Hello Church Family,
I hope you’re having a great day! The New Year is officially upon us. It’s already going by so fast! If you haven’t yet heard, we started a new series this past Sunday entitled “Begin Again: Lessons in Starting Over.”
I’m excited for the series because it’s being combined with a 21-Day time of prayer and fasting. The staff helped to compile a 21-Day devotional to go along with the fast. You can download it here if you’re interested in following along. It’s also available on our website and in the Broadview App.
In this week’s email you’ll see some new dates added to the “upcoming events” section. We went ahead and listed most of our upcoming mission trips. We also attached links to register for the trip or give towards the trip if you want to sponsor someone else.
With December only a few days behind us, I want to encourage you again to consider helping us as we seek to reach the uttermost from right here in Abilene, Texas. You can give, pray and go. It takes the whole church being engaged if we’re going to be an Acts 1:8 congregation.
Tonight all of our Wednesday activities kick back off. There will be preschoolers, grade schoolers, students and adults running all throughout both campuses this evening starting at around 6:00. I know that “Wednesday Night Church” has changed a lot over the years. But, if you’ve not been in a while I’d encourage you to check it out.
There’s a new ladies class kicking off this evening that will address the relationship between our bodies, the food we eat and the God we worship. Sometimes we can get to a place where we depend on food instead of depending on God. If you’re interested in this topic then you should come tonight and check it out. It’s just a meet and greet. The class officially begins on January 24th. You can register here.
In addition to that new class there are some other classes on the way as well. We are going to start hosting an ongoing group called Starting Point on Sunday Mornings after the middle service which will appeal to new believers or spiritual seekers who are exploring Christianity from a more skeptical point of view. One of our deacons, Armando Oakes, will be leading that class so be praying for him. We plan to start at the end of the month.
For those who are interested in a more “in depth” study you might check out a new Sunday evening class starting on January 28th entitled “Origins.” It’s an in-depth study on the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. Dennis Burt will be teaching that class and you can register for it here.
If today is the first time you’re hearing about the 21-Day Fast we started this past Monday then it’s not too late to join us. Here is how I described the fast in the 21-Day Devotional guide.
From time to time, in the Old Testament, the people of God would engage in covenant renewal ceremonies. (for an example see Nehemiah 8-10) Part of this renewal would include allotted times of fasting, confession of sin and reading the Word of God.
While it could be said that Christians have a covenant renewal ceremony every Sunday during corporate worship gatherings, I believe it’s also helpful to designate particular times for focusing ourselves on our need for the Lord and humbling ourselves in his presence. Because our hearts are prone to wander we need seasons of renewal and recommitment.
That’s the reason for this 21-Day season of prayer and fasting.
While the technical definition of a fast is to refrain from eating food all together, you can achieve the same goals by removing particular foods from your diet that will create a strong craving once they’re gone. The benefit of a fast is that it creates hunger. Instead of satisfying that hunger in the normal way, we leverage it to remind us of how desperately we need the Lord.
For example, if you are used to ingesting large amounts of sugar or caffeine and chose to fast from those things, you would suffer withdrawal symptoms after only a few days. Use that pain to drive you to the Lord. Harness that desire and turn it towards God. That’s what fasting is meant to accomplish in us.
Personally, I plan to fast from sugar. You may want to do something else or remove food from the equation all together. You might even choose a non-food item like social media or television. Whatever you remove, make sure it’s going to create a sense of hunger or desire once it’s removed. When the hunger pains come, let it remind you of how desperately you need the Lord.
At the end of the day, our greatest need isn’t a physical one.
As important as food and water are, they pale in comparison to the presence and power of God in our life. Without the Lord, where would we be? Without His salvation, what hope would we have? We need him more desperately than we can imagine.
So, let us together remind ourselves of that great need. Let’s begin 2018 with a fresh declaration of our desperation and dependence on the Lord God Almighty.
If there’s anyway I can pray for you, please let me know.
With you in the journey,