The Father Will Reward the Church
Monday, January 7, 2019 - Devotional for Day 1
And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18
All praise to our wonderful God as we begin this ten-day fast to draw closer to Him, attract His presence and release His power and life into the American church. In the Sermon on the Mount, as written in Matthew 6:17, Jesus explains how to fast, setting up his teaching by saying, “When you fast…” Jesus always assumed the church would fast after he ascended into heaven, and indeed the New Testament shows it was the regular practice of the disciples and other Christians to fast. Additionally, the Didache, a first century church manual, encourages regular fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays for all Christians.
Jesus knew that the church would need the power that fasting releases in order to be strong and victorious. Is it any wonder that the Western Church is largely powerless and has lost much of its saltiness? It’s rare for Christians in the West to fast, even though the Scriptures state plainly in Matthew 6:18 that if we fast, the “Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Although the church has been in decline for decades in the West, it can all be turned around in a heartbeat when a large part of the church returns to Him wholeheartedly. This has always been the case, and as I write this from New York City I am reminded of the Businessman’s Revival which began here on the corners of Fulton and William streets in 1857. In a year’s time, more than a million Americans came to faith in Christ through that prayer and revival movement. The church was radically and positively impacted.
The Lord loves His church! And He desires for her to be without wrinkle or blemish. He desires for the body of Christ to be holy, powerful, full of love and responsive to His leadership in every way. May He pour forth His Spirit onto the American church with more abundance than ever before so that she reaches her full potential and grows up to honor Him and praise Him in every way.
Father in heaven, have mercy on us and show Your inexhaustible love for us all! You have the ability to make the church strong and glorious. Give us the faith, strength, and perseverance to seek You wholeheartedly and to praise You as You are owed. We love You and thank You for the chance to draw near to you. In Christ, Amen.
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