Devotional: Social Distancing

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)

“‘For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.'”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

These are trying times for people of the faith as well as for those not of the faith. People who are accustomed to attending worship services on Sundays are longing for those days to return. Those who violate the guidelines of no more than 10 in a gathering are frequently penalized by law enforcement. How do we balance our obligation to attend church services?

I encourage you to remember the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:20 (above). Here, Jesus knew there would be trying times when large gatherings could not meet. In fact, the disciples went through some of those times. Christians were despised by many during the first century AD. They usually met–either in the catacombs beneath the city, or they would meet house to house. This allowed them to meet in smaller groups–making them less conspicuous. The Emperor Nero was among the Roman rulers who persecuted the Christians. The apostle Peter died during Nero’s heinous rule.

So, take heart during these troubled times, and meet in small groups. Worship house to house like they did after Christ’s death. Just be very careful to ensure that social distancing is practiced. Even with these precautions, you still may contaminate others. If you are an asymptomatic carrier, you may not even know you are infecting others. If you are comfortable with the online, media worship, this is the safest procedure. If not, then please practice social distancing, and meet in small groups. This can be done under the direction of church leadership. I have seen it done. It can work.

I pray that Christians everywhere abide by the restrictions COVID-19 is placing upon us. I ask that God allow us to meet in small groups practicing social distancing in order not to infect others. I pray that God give us strength to learn the lessons intended by these troubling times and make us stronger Christians in better servitude to each other as we serve Him after these times are over. May God Bless and Keep all who practice the faith in Christ Jesus according to Christ’s teachings. I ask all in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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Image above: by Hannah Busing on Unsplash.com

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When Devout Women Pray

~~ a Devotional ~~

~~ by tkbrown
Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Lydia Becomes a Christian

Acts 16:11-15

  • 11 — “Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samo-thrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,”
  • 12 — “and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. And we were staying in that city for some days.”
  • 13 — “And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.”
  • 14 — “Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.”
  • 15 — “And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.’ So she persuaded us.”

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Lydia was a businesswoman who met with a group of women to make prayer on the Sabbath day by the riverside in Philippi of Macedonia. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira.

Paul and his party, who had just recently arrived in Philippi, joined the women. There, Paul met Lydia. “And the Lord opened her [Lydia’s] heart to heed the things spoken by Paul,” (Acts 16:14 NKJV). Thus, God had seen Lydia’s heart and had deemed her prayers worthy of being heard. He answered her prayers by sending Paul to speak with her.

Lydia and her household saw the truth in Paul’s teachings and were baptized into Christ’s church. Afterward, she begged of Paul and his team that they stay in her house if they judged her heart to be faithful to God. Paul said she persuaded them.

What this says is, even before she became a Christian, Lydia’s prayers were fervent enough to be heard by God and Jesus Christ. Her prayers were recognized as those of a woman who was truly searching for the truth, and He answered her prayers.

Typically, When the prayers uttered before becoming a Christian are referenced as being ‘heard’, it is those of Cornelius that are mentioned and studied.

Perhaps, as encouragement to devout women of faith, we should make an effort to show the same virtue and righteous recognition are given to Lydia’s prayers. Thus, when a woman of ‘faith’ prays, God hears and answers.

Lydia continued to support efforts to grow the church in Philippi.

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Photo Above: by reenablack @ pixabay.com.

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