The Trumpet Sounds: ‘Renewal & Response’

By Barry Pettit - Religion Writer

There is no doubt we are living in turbulent times. Recently with the rise of the coronavirus much of the world seems to be in a panic. Sickness and death is something that has plagued mankind ever since mankind rebelled against God in Eden. Since then, we have been fighting tragedy, sickness, corruption, and death. There will always be something to fear in this world that we live in until the Lord returns and makes everything new. However, we can choose whether we respond in fear, or we can make the choice to respond in faith. I believe how we respond directly correlates to how much renewal we’ve had in our spiritual lives. As we grow more like Christ, the things of this world do not impact us in the same way that they impact the world.

Society will try to convince us that we are never enough. We live in a world that will always do its best to influence us as believers. The world around us—and the media in particular—preaches a gospel of inadequacy. Advertisers sell far fewer products, after all, to people who are satisfied with their lives. We’re told that we’re not good enough, smart enough, young enough, good looking enough, or thin enough. We’re simply not enough. But, as Christians, we can’t be conformed to this world anymore. We are no longer to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the “renewing” of the mind. In short, as we renew we no longer think the ways the world thinks. The way we respond to life itself has everything to do with how much “renewal” has occurred in our spiritual lives. It is in difficult times that we either respond in faith or fear. I’ve always heard what we are truly made of comes out when we are squeezed. In times like these we need to develop faith and not let fear take its place. This world needs people who run to help it not people who run from it.

I believe as we renew many things in our lives change, and as a result we are able to help change many lives. As we renew we are able to bear fruit that will bless the lives of others especially in difficult times. In Matthew 7:17-20 Jesus said “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” What kind of fruit are you bearing as the world bears fear? Never forget that the world is watching to see what kind of fruit will followers of Christ bear in every crisis. Will we bear faith or fear? Will we respond to the dangers of this world with hope, or will we fall into hopelessness? Please understand that doesn’t mean we respond with carelessness, but it does mean no matter what happens in this world we respond with faithfulness. We are definitely at a time for a fruit check, and that fruit check will let us know just how much renewal has taken place in our spiritual lives.

This Sunday at South Side we will continue our series entitled “Renew.” Be sure to come early, and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and snack at Café Connect. We have childcare and children’s classes for all ages. Also, South Side offers two worship times being 8:30 & 10:45. We hope to see you Sunday!

In Christ,

Barry Pettit

Lead Pastor

South Side Church of Christ

By Barry Pettit

Religion Writer