My usual question to any customer who comes to me to pay for their groceries is: “Do you have any AirMiles?” I know that each country has their fair share of lockdown rules. But now that some have gotten the vaccines, at least their first dosage, what do you think will happen next? Are we getting back to our normalcy of life’s routine like before this pandemic? Several customers replied with a confirmed no.
Many store sole proprietors had lost their businesses because of this pandemic lockdown. Only the fortunate who had the essentials as their primary business stuck around. Those who kept with the news became aware of the surmounting lives lost, regardless of the help. Third-world and modest-sized countries received their supplies from populated ones. Let me remind you that around eighty years ago, many countries were at war. So, although they were willing to receive the help, this reason to trust is almost there. If we take the war out of our history, that would assure us peace. Then the tower of Babel era might still stand. We were once flourishing on earth and in one language.
At least, we see hope now that the vaccines are working. But are we to rely only on this from now on? Anyone whose hope is in the world has a temporary one. Nothing lasts when we refer to the things of the world. So we must cling to the Only Eternal I AM through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When we cling to God and His Word, we have more than just hope. We have God Himself. He is the Creator, the mediator, the Comforter.
Once a person gets baptized, the journey to a new life must begin. The view from the unbaptized self cannot make illusions of the once known world. God’s power and Presence have made it almost impossible for this saved soul. God’s love surrounds the believers with His promised Holy Spirit. Again, God does not put chains on us. His “grace reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
“For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
“Now, if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
“In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master because you are not under the law but under grace.
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey— whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
“I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 5:21 - 6:23 NLT)
Now back to my question. I am not here representing AirMiles. It was not the actual question I wanted to ask here in this vlog. Yet, it is whenever I am at work. The thought of travelling and rewarding oneself with worldly riches should not be the primary goal for any Christian. Once a person is baptized, a change must occur for the heart. This soul cannot remain unrepentant. This world does not allow it. Pandemic or not; the way the world is suffering, you have no other routes to go but to God. The question here is, do you want eternal life with God or away from God? This answer should be clear. When you do, pray to God with humbleness and a relinquished heart.
God is still in control, as He was when the flood came during the time of Noah. But now, He is reminding us of Christ’s return. Washing hands and wearing masks are not only for averting viruses. They are the reminders of the sanctification of His people. When Moses returned from Mount Sinai, he called out to the Israelites: “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” (Exodus 32:26) God is forever faithful to His word: It is His promise no matter what goes on in your world. He will set up this new heaven and new earth once this old world of sin will die. He will do this. My question to you is: Are you ready?
Do you get the feeling that someone is watching you? I had five more minutes left before quitting time. Then this lady with an overflowing grocery cart rolled into my aisle to pay. I figured I could scan her grocery items quickly enough to punch out the time clock. She did not like anyone misplacing her things. She told me that she had everything in its place when she put her groceries away in the bag after scanning. As she placed each food item on the conveyor, she dug into her cart pile to find what is next in line. She was taking her time. As I pass each food item through the scanner, I noticed her subtotal was already over $400. Her cart, on the other hand, was far from being empty. Today is Monday, but my schedule tells me this is my Friday. My work schedule changes weekly. I don’t know what next week’s schedule will be like. I could be working the closing hours and then the opening hours the following day. I suggested that my working days and hours should be consistent each week. But it fell on death ears. At least, I am grateful that I have a job.
As I placed her scanned groceries on the other side for bagging, I could see that side of the table piled on. There was no more room. So I stopped scanning and watched this lady taking her time. I can understand she may be buying some for her family, her parents, her neighbours. There are a few who do that for others because there are those who feared catching the virus. I don’t hold this against them. I became an online grocery shopper first before I worked as a cashier. I enjoyed it for a short time before I changed to another department. So, I told myself someone must be watching, waiting for the right moment to spring this on me. Does this sound foolish?
God is always watching us. Even those who don’t believe in God, He still knows. That is His nature. He cares for His creation. He sees everything. He also records everything because He is The Judge. If you are a baptized believer, don’t think you can sin and get away with it. Don’t think that because God is merciful, you can still obtain heaven status every time you sin. Don't think you can whisper secrets and scheme against another and still get redemption when Jesus returns. Remember that God records everything for Judgement. The Bible tells us, baptized believers, we are to continue in this new life now that we are free from the bondage of sin. We are not to return to our old way of life. As it says in the book of Galatians, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal 2:20)
So you can understand that it is crucial to walk with Christ rather than to strive for the world. God has the final say to where we will end up eternally. All you need is a little humility and a willing heart to believe and follow Christ to set you in motion down the right path. "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." (Gal 5:16-18, 24-25).
Only the careless and foolish Christians think the world is their oyster. They believe baptism has saved them. These people don't read the Holy Bible, and they only pray when necessary, which is to say at the last minute. Do not doubt God. Do not think that He has forgotten. He can see the lukewarm hearts in this group. But, of course, we need to make a living while we wait for Jesus' return. As Christians, we are not to love money more than God. We cannot lean on our income as the prime giver for life. We exist because God exists. God does not depend on us because He exists before us. Therefore, it is essential to rely on God wholeheartedly and not on bread alone. He wants nothing less from us. So what if someone is watching me? I will not fear because I obey my Lord. "The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous." (Proverbs 15:29) I know my Creator is watching, and I can easily say, "Praise the Lord! Please come. Amen."
Diana s.f. ng
I love reading, writing, cooking, baking, and pets.