From The Bishop's Desk Image

The Time of Refreshing
Acts 3:19
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

Praise the Lord, and greetings in the matchless name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a blessing indeed to share with the Saints and friends of O.A.A. words that I hope will encourage us all in these last days.

I sense that the Holy Ghost is striving to encourage all of God’s people to spiritual uplift. I believe that the Lord is striving to inspire us to spiritual excellence, knowing that the Lord is soon to appear. So this thought arose in my spirit from the book of Acts, chapter three and verse nineteen: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” This is an exhortation from our Lord that concludes with a promise. The “times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” is a powerful word to those who are beginning to be weary with the tests and trials of our age. Beginning with the coronavirus in 2020, lockdowns and economic struggles, wars abroad and political,/social instability at home, many have found themselves burdened and discouraged. I find it not coincidental that we are entering into that part of the year pre-figured in some of the Jewish holy days. The month of September will conclude with Rosh Hashanna, the Jewish New Year. This is the new beginnings. Then in October, they will celebrate “Yom Kippur,” the feast of atonement. This is the time designated for national acknowledgment of sins and the turning back to God by repentance. We find through these celebrations and the
text in Acts, the proper order of things. Before “refreshing” must first come repentance.

This refreshing has a direct reference to the receiving of the Holy Ghost. It acknowledges that to be in the outpour of God’s Spirit is both reviving and refreshing. I ask the same question that Paul did in Acts 19:2, “have your received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” That outpour of the Lord’s own Spirit and presence is available to all who repent and turn to Him with a full heart.

Isaiah gives us another important insight in chapter twenty-eight and verse twelve. “To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” The outpouring of divine presence is upon those who are “weary” by which means He causes them to rest. In the days of my spiritual youth, we were taught that what brought about repentance, was that one first had to be tired or weary of a sinful life. The scripture supports that conclusion. One has to be “fed up” with a life of sin to fully commit to Christ. It is then that our God responds with this precious outpouring, the refreshing that comes from the presence of the Lord. It is the image of a traveler who has been on a long exhausting journey. He or she is tired and thirsty and desperately in need of rest. As the traveler is at the end of his or her endurance, they acknowledge the only source of supply, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is time now for such a refreshing. We need the spiritual revival that is the full expression of the “times of refreshing.” How about you? Could you use a “refreshing” of the Holy Spirit, the presence of God?

Bishop Gregory Wells, Sr.
Bishop Wells, Sr., D.D.