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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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.

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!

Are There Conditions On Your Faith?

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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!