The Hammonds were at the Lanes last night, and though we left pretty early (before 8 PM) we had a mildly white-knuckled ride home. The roads were bad, and conditions were deteriorating. Like the other churches in our area, there are no services at Bethel today. That always throws me “off kilter.” Worshiping God in the company of his people is the focused activity of the Scriptures and the touchstone of the Christian life. But though we can’t gather, you as a family or an individual can redeem the time on this snowy day and use it to spiritual benefit.
Pray. The snow makes everything quiet. Our lives usually are not so quiet. Spend some time in quiet prayer, praising God for who is he, what he does in the world, and what he has done for you.
Reflect. “’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.’” (Is 1:18). Think for a moment about some of the ugly things outside your window, things you don’t often think about, but things you don’t like the look of. Perhaps it’s cracks in a sidewalk or driveway, or scratches on the hood of your car, or maybe uneven brown patches on the lawn where you couldn’t get control of the weeds last summer. Maybe it’s yard debris that you meant to pick up but never got to, and it bothers you every time you see it. Now go to your window and look. It’s not there, is it? It’s blanketed, covered over with snow, and the snowy sight is beautiful, peaceful. The ugliness is gone. Now confess your sins to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins in Jesus’ name. Know that that’s how it is with your sins now. God covers over their ugliness through what Jesus did and makes all things beautiful. In the coming thaw when the snow melts, of course, the ugliness outside will return. But if your sins are forgiven by what Jesus has done, when you look under the “snow,” the cracks will be receding, the scratches diminishing, the brown dead patches coming to life, the debris disappearing. Let the snow be a parable today of the grace of God to you.
Study (as a family if you can). “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). John wrote this letter so that believers could know that they have eternal life – could KNOW (not guess, hope, wish, wonder, or pray, but KNOW) that they have eternal life. So what has John written? Read his whole letter (it’s only five short chapters). What does he say? Are there categories of things he speaks of? What are they? What are the things that will be present in your life by the grace of God if you have eternal life? Are they present in your life? If not, repent right now (turn from your sin in your heart and take care of any business you have with others) and seek God’s grace. If they are present already in your life, believe his Word and rest assured KNOWING that you have eternal life.
Love. You can’t get out to drive, but who is in walking distance from your house right now? Are your neighbors all OK? Do any of them need anything. Be a living, loving testimony to Jesus.