A Sabbath of Fasting and Prayer - April 4
There is absolutely no doubt that we are living in unusual, eventful times. It is also no doubt that "our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." (Romans 13:11)
As I have shared before, this coming Sabbath has been designated across our conference as a day of fasting and prayer. At our prayer meeting service this Sabbath we read 2 Chronicles 20:1-24. I encourage you to read this story of Jehoshaphat and how his prayer and fasting turned the tide of an impossible battle.
Our prayer ministries coordinator writes, "Our telephone prayer line will be open from 8 AM - 8 PM on this coming day of fasting and prayer. A prayer focus for each hour and devotionals are posted here. You can call (515)-604-9094 and use code 289 838 857# to join the conference call."
In addition, I encourage each of you to make this a Sabbath of special consecration. Let us seek after God's will for our lives personally. Let us seek for His will for our church family. Let us prepare our hearts for His soon coming!
I will be sharing a message on prayer and fasting from the gospel of Mark during the worship service on Sabbath.
The fact is that Jesus is coming soon. Let's make sure that there is extra oil in our lamps!!! If you are unfamiliar with that reference you can read about it in Matthew 25:1-13.
As we prepare our hearts, I thought I would also share this sermon with you which was a great challenge and blessing to me personally.
It was announced this week that the North American Division is anticipating a 20% drop in tithe as a result of the current coronavirus crisis. As a result, they have suspended all camp meetings for the year, frozen wages, and are still looking at presenting a budget with a 7 million dollar deficit. Accordingly, they are reviewing the possibility of staff reductions and strategic realignment. Certainly, let us pray for our leaders that they may be given wisdom but most of all for the proclamation of the gospel!
A special thank you to all those of you who have been so diligent with faithfulness to return your tithe and even give offerings during this troublesome time.
This week Ray Kohne shared a fascinating discussion with me between medical experts on how we can take care of our health during this coronavirus outbreak. See the video below. Notice the reference to Seventh-day Adventists! (The best part starts at about the 11 minute mark.) God has truly given us a work to do and a message to spread. Perhaps, the events we are seeing are what Ellen White foretold when she mentioned that there would come a time when preachers would no longer be able to preach from the pulpit and that the only work left to be done would be medical missionary work going from home to home!
In sum total, I believe that the momentous events unfolding before our eyes are a wake-up call to God's people of the final crisis soon to be upon us. I also believe that we have an opportunity right now, at this moment, to prepare ourselves and others for Jesus' soon return. I believe that from before time began, God knew that we would be needed right here, right now, "for such a time as this."
One way we are trying to make this pandemic an opportunity is with our virtual evangelistic series starting April 17th. We are still looking for virtual Bible workers. If you are willing to be part of this project, it is not too late, please let me know ASAP.
Many of us have been experiencing virtual meeting formats. Could you imagine if Jesus' had needed to adhere to social distancing at the Lord's Supper!
Thankfully, I believe that Jesus' words about "where 2 or 3 are gathered" applies to the virtual world as well! We hope you will tune in to our livestream on Sabbath morning starting at 10am here.