To Fast or Not to Fast (Part 2)

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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! 

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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! 

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!

Remaining Faithful – Part 2

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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.

An Exhortation to Remain Faithful!

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God Bless the saints of the Most High God!

There has been a stirring in my spirit to exhort the saints to remain faithful especially in times of trial and transition! Some of you are dealing with both even as I type. But one of the vital keys to it all, is to remain faithful to God in the midst of all that is taking place! This is not a time to rely on your feelings or what you may be experiencing. This is the time to rely on God’s Word! Everything you are going through must be judged by His Word. It must be held up against His Word in order for you to obtain His perspective, His plan and the fruit of His process! See James 1:2-12.

Many times we frustrate what God is doing in our lives by misinterpreting what is going on in our lives. I urge you, my brothers and my sisters, to refuse to conform to the world’s idea of what to do and how to do it (Rom. 12:1-3) as well as refuse to compromise the standard of God’s Holy Word (Rom. 1:25)! Be careful as to which voices you are listening to in this season! Let God’s word speak to your situation. Whatever counsel you receive, pray it through and judge it by the Word of God and not your human emotions or the persuasive speech of others (1 John 4:1). Choose wisely (Psalms 1; Heb. 13:7).

James writes in his epistle, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience (endurance and steadfastness and patience). But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (fully developed [with no defects] lacking in nothing).” (James 1:2-4). God wants to perfect (mature) you in this that you are going through for His glory and His good! But you must come under God’s word: Count it all Joy! Know that God has a method and a mission in the midst of this – by testing/trying your faithfulness, He is working within you the supernatural power to hang in there until this patience produces what He has promised! Don’t bail out now! Stay the course! Hold on to His Word! Let the Process Bring You into Possession of what He Promises (Heb. 10:35-39)!

You cannot be faithful to God and not remain obedient to His revealed will! Your faithfulness should not be subjective to how you are feeling or what you are going through! Your perception of how people may be treating you cannot be the measurement for how you will live before and serve the Lord either! You must be determined to please Him even in this trial or transition! Saints, Remain Faithful! God is going to be glorified and you are going to be better!

Love you all,
apostle H.

We Missed It!

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There is a strategic purpose for a set of blueprints. They convey the vision of the architect to those who are called to construct what is ultimately desired. Any deviation whatsoever from the original plan can only produce something quite different from the original intent of the designer. When this occurs, three words immediately come to mind – We Missed It!

I believe those words ring greatly true for the church man has raised in comparison to the church Christ declared He would build (Mt. 16:18). In the heart of the Father is to build through Christ a household or a family (Eph. 2:19-22) and not some corporate organization. Men have erected that which is transactional and not that which was intended to be highly relational (Eph. 4:16). As a result, we have denominations and fellowships which are more hierarchical in nature versus being relational at their core as the Lord intended. In other words, we missed it!

Sons are what the Father desires (Rom. 8:29). Sons who are conformed in the image of His Son. The Bible is replete with the language of family and of a household (Eph. 2:19; 3:15; Mt. 10:25; Gal. 6:10; 1 John 3:1). The Word of God makes the consistent case for family over organization. Search the scriptures and you too will find that God is about family, His household and sons! We missed it! 

But thank God He allows “change orders!” Even though foundations must be “re-layed”, we must carry out God’s design God’s way! Who’s design will we trust? If we go on doing what we are doing, we will only get more of what we already have!

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

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“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)