April 14, 2020

Pentecost, the Coronavirus, and the Abundant Life by Ruth L. Snyder

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” John 10:10-11 NIV.

One of my Bible College professors used to challenge us to, “Live beyond the comma!” He referred us to John 10:10 and urged us not to be satisfied with life, but to seek ABUNDANT life or LIFE TO THE FULL.

Jesus reminded His disciples that a thief comes with the sole intent of stealing, killing, and destroying. Satan is definitely a thief. He wants to rob us of all the good things God has in mind for His children. In contrast, Jesus gave up everything He had and came to earth for the sole purpose of giving, living, and redeeming mankind by dying on the cross and rising again. That’s what we have just finished celebrating at Easter.

In John 15, Jesus told His disciples to abide in Him so that they could bear fruit (verses 1-17). He warned them that the world would hate them, just as it hated Jesus (verses 18-25). Then Jesus told the disciples that He was going away, but He would send the Comforter or Counselor, the Holy Spirit (John 15:26-16:16). The Holy Spirit’s job description included:
  • Convicting the world of being guilty of not believing in Jesus (vs. 9)
  • Convincing the world of righteousness (vs. 10)
  • Condemning the world with judgment (vs. 11)
  • Guiding Believers into all truth (vs. 13)
  • Revealing what is yet to come (vs. 13)
  • Glorifying God by making known God’s will (vs. 14-15)
Jesus celebrated the Jewish feast of Passover (which commemorates the escape from the bondage of Egypt) with His disciples the evening before His crucifixion. He became the ultimate Passover Lamb to take away the sin of the world and set us free from bondage to sin.

Fifty days after Passover, Jews celebrate Pentecost. In Acts 2,  we are told that the Disciples were all together for Pentecost (verse 1), and while they were together, the Holy Spirit filled them and enabled them to speak in tongues (verses 2-4). The rest of the book of Acts shows us the amazing things the Disciples were able to do because they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Fast forward to today. It is all too easy, especially in North America, to get so caught up in living, working, and pursuing our dreams, that we miss the abundant life. I believe that God still speaks to us today. The problem is that often we don’t listen. Sometimes God does drastic things to get our attention. Could that be why He has allowed the Coronavirus?

This time of isolation, job loss, economic downturn, and school closures has caught everyone’s attention. People are scrambling to figure out what caused the virus, how it is passed from person to person, and how to stop it before it kills everyone. Many are evaluating their lives as never before. What is important? What should I change? How will I live differently?

God calls us to do more than merely exist. Jesus paid the ultimate price to redeem us. We no longer need to be slaves to sin. With God’s help, we can live victorious, joyful, productive lives...even in the midst of the Coronavirus. We should be so full of the Holy Spirit, that no matter what happens, His love, joy, peace, and all the other fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 overflow out of us and splash on those around us. Instead of living in fear, we should be demonstrating God’s love to those around us. Instead of wondering when life will return to “normal,” we should be using our time wisely and being faithful in what God calls us to do.

For me this means:
  • Maintaining a consistent devotional time where I seek God, learn from Him, and ask Him to show me what He wants me to do. Praying!
  • Keeping my kids busy with good things
  • Giving thanks for the many blessings in my life 
  • Reaching out to others by phone and Zoom 
  • Getting ready to launch my book coaching program (I will be doing a 4-Day Live Launch, starting on April 27th. Join my Facebook Group if you're interested.)
  • Making new friends online and asking God to show me how to bless others
 How are you using (redeeming) your time?


  1. Loads of encouragement here, Ruth! This line caught my attention in particular: "Instead of wondering when life will return to “normal,” we should be using our time wisely and being faithful in what God calls us to do." Well said!

    1. Thanks, Tracy,
      I'm glad you found encouragement. We all need extra doses of that in these days :)

  2. very true my friend thank you

  3. That is good advice from your professor, Ruth--not to stop at the comma. Thanks you for sharing your thoughts and backing that with your actions. Yes, I will be praying for you.

    PS. I like your new logo.

    1. Thank you so much, Sharon! You have been a faithful encourager and prayer warrior, and I deeply appreciate that. The new logo makes me smile :)

  4. Your words always challenge me, Ruth! Thank you!


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