Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Morning Musings ...

It was very cold yesterday morning, but the sun was shining and God shone through in our worship as well. (Wow, that really is a cheesy statement now that I see it in black and white.) In spite of the cold we has decent attendance and are seeing some new people commit to this being their church. That is always encouraging.

We had most of our worship band back this week, only missing one, but we were a short on our vocal team. It seemed that it took the congregation a long time get engaged in worship yesterday.

Yesterday I preached part 3 of a 5 part series entitled "Changeover", using Isaiah 43:14-44:5 as the foundation. Looking at what we need to focus on to make the changes needed to do what God desires of us. Last week we looked at the need to read the Bible everyday and pray for others everyday. This week we looked at the spiritual discipline of fasting. This is an often neglected discipline in our country. Fasting is a spiritual discipline which helps us to recapture our hunger for God. In Matthew 6:6 Jesus said, "When you fast..." is a clear message that those who follow Christ are to spend some time fasting. He did not say 'if you fast'. The life of Christ shows a pattern of prayer and fasting. Fasting is abstaining from food to spend more time and focus on God and his will. Not because food is bad, but because God is better. It is saying that having more of the Giver is better than more of the gifts.

Fasting is not ...a diet or hunger strike, it is not a substitute for obedience and not a way to make God love you more.

Fasting ... exposes your heart, it fans the flames of your hunger for God and it reveals who/what controls you.

Lisa Bevere said, "A diet changes how you look. A fast changes how you see."

You need to take your physical condition into consideration before fasting. You may need to have food at specific times due to medication or other physical conditions. Be wise in undertaking fasting.

There are total fasts that mean only drink water. There are fasts when you only drink fruit or vegetable juices (be careful not to drink ones with a lot of sugar). There are partial fasts where you abstain from meat for example. The point is to deny yourself something and spend that time and effort in more time with God in prayer and reading the Word.

The challenge was to fast one meal a day, or one day a week, for the next 6 weeks. Then see what God reveals to you.

Will you accept the challenge? What changes do you need to make to meet this challenge?


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