Do you have a system of beliefs and a local community that holds those beliefs in common? Those beliefs serve as the binding energy of the group. You see this as a beneficial effect and you are right. Do you see any downside to this? Is it possible that the same belief system that binds blinds as well? Does your belief system restrict your view of the world outside it or enlarge it? Does it limit your vision or enlarge it? Does it make you superior to those outside, or does it help you to see connections with everything I made?
I received an email in the last 24 hours that my sister has been terribly sick for many days, with a fever of 102. Her doctor has had her tested for the coronavirus, but it will be ten days before the results come back so we are not 100% sure of the diagnosis. Either way, right now she is separated from her family, afraid and in pain.
Do you depart from the noise and busyness of everyday life to seek me? You have my promise that you will find me if you seek for me with all your heart. You may find this search is easier in a quiet place. When you have found me what do you do? I do not intend that your search for me leave you isolated from others. Consider those who have encountered me in solitary places – Moses, Jacob, David, and many more. They did not remain apart from people, but returned with a clear sense of identity and purpose to carry out the destiny I had prepared for them.
Are you training your children to think for themselves? Will you be happy when they do? Thinking for themselves implies that they will be free to make their own choices that may not coincide with yours. My direction is to raise up children in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it. This implies constancy, but it also affirms that the direction for them may not be the same as my direction for you. Will you leave them free to find their own destiny in me? Will you rejoice when they do so?
In some sports there are cheerleaders whose task it is to express enthusiasm for the team and the fans. Cheerleaders do not actually take part in the game. Do you find it helpful to have people cheering you on to carry out your assigned tasks? Do you require it? For there are sports in which the athletes exert just as much effort without additional personnel to encourage them. Things can be more subtle in my Kingdom, but the same principles apply. Have you encountered people who gave up on tasks because they felt unappreciated? Anything is easier if people express gratitude for it.
What is the purpose of your life? To seek pleasure and avoid pain? No sane person seeks to suffer, but suffering comes to you whether you seek it or not. To what lengths are you willing to go to avoid suffering? Too much emphasis on this will diminish your life, for a life with no suffering is too small a life for you. I said blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
How much do you know about me? You refer to a saving knowledge of God and that is a valid concept, but it is available to children in a moment. I do not require you to know much about me for me to accept you. Are you following on to know the Lord? If you understand the question you will know that it involves more than reciting a list of doctrinal points. It is more a matter of relational truth than propositional truth. This is a process rather than an event, and your comprehension will be transformed as you walk with me. I am patient.
Because of Covid-19, we have all been told to self-quarantine in our homes for a month. Wow! I am 68 and NEVER has our nation told us to do such a thing!
Some churches are not doing it. A church in Tampa last week held services, and the pastor was arrested.
Where do you expect to find me? Do you go to church to meet with me? Yet you hold the doctrine of omnipresence, which affirms that I am everywhere. I can meet you in church, but I am not limited to that location. Do you see me everywhere you look? I wasn’t really welcome in church myself, and those who looked to me for exalted glory were disappointed, although I did some great miracles. My stories were about familiar, commonplace, and ordinary things, and yet the truth of the Kingdom of God was in them. I will come to you disguised as your everyday life. Will you see me when I do?
Do you belong to a church with rigidly defined membership requirements? In this case you have to meet certain criteria, and then you are enrolled in that church. If at any time you no longer meet those criteria, or of your own volition decide to move on, then you are no longer a member of that church. The Christian church taken as a whole, as my body, is different. There is no central registration of who belongs, at least not here on earth. You can belong to a church but that is a separate affiliation.