I want to update you all as to our plans for our church for the next several weeks. As it stands now, we still fall under an executive order from our Governor and in addition, our President has given guidelines that no gathering of more than 10 people should occur for the next 15 days.
For these reasons, we are going to cancel all church activities through the end of March. As I wrote to you last week, God’s Word gives us guidance for these kinds of decisions in the Scriptures: Romans 13:1 – “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Once again, I want to remind you that we show faith toward God in following the Scriptures.
I wish to encourage you to think carefully about this admonition in Scripture. Increasingly I read and have heard people in our society complaining or speaking irritably about the decisions that our various authorities are making. No doubt some of those decisions will be right and some will be wrong. Being subject to the governing authorities does not mean that every decision that they make are wise and good. After all, Paul wrote Romans 13 while Nero was on the throne!
Instead of complaining or being irritated with any decision they have, let me pose this question to you: what kind of testimony might we have in our community by being thankful for the authorities God has given us? What if the testimony of our lips was not to complain but to be thankful to God? Might we not demonstrate our trust in God and hope in God in a time in which people are increasingly full of fear and distrust of one another?
Let us instead fulfill Paul’s command in Philippians 2:14-16 – “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.” What a testimony in our community we can have!
Here are a couple of notes to consider in regard to our church.
- I plan to release an audio devotional with some attached discussion questions this week for you to use this Lord’s day. This will be posted Sunday morning on our church’s website (www.sunrisebiblechurch.org), on our church’s Facebook page, and sent out via an email. It is not a requirement to listen to, but I hope it will be a blessing to you!
- Please Note – if you know someone that is not connected in one of these ways, have them contact me at the church so we can arrange for them to have access to this resource
- Several have asked about giving. Some of our expenses as a church will go down since we are not meeting, but we do have obligations still such as salaries, utilities, building expenses, and our various missionaries.
- One option is our online giving. You can go here to give online.
- You are also welcome to mail checks to our Treasurer (Heather Taylor; 39144 Everett Ave.; North Branch, MN 55056).
- Continue to pray!
- Pray for our church families and members.
- Pray for medical personal and the various first responders and their families.
- Pray for our governing authorities.
- Pray for the gospel to be made bright by our lives and our words.
- Pray for the sick.
- Keep in touch.
- If you have prayer requests, please let me know so that we can pray!
- If you have needs that we can assist with, please communicate them with me. Already I have heard from several who are willing to help assist those in need. I praise the Lord for this!
May Jesus be praised in each of your lives.
With Christian Affection,
Pastor David Stertz