Happy 2021! We rejoice in our Savior this year and every year because He never changes: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8)!
Many of you have already signed up for 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, January 4-24 – perhaps the most profound way you can begin the new year. If you have not yet signed up, I encourage you to sign up today to spend 3 weeks seeking God through prayer and humbling yourself through fasting from food in whatever way is appropriate for you. God will reward your devotion to Him (Matthew 6:18)!
Whether we feast or fast, it’s because of God’s presence.
For the past week, we have feasted because of Jesus’ incarnation. Immanuel, God with us! Such good news of great joy calls for extraordinary rejoicing. Break out the best food and drink, for Messiah has come! God charged the Israelites under the Old Covenant to have times of feasting to celebrate His blessing, “Spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household” (Deuteronomy 14:26).
Just as we feasted because of God’s presence at Christmas, we will fast for Jesus’ presence this new year. Matthew 9:15 says, “And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.’” Jesus is the bridegroom, and He has been taken away from us for a period of time. We are forgoing food because we want Him nearer to us. We long for Him to return.
One day we will never fast again. The Bridegroom will come, and His followers will enjoy the greatest feast of all. Revelation 19:6-7 foretells the celebration:
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready."
Lord Jesus, whether we eat or not, it’s all for You and Your glory. Our lives revolve around You. Prepare us for these three weeks of focused prayer and fasting. How should we fast? How should we pray? What should be the focus of our seeking? O Lord, come closer to me, to my family, to this nation, for You are our greatest good. Hear our prayers, see our humble obedience to Your word, and reward us as You’ve promised. In Jesus’ name alone we pray, amen.
God bless you,
Chuck Hetzler, Ph.D.
Director, Christian Union Day and Night
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