It usually appears as a desperate measure to meet a dire emergency. I and my maids will also fast as you do. Acts It must be underscored that the absolute fast is the exception and should never be engaged in unless one has a very clear command from God, and then for not more than three days. Is Fasting a Commandment? Nowhere in Scripture do we find Biblical laws that require regular fasting, nor do we find a direct command to fast.
What we do find are examples of many biblical personages to whom fasting was a regular part of their lives: Moses, the lawgiver; David, the king; Elijah, the prophet; Esther, the queen; Daniel, the seer; Anna, the prophetess; Paul, the apostle; and Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son. Jesus gives instruction on fasting in the Sermon on the Mount. If pride controls us, it will be revealed almost immediately. We can rejoice in this knowledge because we know that healing is available through the power of Christ. How quickly we crave things we do not need until we are enslaved by them.
How to Have a Spiritual Fast Purify your Motives The purpose of a spiritual fast is to focus upon and worship God, not to lose weight, go on a hunger strike, save money on food, etc. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. Begin with a Partial Fast It is wise to learn to walk well before we try to run.
Many people find that beginning with a twenty - four hour fast from lunch to lunch works well. This would mean that you would not eat two meals. Fresh fruit juices are excellent to consume during this time.
You may be fascinated with the physical aspects, but the most important thing to monitor is the inner attitude of worship. Outwardly you will be performing the regular duties of your day, but inwardly you will be in prayer and adoration, song and ministry to the Lord. You will probably feel some hunger pains or discomfort before the time is up.
That is not real hunger; your stomach has been trained through years of conditioning to give signals of hunger at certain hours. In many ways your stomach is like a spoiled child, and spoiled children do not need indulgence, they need discipline! You are to be the master of your stomach, not its slave.
Fasting can have a powerful impact on your spiritual life. Consider a regular discipline of fasting one day a week for six months. By then he was years old; his wife, Sarah, was Yet God blessed them with the birth of a child. After Isaac had grown into young manhood, the word of God came once again to Abraham. He complied with the instructions, placing his dear son on the altar and raising a knife in order to take the life of his son.
In the very act of lifting the knife to slay his son, God stopped him. He commanded Abraham to kill a ram caught in a nearby bush instead of his son. Things to Consider: 1. What do you have in common with Abraham? Day February 2nd, What is Faith? When one is prompted by the Word of God or by the leadership of the Spirit, obedience to that prompting is an expression of faith. Such a response enables one to enter into partnership with God, and gives the assurance of suc- cess even though the end may not be in sight. When Noah was directed by God to build an ark, he obeyed by starting a project which lasted for years.
Noah had never experienced a flood, nor had he even seen rain, yet he obeyed with regard only for the Lord. Since the command of God came without a specific schedule, Noah had to believe and act accordingly because faith has no time limit. How did Noah respond to the things that he could not see? What was the result of his faith?
Why does God hate me?
Are there areas in your life that you are still standing in faith for God to supply? Why do We Need Faith? Hebrews A personal relationship with God is established by faith and a continuous fellowship with God is maintained by faith. We receive Him by faith, and we walk in Him by faith. Second Kings, chapter 5 records the story of Naaman, a powerful Syrian leader who was suffering from leprosy. Elisha instructed Naaman to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River to be healed. Naaman became angry at such a ridiculous suggestion.
He wanted Elisha to stand on the name of the Lord, wave his hand over him, and be cured 2 Kings At first he refused, but without any other remedy, Naaman at last went to the river and was healed. The act made no human sense, but in the divine plan, it was an act of faith. Why do we need faith? Identify one thing in your life that would require an act of faith to accomplish. Share the results. Ask God to take away any fear and replace it with peace, confidence and faith. Acting on the Promises Psalm William Tyndale was perhaps the most important person in the history of the English Bible.
He was, in fact, not only the father of the modern English Bible, but the father of the modern English language. His translation, first published in , and used subsequently in virtually every other major translation for hundreds of years to follow, was the new standard for English expression. By quoting the Bible, Shakespeare quotes Tyndale more than 5, times. Tyndale did not live an easy life. He was hunted, persecuted and eventually killed by those who considered his work evil. Putting the Scriptures in a language common people could read? How does God respond to His promises?
How should we respond to God? How are you exercising faith today? What promises are you claiming and how are you living out that reality? Thank Him for His faithfulness to His promises. Pray that we will focus on opportunities to share Christ with others so that He can change their lives. What a promise! The promise of eternal life! Before him were orphans, expectantly seated at long dinner tables. On the dinner plates at that table was There was no milk, and no money to buy food or drink.
What was George to do? He would do what he had done every other mealtime. He would instruct the children to bow their heads and join him in thanking God for the meal they were about to eat. He would praise God for the faithfulness of His provision. And so he did. Mueller prayed simply, directly, and with a heart filled with faith. But as the eyes of those youngsters turned again to the head table, a knock sounded at the door. One of the boys was sent to answer. While the vegetables were being un- loaded, another person came to the door - the butcher! He had run out of ice at the end of a hot day and faced the prospect of awful, rotting meat.
Could the orphanage use it? Needless to say, it was quite a banquet that night. And it was the finest lesson in faith those orphans had ever received. Would the same thing have happened had Mueller not prayed, believing God for His provision ahead of time for it?
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And we know that His will for us is to walk by faith, not by sight. Do you have the faith to trust God for His provision?
Prayer Focus: Pray today that God will be honored in every aspect of our growth. Thank Him for keeping His hand on us. Pray that our motivation will be pure in attempting this work for Him. Pray that Christ will become better known to more people as we move walls and expand our ministry. Seeing the Impossible Genesis and Numbers Historical records are filled with the amazing and often amusing words of men whose vision was clouded on some important subjects.
On World Population If this continues, in another ten centuries, the earth will be nothing but a desert. It is absurd to go on seeking it today. Knife and pain are two words in surgery that must forever be associated in the consciousness of the patient.
To this compul- sory combination we shall have to adjust ourselves. Alfred Velpeau, On the Atomic Bomb The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives. They looked at the natural world and concluded that certain things simply were not possible. How would you answer the questions? Is anything too difficult for God? Many other places in the Bible we see God do the impossible. Pray that through our cooperation with The Accomplisher of the impossible, the entire church family will experience the unifying power of seeing and believing God for something that is far beyond what we could ask or think.
Jesus is gathered with a small group of followers on a hillside over - looking the area surrounding our church. They only see brick and mortar, wood and shingles, roads of asphalt and streams of vehicles. It is to them that I came to give life and give it more abundantly. What does Jesus see in the future for the people of Faith Fellowship Church? What are we to do? He wants us to seek and love everyone in order to lead them into an authentic and growing relationship with Him. Pray that our church would keep a clear focus on knowing and serving God.
Looking Above and Beyond Part Two John As we look above and beyond, we see hundreds upon hundreds of people all around us here in the greater Johnstown and Northridge areas Some, like overly ripe grain, are falling away, never to hear this message. Many, many more are waiting to be harvested by faithful people.
Who will reach out to lead these individuals into an authentic and growing relationship with Jesus Christ? We must take on this challenge. We must connect with them and then invite them to our church. We must open our hearts to receive them with love and acceptance. A Place where we would no longer be have to set up and tear down every week?! It is vital that we see this as a challenge and not a problem. This demands the right spiritual vision. We must look above and beyond.
In the months ahead, together, we are going to believe God to give us the insight—and the fore- sight—to do great things for His sake. Read Ephesians - Pray for Faith Fellowship Church! Nehemiah, Chapters 1 and 2 For every Olympics, a flame is lit from the eternal Olympic flame in Greece and then it is carried to wherever the Olympic Games are being held.
Volunteers and heroes from all over America carried torches holding the flame from place to place. In , when the summer Olympic Games were held in Atlanta, Georgia, a man named Harley Sheffield had the honor of carrying the flame through a portion of Jackson, Mississippi. As he was crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with the torch in hand, the expansion grates on the bridge blew a tire out on his bike. The torch popped out of its holder, fell onto the bridge, and broke into pieces. The Olympic flame was extinguished. Sheffield was horrified. They would have to go all the way back to Greece and start over again!
He would go down in history as the man that allowed the flame to go out! Thus he could resume his duty and the Olympic flame traveled onward. This story provides a great illustration of our walk with God. Too many times we stumble and allow our flame to go out. Have there been times in your life when you really felt like you were moving in the right direction with God?
Ask God to make your spiritual flame burn brighter increase your faith. Ask Him how He would be pleased to breath new life into each heart He involves in our ministry together. After He spoke these words, Jesus ascended before their very eyes.
Those who were assembled with Jesus that day were no doubt profoundly affected by everything He did and said following the Resurrection. They took it all to heart. The plan and the promises of God encompass all believers, not just those who were blessed to literally see and hear the Messiah. The answer carries vital implications for us as believers in our church today. What lasting things do you hope to pass on to others? Seeing the God Who is Greater Acts 4 Acts chapter 4 describes the bold ministry of Peter and John, and the price they paid for proclaiming the Message.
Because they would not keep quiet about their Lord Although the authorities demanded that they cease to teach about Jesus or even to speak His name, they refused and were persecuted. When Peter and John were released that day, they returned to their fellow Christians and joined them in praying to the God who is greater. Consequently, their prayer was not filled with expressions of anxiety; instead, it overflowed with the promises of Scripture.
Their emotions and thoughts were anchored in the reality of who God is. No one pretended that the circumstances were pleasant, but everyone con- fessed two essential truths—that God is sovereign and that He is forever the Creator. The same God to whom those first century disciples devoted their lives, that same Sov- ereign Lord and Creator, is our God. And when we pray to Him, we are confessing confidence in the One who is greater. In response to our prayer He can create new dispositions in the hearts of our opponents.
He can create a thirst for Jesus in the hearts of those who once rejected the Gospel. He can create circumstances to override the pre- vailing circumstances. And He can do all this because He is greater than all. Things To Consider: 1. How must we respond to mountainous challenges? Pray that we have the spiritual vision to see that He, as the God who is greater, can cast those mountains into the sea or reduce them to a plain path. Until the next part of our journey is up, God will supply all the courage, strength and perseverance we shall need.
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Fed by the Jordan River, it waters fertile val- leys and helps produce a bounty of fruits and vegetables. Fishermen still ply its depths, finding sustenance and profit. This is the sea that Jesus loved. He knew its waters in stillness and in storm. Upon its banks He taught many parables, spent many nights, and worked His miracles of love and compassion.
The southern sea, further down the Jordan River, differs greatly from Galilee. Its air is filled with the stench of debris and filth. No man or beast will drink from its bitter wa- ters. No children play along its polluted shores, for this is a lifeless sea. Its very name reveals its nature: The Dead Sea. Both seas are fed by the same river.
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But why the stark difference? The fresh waters pour in Can you think of people like this? People who are greedy and selfish, thinking only of getting more and more for themselves? They are like the man in the parable who sought to build bigger barns to protect his increase, never realizing the true nature of his riches. For only by living in this way will we be as healthy and joyous as God desires us to be. Does God desire for us to be an inlet with no outlet? What is God calling you to do today?
How will you express your commitment? Pray that we discover the joy of the Galilee principle Jesus was alive, they said. The disciples were troubled, filled with doubt. Then, one by one, they recognized Him, fell at His feet, and worshiped Him. He was alive! Hope was reborn! But what about the past? Would He remember how they had deserted Him How could they have been so faithless and unbelieving?
Never one to upbraid or accuse, Jesus quietly reaffirmed His love for them. He spent time among them on several occasions. He allowed them to touch His hands and His side, to settle their doubts and be convinced of His reality. He helped them in their daily needs: directing them to the location of fish when they had caught nothing and fixing them breakfast on the shore.
He opened their eyes to the Scriptures. He gave them the promise of His Spirit, to be with them forever. And then, He gave them a mission. When the disciples were renewed in faith and secure again in His love, He gave them a charge. Those who had so glaringly failed Him in His moment of trial were entrusted with the greatest work the world would ever know: the spreading of the Gospel. Their failures would always be a reminder of the weakness of the flesh and the power of sin, but they would not be a barrier to further usefulness. These men, renewed by love and mercy, went on to turn the world upside down.
God has always been faithful and forgiving! And, like our counterparts in the first century, we have a mission to carry His truth to our community and to regions beyond. What is the most significant lesson God has ever taught you about the importance of staying committed and not giving up? How has God been faithful despite your lack of faith? In Christ we are forgiven; in Christ we are for giving. They knew there would be no better backdrop for a historic speech to be given in their little city. In fact, they were pitted, scarred by blows, and smeared with garish graffiti.
But to those who saw them, carefully situated behind a podium on the broad green campus lawn, they were beautiful. The speech was by Mikail Gorbachev, former leader of the former Soviet Union, in commemoration of another speech given decades before in that same place by Sir Winston Churchill.
Half a century later, an ex - Soviet strongman stood at the microphone to talk about freedom What a wonderful word it is, and what a wonderful state to live in. Here in the U. Yet this social freedom pales in comparison with the spiritual freedom we know and experience in Jesus Christ. In Him, we have been liberated eternally. And because of that freedom He has given us, we are motivated to commit wholeheartedly and unreservedly to Him. When we participate in the campaign to build a new home for our church, we are ensuring that the message of freedom in Jesus Christ continues to go forth from this place.
It is because we are free that we must do everything possible to spread the message of freedom to our community and beyond. What are some practical ways you can share the joy and reality of your freedom with others? How are you exercising your freedom in Christ? He enjoyed no heated cell with private toilet and sink. There was no mattress for sleeping, no TV room for relaxing, no well - stocked library for reading and study. There was only the dark encasement of roughly hewn stones, filled with putrid odors and the pungent reminders of human depravity.
Perhaps worst of all were the chains, their rusty coarseness scraping his skin raw, constantly tugging at him. As if imprisonment were not painful enough, Paul had to endure something worse: the stinging criticism of those who called themselves his Christian brothers. Feel the weight of the chains on raw skin. Taste the nauseating swill that was his daily food.
Listen to those dreadful sounds of suffering that filled his ears day and night. Look into the menacing eyes of the Roman prison guards. You are there. You are suffering. You are chained. God has the perfect plan for your life.
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It's up to you to accept it. Once you realize He always gives Charles F. Discover Your Destiny Trusted pastor and best-selling author Dr. Discover hope, and discover your destiny. God Has a Master Plan. God Has a Personalized Blueprint for You. God Desires to Fulfill Your Potential. Gods EverPresent Help.
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