From sundown Tuesday October 8th to sundown Wednesday October 9th is what is known as Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. This is one of the most sacred days in the Hebrew Calendar. It was the only time the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies and make atonement for the sins of the people. It was established by God while the Jews were wandering in the wilderness. They were given command by God as to how they should prepare themselves. Leviticus 23:27; ” Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation (a gathering together, assembly) for you: you shall afflict (fast) your souls, and offer an offering made by fire to the Lord.”  

This was a time when the people searched their hearts and made restitution for any wrongs they had done to anyone, especially to the Lord. It was a time of humbling themselves before the Lord with fasting and prayer for repentance. In the Old Testament the word for ‘repent’ is ‘Shuv’, which means ‘ to return or to turn back’. It was more of an outward response. Whereas, the New Testament Greek word, ‘metanoein’, means, ‘to change one’s mind’. It is more of an inward response of the heart. This is what true repentance is, a turning away from sin and turning back to God by changing your mind. True repentance is a firm, inward decision; a change of mind.

The first commandment that ever came from the mouth of Jesus was not to believe, but to repent. First repent, then believe. After His death and resurrection, when He gave the Great Commission to go out to all the nations with the gospel, the message was “repentance”. True repentance must always precede true faith. Without such repentance, faith alone is an empty profession. This is one reason why the experience of so many Christians today is so unstable and insecure. They are professing faith, but they have never practiced true repentance. As a result, the faith that they profess procures for them neither the favor of God nor the respect of the world. In Acts 17:30, Paul tells us that it is God Himself who “commands all men everywhere to repent.”

At this time in this Fasting and Prayer, Wednesday will be a time to enter in together and offer ourselves as it says in Romans 12:1, “…by the mercies of God, that we present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service.”  Please make attending this Wednesday Prayer Service at 6:30 a priority.

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