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From: Paul Gage
A Word of Encouragement
Thursday, March 26, 2020 Greetings to all the Saints around the world,
As the song says: It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears, It’s a world of hopes and a world of fears, There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware It’s a small world after all. Isn’t it too bad that it takes a virus spreading all over the world for us to realize what a need there is for Zion. Though we have been warned and forewarned by God and even our government authorities to be prepared, many may not have enough of what they need for more than a week or so. Of course, spiritual preparation is the most vital. But it is not too late! We have time, while we are breathing, to examine our relationship with God.
Many Saints in organized areas take the availability of church for granted. It may not be a big deal to some that there are no church services. Will the virus have a revival effect? Only God knows. However, we should not be fearful, but trusting in God as our small world goes through this trial. This crisis can present opportunities to witness to others of our faith. Read I Peter 3:15. Any crisis is a good time to teach our children what the real values in life are so they can also share.
At Waldo Avenue Restoration Branch, we have been having a class entitled: Fasting and Prayer for the Kingdom of God. Many times, a crisis, like the world is in right now causes or forces those who claim to follow God to engage in these disciplines more than ever, but actually, they should be a part of our daily spiritual life. When Jesus healed the boy with demons in Matthew 17:21 he said, “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” Isaiah 58 which talks about a false fast and God’s fast has been the theme scripture. Research and find out how many fasts are mentioned in the scriptures and their purposes.
Some in the class have agreed to fast three meals each week for the rest of our lives. Two times, Wednesday evening and Sunday morning are two times we agreed on to be unified. The third time is the faster’s choice. The method of fasting is also up to the individual and or family.
Most of you know the peace and comfort we can find in many of the Psalms such as 1, 15, 23, 26, 27 and many more. Also, as we near Resurrection Sunday, I Corinthians 15:57-58 is one of my favorite scriptures. Don’t forget they hymns, “O God our help in ages past...” A verse we don’t sing says, “Under the shadow of Thy throne, Thy Saints have dwelt secure. Sufficient is Thine arm alone, And our defense is sure.”
It has already been publicized that the Conference of Restoration Elders will be having a conference prayer service Sunday, March 29, 2020 at 10 am Central Standard Time. Join in if you can. I heartily commend the CRE leadership for this action. Several branches are also live streaming services, having conference prayer meeting calls, etc. It is good for each of us to stay in touch with the Saints, our loved ones, neighbors, etc. We have so many ways to contact others, so try not to let a day go by without reaching out to someone.
A final scripture is Philippians 4:4-8 and 13. During this trying time, find and accept the peace which Jesus says can be ours in John 14.
Forward as desired.