To Fast or Not to Fast (Part 2)

Standard

Happy New Year!

One of the things the New Year has most recently brought with it is a number of churches and Christians engaging in some sort of fast. In my last post, I talked about fasting but more specifically proper fasting according to Isaiah 58:1-4. We pointed out how the Bible warns against fasting for the wrong reasons. Fasting is to be about God and His agenda. Otherwise, it is merely not eating!

In this post, we want to look at Isaiah 58:5-14. In these verses, the Lord clarifies what proper fasting is. He calls it the fast He has chosen. Specifically, He says as He speaks to Israel, that oppression of the poor was not allowed (v. 6, 7), observance of the Sabbath was required along with sincere and joyful worship (vs. 13, 14). He directs them to engage in acts that undo political, economic and social injustice (vs. 6-8). He also instructs the reader to not engage in false accusations designed to strike fear in people or being guilt of being a troublemaker (vs. 9). As a result of fasting His way, the Father promises light (revelation), healing and total restoration (vs. 10-12)! In other words, if we do what He says His way, we can get what He says we can have!

The important thing as I continue to note is that when we fast, we do so for His purposes and His glory! We will reap the benefits as He promised but our fasting must be properly motivated. Jesus Christ points this out to us in Matthew 6:16-18. In these verses, Jesus teaches that those who promote their fasting have their reward from the people who they are seeking to impress. But it is those who fast in secret who the Lord promises to reward openly.

So, when you fast, do it by the Book – the Bible – and heed the instructions of our Lord and Savior!

Stay On Target! 

Advertisements

To Fast or Not to Fast (Part 1)

Standard

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! 

Remaining Faithful – Part 2

Standard

Yesterday, we shared with you biblical insight for remaining faithful in times of testing and trial. Today, I want to share with you a clear summons for this season to Remain Faithful! 

Jesus Christ asks the question, “Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith in the earth?” (Luke 18:8) This verse is found at the end of a passage that deals with us being persistent and consistent in prayer. It is a call to faithfulness in God and the things of God. Those who pray this way are those who maintain biblical faith in God. Their trust, reliance upon and confidence in Him prevails through the various difficulties of life as well as every assault on their faith in God! Just as He did for Peter, Jesus prays for us that our faith does not fail! Thank you Lord!

Another thing the scriptures alert us to is that many will fall away from the faith (the whole body of doctrine expressed by scripture). In other words, they will lose faith in the faith and pursue other means of living. See 1 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1. Both these verses give us a revelation of the End Times and what will precede the coming of our Lord. If this is recorded in His word, it serves as a warning to us! Believer, take heed and guard against this taking place in your life! 

Saints, we are in that day as I write. Many are anandoning the faith! But I want to strongly urge you to stay with God; remain faithful! Spend much more time in prayer to Him and with Him in His word! What will cause many in the Church to fall away is not consistently renewing their minds with God’s word. This will open the door for worldly conformity, which will usher in spiritual compromise (see Tev. 3:14-22)! In other words, we need MORE of Him now and not less! Father, help us to remain faithful!

I believe the key to remaining faithful (by His grace) is found in making a decision and not merely making a choice. A dear brother of mine stated that in making a choice we leave other options available. But in making a decision, he says, we eliminate all other options but the one of which we have decided. Beloved, decide to remain faithful until death!

When we stand before the Lord in judgment, He will measure our goodness and our faithfulness. In order for Him to pronounce “well done, my good and faithful servant” over us, we must remain faithful to Him each and everyday. 

Praying for us all,
apostle H.

Excerpt from the Forthcoming Book: “When Sons Become Fathers”

Standard

“At some point sons both natural and spiritual may more than likely become fathers. Preparing sons not only for the period of transition but their new role is the responsibility of the father whether biological or spiritual. Failure here has the potential of adversely effecting subsequent generations and ultimately aborting the destiny given to a family or a ministry vision” (An excerpt from When Sons Become Fathers by Apostle Reginald M. Holiday)

Life Trajectory

Standard

The word of God teaches us that Jesus Christ is our example in all things. Today, let’s take a lesson from the life of Jesus concerning “Life Trajectory.” Life Trajectory is a phrase I want to stress especially to younger people. A life without proper trajectory is really just an experiment in unfruitful living. This does not mean that there is no benefit in a life lived without trajectory but a life lived this way will never be one that realizes it’s maximum potential.

Learning Life Trajectory means discovering who I am in God, what He has assigned me to do and learning how He wants this assignment done for His glory.

Now, in the life of Jesus we can readily see its trajectory. Jesus knew and walked out 3 things:

1) He knew Who He was

2) He knew what He was supposed to do

3) He knew how He was supposed to get it done

Therefore, if He is our example as Christians in all things; and He is. We are to establish our life’s trajectory based on the pattern or example He has left us. We need to know from the Father the three things Jesus knew as the Son. Pray about it. Listen and obey!

Until the next time, Stay On Target!

Right Relationship

Standard

Both the fruit of the Spirit and the works of the flesh are the byproducts of relationship. Intimacy with the Spirit of God, right relationship with Him, will produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). It is a predominant relationship with the flesh that can only produce the works of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). Keep in mind, in every relationship there is change! You are either being changed or acting as an change agent. But know you can only produce based upon which relationship you are more given to. Read Gal. 6:7-10. I admonish every believer to choose to live life under the influence of the Spirit – the fruit you produce in this world will give you benefits out of this world! (See also Gal. 5:16-18; 24-26)

Are There Conditions On Your Faith?

Standard

Are there conditions on your faith in Christ? Have you placed self-imposed limitations on what you will believe about Him? Have you made what you know about Him and how you will live for Him subject to your experience?

Thomas the disciple did! But notice upon who Christ proclaimed the blessing?

John 20:24-29 NLT

One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” (Emphasis mine)

Take the conditions off of your faith! Be in awe of the Awesome God! Stand in reverence of His holiness and righteousness! Believe Him without any sense realm evidence! You will only be the better for it!

Stay on Target!