Today’s Reading: Acts 13:2-3 NIV
2 While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
I watched a television program last week on “near-death” or “out-of-body” experiences, listening to several personal accounts by folks who had been classified as clinically dead following an injury or illness. They shared their memories from the moment their hearts stopped beating until they were revived. Their recollections, extraordinarily vivid and unforgettable, were vastly different; yet bore one single testimony – there is definitely an afterlife. Have you ever lived to tell about a near-death experience?
Jesus taught His disciples and all who follow Him about the wages of sin. When we give our whole hearts to the Lord, it is because, somewhere, deep inside, we realize that our sin-sick human nature leads to death. It takes a spiritual near-death experience to recognize our need for a deep, personal relationship with the Savior. Only Jesus Christ has the power to redeem us, and that is why He willingly died and rose again, to set us forever free from the death’s grip. The moment you become a Christian, the shackles of death disappear and your soul is forever held in the palm of Christ’s nail-scarred hands.
Jesus instructed His disciples to gather together often to worship, fast and pray. Are you attending worship with other Christian disciples? If not, you are missing out on the most important facet of faith-filled living – an in-the-body experience. Throughout the Book of Acts, we see examples of Christians gathering together to seek the Lord’s guidance over their daily lives. Ordinary people with extraordinary gifts become servant leaders by the Holy Spirit’s hand. Worship is not a choice – it is a pure spiritual necessity, just like our physical need for water and food. We fast to proclaim God’s glory and control over our lives. You may struggle with fasting food, especially if you have a medical condition like diabetes. Think about other things that you can fast to glorify God, like free time spent in study and prayer, or fast-food, taking the money you would have used for a drive-thru meal and give it away to a local food bank so that hungry families can be fed. Fasting and praying should be a daily discipline; yet, brings greater fruit when shared together in the body. Isn’t it time that you find a place of worship that you can call home?
This morning, I will be with my Faith family, as we join hands in worship together. Today is the perfect day to come into the house of the Lord! Won’t you join me at Faith Church? We can fast and pray together in Jesus' name! May the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified today as we worship Him in spirit and in truth. There is nothing like an in-the-body experience to lift your spirit for living life to its fullest!
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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