To Fast or Not to Fast (Part 1)

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In many Christian circles, some sort of New Year fast has become the order of the day. Countless ministries will engage in Daniel type or 21 day fasts to begin the New Year. Fasting, when done in accordance with the Word of God, is always commendable. But it concerns me that much of the fasting occurring during the month of January has become nothing more than a fad or merely religious. 

The Bible warns us against fasting for the wrong reasons with those type reasons being anything that does not align with the will of God. In Isaiah 58, the Lord reveals the type of fasting that pleases Him. Fasting, then, is not to be self motivated or self glorifying but all about God and His agenda. 

In verses 1-4, Israel is indicted for her transgression which is identified as “defective worship”. Specifically, Israel was embracing the wrong concept of fasting. They were consistent in worship and sacrifice but purely selfish in their true motivation! 

So in verse 1, the instruction is to “Cry aloud, spare not (do not hold back); Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins.” Verses 3 and 4 reveal the heart of their transgression – selfishness and unrighteousness!

Zechariah 7:4-7, reminds us that fasting is to be about godly motive and attitude. “Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests: ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months  during those seventy years, did you really fast for Me—for Me? When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for  yourselves?  Should  you not have  obeyed the words which the Lord proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?’ ”

In other words, God pleasing fasting requires unselfish motives aso well as attitudes and actions of righteousness and obedience!

Keep in mind as we continue this particular post on fasting, the Bible commends fasting! We should fast and pray but we should fast according to the Word of God and not the traditions of men. Stay tuned for Part 2.

And Stay On Target! 

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Born for This! Isaiah‬ ‭9:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

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For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” ‭Isaiah‬ ‭9:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The current state of our nation is a sad reflection of what happens when the god of a nation is not the God of the Bible. Everywhere we turn there is more and more talk about issues related to the government. For the last 18-24 months issues or matters related to “government” have dominated the news. Our nation is in need of a Leader! But the government that is being spoken of by men stands in stark contrast to the government which is referred to in our text. The government specified in our text is the government of God. It is the government of His kingdom, which is His comprehensive rule over every facet of life.

Every kingdom has its citizens, it’s on constitution, if you will, and above all it’s on king! Our text tells us of our King and begins to declare His rule and reign. It speaks both in the present tense and prophetically. It speaks of His unmatched purpose and power! It tells us:

The government will be upon His shoulder

Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end

One does not have to look too deeply to realize that Jesus was born for this! He was born to govern, to rule, to lead a people set a part to the Lord! He was born for this! We must look to Him for only He can save us!

Christmas 2016 Message Excerpt

Stay On Target!