What can I do, what can I do to secure me, me, me! I just need more ammo, that’s the ticket.’
If Jesus were to preach the sermon on the mount today it might include something like this. ‘If you have a closet full of toilet paper and your neighbor comes to you begging for a square to spare, give him a package or two.’
‘If the government compels you to pay your sick employee’s wages, pay his rent also.’
‘If your single parent neighbor comes to you as you are holed up in your house for fear, begging for you to take care of her three children for a while so she can take her sick baby to the doctor, do not turn them away and do not withhold anything else they might need.’
It’s not about you, it’s about seeking first the Kingdom of God and letting God worry about your well-being. It’s about God being glorified as others see him in us.
As the Apostle John would say ––Little children, love.
“But the end is near!” The end is always near. Survival at the expense of your soul is not survival.
I am old enough to have lived through several end of the world scenarios by now. As a child in the 60’s we were all about to get nuked by the commies at any moment. The cold war and the Cuban missile crisis kept that very real. In the 70’s there was an ice age coming. Then the hole in the Ozone was going to allow the sun to scorch us all into melanoma ridden wretches.
Acid rain was going to kill off all living things. Killer Bees were going to invade North America and kill us all off by 1980.
Jesus was prophesied to return and the tribulation to begin on specific dates too numerous to recount now. Not too many years ago there were billboards in Billings giving us the date. That day came and went.
In 2012 we were supposed to all die because the Mayan Calendar ran out. Coincidentally this was about the time they discovered that Yellowstone Park is one big super volcano that can kill most of us in a single eruption. At least we’re close enough to not suffer long.
And much scarier diseases were going to kill us all off nearly every other year. Aids, Anthrax attacks, Bubonic plague, swine flu, West Nile Fever, Mad Cow Disease, Monkey Pox, Zika Virus to name a few.
Viruses are never anything to take lightly and there were real people who suffered, but my point is, we cannot succumb to fear and live like tomorrow is totally in our own hands to secure. —’What can I do, what can I do to secure me, me, me! I just need more ammo, that’s the ticket.’
I didn’t mention my favorite world ending virus, the one that was going to shut down the worlds banking systems, the entire power grid, make cars stop running and our toasters attack us, knocking us all back into the stone age—that was the Y2k bug.
That was the computer virus that was going to be spontaneously generated by all the internal calendars of all the worlds computers suddenly believing it is the year 1900 because all of a sudden at the turn of the year 2000 the date reads 00 according to their digital coding which had been programmed with two digit date memories to save valuable memory space.
Like somehow the computer chip cared what century it existed in and knew that in 1900 there were no computers.
But people panicked. They stocked up on—you guessed it—toilet paper. Everyone bought kerosene heaters and generators. They stocked up on food and water, suddenly everyone was a prepper.
Some people even sold everything they owned and moved to the mountains to live like a bunch of Jeremiah Johnson’s while the rest of the world looted and plundered one another after the lights went out and all the bank vaults flew open at the stroke of midnight.
And of course, many people stocked up on guns and ammo. We have to protect our hoard you know!
“Are you truly going to kill someone over a cracker?”
I’ll never forget hearing those words from our pastor at the brink of the year 2000. As Y2k was fast approaching and people were getting more frantic.
17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3
Pastor Stan reminded us who we were and what we are called to do, much as we are being reminded today through the words of John, and he asked that pointed question.
My old pastor basically said—words that are as relevant today as they were twenty years ago—All of you who are stocking up, emptying the store shelves of food and ammunition as fast as they can stock them. Are you truly planning to shoot a hungry neighbor because he is trying to get some of your food? Do you truly want to stand before the Lord one day and explain to him why you killed a man to save your crackers?
That hit me right between the eyes and I never forgot it. Yes we have to right to defend our families and you know this barbarian certainly will, but we do not have the right to not share with a person in need when we have the means to help—even yes, if it is the last of what we have.
“But, it’s not my fault they didn’t prepare, that they didn’t stock up!” Well you know what? Not everyone can afford to stock up. Many people live check to check, most people live check to check, and are happy if they can afford to buy groceries for the week ahead, let alone weeks down the road.
And now that those with money have bought everything, when they do get their next check, there is nothing to buy.
Blessed are the poor
And even then, most of those people would share what little they have. I have seen it over and over again, the people who have the least are often the most generous. I suppose because they know what it’s like to be without and they do not want others to feel that pain.
“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.” Luke 6
If you are blessed, bless others, whether they love you or not. If we do that God will take care of our tomorrow and we will always be blessed. Our hearts will have no reason to condemn us and we can sleep well at night knowing that we are loving as we are loved and that God will hear our prayers.
21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, 1 John 3
I would rather have an empty stomach and have to use something other than Quilted Northern to wipe my behind than have a heart that condemns me. And if we are keeping his commandment, which is what? —believe in Jesus and love one another, all we have to do is ask and we will receive from him. We get what we truly need from God.
In this day, while it is still called today; remember who you are and rest assured that God has a purpose in all this, that it cannot be thwarted and that love is always the underlying motive in all his dealings with his people. Let your hearts rest assured.
God is greater than our hearts, to me that says; don’t trust your feelings. Trust the promises of God, trust his love.
We are going to be okay.