, somehow they did it. They pulled from their faith what they believed and they continued to pray, worship and teach the Bible. Congregations did not collapse. There wasn’t widespread apostasy or falling away from God. Tough times called upon those believers to do what they could. They had been taught, prepared and equipped. They had built a foundation upon the rock. Now, when the storms of life came, they relied upon that faith and trust in the Lord.
As we continue on in our current storm, weariness becomes a real issue. The novelty of watching livestream and worshipping at home is exciting at first. But after a while it can become old. It’s important for parents to keep up with fresh ideas for Bible classes at home. Think of special things to pray about and have the children sing hymns with the parents. This is a good time for dads to teach their sons on how to lead public prayers. I know one family which has allowed a college age son to conduct the Lord’s Supper each week. He puts thoughts into what he is going to say. He leads the prayers. His dad said that when we are back together in the church building, he will be ready to lead the Lord’s Supper. What a powerful example for us. Those that know how to lead singing, teach your sons the fundamentals. Have them stand and lead the family in songs. There are some life long lessons that can benefit not only these young people but better help our congregations when this storm passes.
Our passage today carries three important strands of truth.
First, don’t get discouraged. That’s what the expression, “lose heart” means. Today, we simply say, “I don’t feel like it.” I don’t feel like being nice. I don’t feel like forgiving. I don’t feel like getting out of bed. Discouragement, your heart is not in it leads to one quitting, throwing in the towel and giving up. Paul’s words are: DON’T LOSE HEART. You do what you have to in order to keep your heart in the game. Few things are worse than a discouraged Christian. Such a person doesn’t have the hope and faith that he needs to have.
Second, keep doing good. The first, not losing heart, effects the second, doing good. We do good and no one appreciates it. No one says, “thank you.” No one notices. You wonder why should I keep doing this? No one seems to care. No one appreciates the time I put into this. I could just do what everyone else is doing. And, right then, discouragement takes over. Don’t do that, is what Paul says. Keep doing good. Heaven notices. Heaven notices a cup of cold water that you give (Mt 10:42). You don’t do these things for recognition, a shout out, or a pat on the back. You do them because it’s the right thing to do. Keep going. Keep it up. Don’t stop. Don’t take your foot off the accelerator. Do good. Engage in good deeds. Find more and more people to help. Find more and more ways to do good.
Third, in time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. God will bless you in His time. You are doing what is right and God will honor you. It may not be for a while. It may not even be here, but it will not be forgotten. Your reward in Heaven far outweighs any troubles you go through here.
This passage ends with this warning, “do not grow weary.” Do not lose heart and do not grow weary. Keep yourself fresh. Keep excited. Keep moving. Keep doing well.
Now, if you feel yourself slipping. You start to lose heart. You don’t feel like watching the livestreams anymore. You are not keeping up with your Bible classes. Reach out to one of the shepherds. Call the preacher. Let them talk to you for a while. Don’t sit back and allow your faith to go over the waterfall without trying. Don’t toss in the towel. You have so much going for you. This is so much better than what our forefathers went through in 1918. We have phones. We have texting. We have Facebook. We can be together even though we are not together. We don’t have to come up with our own sermons. We don’t have to have your own Bible classes. There are literally dozens and dozens of congregations and preachers that are putting out material every week. Blogs. Podcasts. Videos. You can have more encouragement now than you have ever had.
Someday this will be over. I’m already thinking about that first Sunday when we are all back together. Wow, won’t that be a great day. Together. Smiling faces. Babies crying. Our friends. Our teachers. Our preachers. Our shepherds. Can you imagine what singing will be like that first Sunday we are all back? Think about those prayers. Think about those classes.
Don’t lose heart and don’t get weary. Keep up the good you are doing.