From: Paul Gage
FASTING, PRAYING, AND LIVING FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD - NOVEMBER 5, 2020
NOVEMBER 5, 2020
November greetings to the Saints Around the World:
Great athletic teams always strongly emphasis the basics of their sport, because when you lose sight of the basics, you begin to lose sight of progress. For ever and always, it seems, we have heard about the basics of spiritual growth and development, namely, fasting, prayer, and study. There is no doubt that these are most vital to our drawing closer to God, but do we incorporate these things into our daily lives. That is, do we "live" our religion or do we just "practice it?"
What God generally requires of us is obedience, if we want to reap the blessings. As we fast, pray and study for the Kingdom of God to come on earth, we must also live, as best we can, as if we were in the kingdom. DC 65 has a couple of interesting statement statements. In 1b, 1e and 1f it suggests that the kingdom of God is on the earth now. If so, where? In Luke 17:21 Jesus said, "the kingdom of God has already come unto you." I believe that Jesus was the kingdom of God on earth, in the flesh, and so we are called to be the kingdom of God, in the flesh, or as has been said recently, we are to be a "living church."
We are called to be in the world, but not of it, and to live and act honestly and honorably before God and in the sight of all men..."DC 128:8 b, c. If and when we fail to heed this counsel, what does that do to our efforts of fasting, praying, and studying? That is why, we are counseled to repent, when and as soon as we realize we have not heeded God's commandments. Alma 16:232 reveals a shocking statement when it indicates that the same spirit that possesses our bodies when we die, will be the same spirit that will have power to possesses our bodies in eternal life. Ephesians 4:22-32 has valuable instruction for those who desire to follow the Lord. Verse 26 says, "Can ye be angry, and not sin? Let not the sun go down upon your wrath."
Repent, seek forgiveness, give forgiveness and reconcile as often and whenever there is the need. Do not hesitate and wait for a "better time." That time may not come. One day this week, I was in a store, with my mask on, but it was not over my nose. As I checked out the cashier told me to put my mask over my nose. I ask why and she gave a reply and then I responded in a manner unbecoming to a professed follower of Jesus. I was not mean, or ugly, just rebellious, but out of order. The manager came by and was explaining all the reasons for the masks. I told her to just check me out and I will leave.
I did not feel good, at all, about how I had acted and planned to go back the next day about the same time to apologize. The next day I was out with a friend and had left my van in my driveway, intending to go back to the store. I got home and kind of automatically put the van in the garage and went upstairs. Then I remembered I was going to go back to the store, but did not want to get back out that night. As I sat at my computer and thought about it, I looked at the clock and it was only 6:30 pm, close to the same time I was in the store the night before. I said to myself, "I have to go get this taken care of", so I was off to the store.
The same cashier was there so I asked to see the manager. When the manager came, I told her I would like to speak to her and the cashier together, so she called the cashier over. With mask over my nose, I told them that I regretted the way I had acted the night before and asked their forgiveness. The cashier stuck out hand and we shook hands and she told me she forgave me. The manager did so as well mentioning that they did not get that kind of thing very often.
I had several copies of a tract that I hand out, "A Father's Love Letter." I explained what the tract was and gave each a copy. They thanked me and then the cashier asked if she could have an extra copy. Needless to say, I felt very much relieved and did not have that burden to carry anymore.
Some would say, "Oh what a trivial thing," but sin in any degree is not trivial in the sight of God. I would hate to think that if I had died before reconciling, I would have carried that un Christ-like deed into the next world.
So, as we continue to fast, pray and study for the kingdom of God to go forth so the kingdom of heaven may come, let us remember to live for the Kingdom every second of our lives.