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The Latter Rain: Celebrate Lent – Day 18 Special Edition – “Be Careful – Don

12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.15 Remember what it says: 

“Today when you hear his voice,     don’t harden your hearts     as Israel did when they rebelled.”

16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn’t it the people Moses led out of Egypt?

Hebrews 3:12-16

God’s people have a history of grumbling and complaining during difficult times. Sometimes I think we just keep repeating the same old sins and mistakes, and do not learn our lessons.

Today’s reading in Hebrews reminds how even 1500 years after Moses led the Israelites out of bondage, the Hebrew Christians were complaining about how difficult it was to live out their faith amid Jewish persecution.

From the beginning of the journey of God’s people out of slavery and into the Promised Land, and on into the first century of Christian faith we see the temptation to forget all God has done for us when difficult times arise.

These days of national and global emergency in the face of the spreading Corona Virus are certainly unprecedented for most Americans. Most of us have lived in the luxury of God’s blessings our whole lives and do not really know what it means to have real hardship and difficulty. We have had no real threat of famine or plague that would threaten our very way of life and existence.

My 90 year old mother recalls how her family was quarantined on more than one occasion in the 1930’s (the day’s before vaccines and antibiotics) because of the easy spreading of dangerous infections like Diphtheria and Measles. One of her brothers even died from the Diphtheria. Yet, even she cannot remember what it was really like to be quarantined by act of the civil authorities.

This is definitely uncharted territory for all of us. So was the desert wandering for the Israelites. At Merribah and Massah, when it looked as though the people might die for lack of water, the people quickly forgot all their blessings and miraculous deliverances by God and resorted to grumbling and complaining…even to the point of despair, wishing they were back in bondage.

As I see people flocking to stores and holding supplies of things like soap, toilet paper, and water I want to shout out to everyone – STOP IT! God is with us! We don’t need to fear! We leave no room for God to work when we try to meet all our needs ourselves.

Our hoarding of supplies proves our fears. And it will only make things more difficult for the supply chain in our economy to do its job supplying the places of greatest need, like hospitals and care homes.

The fact that we can afford to go to the store and buy up all the supplies we think we will need (like we even know how long this emergency will last) doesn’t mean that we should. Let us not forget that many of our neighbors do not even have enough money to buy supplies for this week, not to mention what they will do when they run out of toilet paper and realize the shelves are bare.

Like one calling out in the wilderness, let us all hear the voice of the Hebrew writer and not harden our hearts as did the children of Israel in the day of rebellion. If we’re not careful our hearts can lead us away from the Living God.

Instead, let us remember that God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. He gave the Israelites manna and water in the wilderness and I think He can take care of our needs for water, soap, and yes even toilet paper…that is, if we do not try to meet all our needs by ourselves.


Pastor Brad

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About Me

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Hi! Thanks for learning a little more about me and my journey.

I am an ordained presbyter in the Church of the Nazarene, and in my ministry, I work with churches and individuals from all denominations. I also currently serve as Pastor of The Udall Methodist Church, an independent church in Udall, Kansas, and Grandview UMC in Winfield, KS and as Care Coordinator for the Cozine Memorial Group.


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