United Church of God

Letter From Bart Bornhorst - September 28, 2019

Letter From Bart Bornhorst

September 28, 2019

As The Sabbath Nears


Thoughts For The Feast Days!

Greetings and happy Sabbath,

How exciting it is that God's Fall Feast Days are upon us!

This is a time to celebrate and it is time to enter these days with great joy and anticipation! Many times in God's word His devout followers express their joy and excitement as they shared in fellowship with God's people during the festivals of God. Consider the Psalmist's words that were written to paint a powerful picture in a believer's mind.

Psalm 42:1-4 

1.  As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 

2.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 

3.  My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, "Where is your God?" 

4.  When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. 

The psalmist is languishing because he misses a time in his past, a time of great wonder and inspiration, a time of incredible fellowship as God's people celebrated His feast days together.

Verses 1-3 describe a person that hungers and thirsts for closeness with God, it describes a person that hungers and thirst for fellowship with God's people! A desire so great that it is almost impossible to satisfy! Then in verse 4 he remembers the joy filled times of his past when he gathered together at God's feast days and he recalled how much splendor was enjoyed by all!

Hopefully this psalm expresses our desire for a close knit relationship with God and our brethren as we approach His feast days!

As we go through our final preparations for God's feasts I would encourage you to sharpen your focus in the following areas.

1st. Rejoice before your God!

It is God's greatest desire for us to truly rejoice during these days!

From the first hymn at the Feast of Trumpets, to all the way through to the final, closing hymn of the Eighth Day, let's sing wonderful praises to our Father and His Son, Jesus Christ! Seeing us rejoice brings God great joy as we offer celebration to them for all that they have done in our lives! This next Psalm of Asaph properly tells us exactly how we're to pour our hearts out to God in praise!

Psalm 81:1-3 

1.  Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. 

2.  Raise a song and strike the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the lute. 

3.  Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.

Brethren, let's focus our heart to really rejoice with each other this feast season and let's have a focused rejoicing towards our Father as well!

2nd Let's bless those around us as God has blessed us!

As the people of God we are blessed beyond what we deserve. Everything we have comes from God and His generosity is beyond measure! The feast days are a time to give! It is a time to show thanks to God and thanks to each other. The entire chapter of Numbers 29 instructs the Israelites about the offerings that they were to offer to God during the feast days. As we know, Deuteronomy 16 tells us to not come before the Lord empty handed and that we are to give according to God's blessing towards us.

But what about taking care of each other? Is that to be our focus as well?

When the Israelites came together to learn about the fall feast days after they had been in captivity for so long what did Ezra the Priest tell them to do?

Nehemiah 8:9-10 

9.  And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. 

10.  Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Verse 10 tells us that they were to rejoice and not just some of the people but that all were to rejoice! To ensure this, they were told to prepare and give to those that had little or nothing. Sharing our blessing is what God is all about. God shares His richness with those who are poverty stricken, and that is the entire human race! We must have the same focus.

3rd. Carry the meaning and hope of these days with you.

As we move through God's feast days let's not get side-tracked by all of the physical fun and good times that we're going to have. Let's hold in our heart the meaning and the hope of these days! Our physical experience at the feast is a mere shadow of the reality that is to come. Build your faith in God's promises about the future and know in your heart that it will be a reality; it's just a matter of time!

I hope you all have a blessed Sabbath and fall holy day season!

With all my love,

Bart Bornhorst`