Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.” One of the many lessons the Lord has been teaching me during lockdown is the immeasurable value of a godly wife and flourishing homemaker (Prov. 31; 1 Tim. 5; Titus 2). If Michelle was tearing our house down, lockdown would be miserable. But because our home is such a happy harbour, me and the kids are able to work and play and endure the lockdown far better. That is my prayer for every one of our Antioch homes. May God send such a biblical reformation to our land here so that thousands more such Christian homes are raised up!
A New Heaven and Earth:
2 Peter 3:13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells…
This is a promise written about in the Old Testament, of a new universe.
It will be new because it will be different from what was, because it’s quality will change, it will be a place of righteousness, very different to what it is now.
“Where there will be only goodness.” Oh dear Lord…but please hurry a little!” – Ruth Harms Calkin.
A home to look forward to – warmth, acceptance, love and welcome.
Away from loneliness, despair, hate and violence.
Father I praise you for that promise I can depend on, a home of goodness to look forward to. May I focus on your righteousness today in sharing you with others, that I might be comforted by your word, that it’s only because of you I can enjoy righteousness here on earth, as you prepare me for that place of righteousness to come…
Amen, June! Thanks for sharing
Psalm 9:1 “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.”
We serve an Amazing and Wonderful Lord and God. During the Lockdown He has provided for all our needs.
1) He has kept my family safe from sickness and disease.
2) He has drawn us closer as a family.
3) Given me opportunity after opportunity to share the Gospel.
4) Provided financially when we needed it most.
5) Taught me more about His Creation and the wonders of this earth.
6) Increased my love for my Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
7) Showed my sins and weaknesses against certain temptations.
8) Strengthened me through His Word.
9) Worked in the heart of a previously lost friend.
10) Drawn me closer to Him.
If not for the salvation work God is doing in me to conform me more and more into the image of His Son, I would not know of the wonders of His hands and the splendor of His mercies.
God has been giving our family the opportunity to:
– have more time together. Lots of daddy and daughter time jumping on the trampoline and lots of epic table tennis games on the dinner table between dad and son.
– do dishes and prepare meals together, much more often than before the lockdown.
– get into a daily Bible study routine every night after dinner.
– have at least one cup of morning tea together with my wife (on the ‘stoep’ in the autumn sun).
In our home, during this lockdown period, we were again reminded of God’s sovereignty and that He is in control, has always been and will always be.
Some pearls of wisdom that we’ve heard (and appreciated) from the virtual Antioch pulpit over this lockdown period:
– “God’s in it and in it for good!”
– “Take care of your character, God will take care of your reputation”
– “Our only fear should be God. For fear of God, drives out all other fears.”
– “Submission is NOT the same as agreement.”
– “Do you prize your neat and tidy theology so much that you skip over difficult parts of the Bible so that you are not challenged?”
Our favourite scripture during lockdown so far:
” Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 1:3-14 explicitly describes the glorious truths of the Christian’s election, redemption, and inheritance. God predetermined our adoption to Himself through Jesus Christ to the praise of his glory (v.6). He redeemed us through Christ’s blood to the praise of His glory (v. 12). He guaranteed our inheritance through the sealing of the Holy Spirit to the praise of His glory (v. 14). Therefore, let’s give thanks to the Lord and glorify His name forever (Ps 86:12), aggressively and energetically pressing on by God’s grace towards Christlikeness (Philippians 3:14).
During this lockdown I have been thinking a lot about prayer and how to be more intentional in how I pray. A friend shared this poem with me – it’s about the power of prayers from everyday people:
The weary ones had rest, the sad had joy that day
And wondered “How?”
A plowman singing at his work, had prayed,
“Lord, help them now.”
Away in foreign lands they wondered “How?”
Their feeble words had power:
At home the Christians, “two or three,” had met
To pray an hour!
Yes, we are always wondering, wondering “How?”
Because we do not see
Someone unknown perhaps, and far away,
On bended knee.
A hidden one apart, but near to God,
Was claiming Victory,—
As they went forth to battle in His name,
“Lord, be Thou nigh!”
The hands were steady till the setting sun—
No need to “wonder” more,
How courage, faith and hope were all supplied
From Heaven’s store.
For this thy praying host who wait on Thee
According to Thy Word,
Who plead by day and night within Thy courts,
We thank Thee, Lord!
I heard and was impacted by Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s testimony years ago as a college student at UNC-Chapel Hill. I remember his statement that the paper carried in his mother’s handbag said more to him about predestination than Paul’s letter to the Ephesians!
Praise the Lord!
Because He lives…
With hindsight is this Lockdown a very special time and maybe long overdue. It forced me to become still before God and be blessed with riches in the Word, while studying the Old Testament with the guidance of other faithful men.
Studying the Old Testament iterated why we were created, perfect and in God’s likeness for His glory. The Old Testament is drenched with God attributes and promises to save man, showing Gods patience, love, etc. for us, while our wicked hearts continue to rebel against Him and seek our own ways. I do not think I am any better than Israel.
At the start of Lockdown, I continued reading the Bible as normal, but it quickly became a more in-depth study and a desire to delve more and more into God’s word. Thanks to God’s guidance, things long forgotten and new nuggets of gold were discovered, showing what a great God and Father, we have. The value of the OT, seeing how we need a Savior and real King, then being fulfilled in the NT with Christ coming for all nations. The OT helped me to better understand why Christ had to come and die on the cross.
I have been saved for years and had peace with limited anxiety, but the peace during Lockdown abounded in me. Knowing that God is God and He alone. He is in control of His creation and we do not have to fear, except reverently fearing Him. He knows what is best and uses trials to purify us. Nothing happens without his approval.
My mind has been set more and more on Christ and it’s my desire to be more Christlike. My desires for the world have gone strangely dim and I enjoyed studying and communicating with the Lord daily for extensive times. My prayer is that this will continue, not just as a habit but with a continuous and passionate desire, as I walk this road of sanctification. I pray the Holy Spirit will fill me to obedience and continue to teach my wicked heart, and therefore ensuring my mind is set on things above, seeking only His likeness and to point others towards Christ.
May God be glorified for his mercy and grace shown to me.
This past month of lockdown has been very difficult for our family. With various health issues and other trials, we were beginning to echo the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:8, feeling that we were “so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” The burdens felt so great, we felt as if we could not bear anything more. Then, God sent us more.
Already feeling at the point of breaking, I found out that I had been in contact with somebody who tested positive for Covid-19, and I needed to go into self-isolation for 14 days. Because of my health struggles, I had been having somebody come (almost daily) to help me with the household chores, as well as somebody to come help me with the children. When I found out I had to self-isolate, not only was my freedom taken away, but also my help, as I could no longer be around anybody besides our immediate family.
But, God did a remarkable work in my heart… Rather than feeling overwhelmed and even more over-burdened, I felt encouraged! I began to look at all of these trials and burdens through the lens of 2 Corinthians 1:9 – “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.” I was reminded that God would not have given us more, if He didn’t know that we could handle more, in His strength. It was then that I realised that I had been leaning too heavily on other people and better circumstances to ease my fears and calm my anxieties. But God, in His sovereignty, stripped all that away, and showed me my sin. I needed to stop looking for solutions everywhere else, and I needed to rely fully on Him.
Suddenly, all of our trials and difficulties did not feel so weighty and unbearable. I have the “God who raises the dead” with me in everything that I face. I must stop trying to do things on my own and lean on Him – I need to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). Another verse that has been a particular encouragement to me is Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I am so thankful for a God who loves me and cares for me enough to point out my sin and gives me grace and strength to turn from it and live for Him.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
Yes, add me to your mailing list.