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!
“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!
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,
In the life of Daniel, we can see three things that caused him to be identified as one who had “an excellent spirit within him” (Dan. 5:12; 6:3):
1) Reliance on God
2) Resistance of the world
3) Resolution to please the Father
Build these things into your life and you to can be one who is identified as possessing a spirit of excellence!
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be
sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
These three verses establish our priority as a “called out” and “sent” people. The same Christ who has saved us and set us apart for His own special use and glory, now “commissions” all who are His to go and to make disciples of all nations.
There are several notable things concerning our commission to go and make disciples. Today, we will look at only one of them. First of all, our commission is based upon and backed by His authority. Look back at Matthew 28:18. Christ declares that “all authority is given to Me.” And it is based on this biblical fact and truth that He sends us on this vital assignment. His authority empowers as well as authorizes us to continue what He was doing while He was here on earth. He gives us the responsibility and also the authority so that with our obedience we will have good success in our raising up devoted followers of Him.
As we embrace this command and receive the full backing of Christ and heaven’s resources, we recognize that what He has endorsed, He has also provided for its success. Ours is merely to receive and obey. He has authorized us to be His disciples and to continue the process as we do the same in others. How are you doing with that? (To Be Continued)
Are you a follower that leads? Here are several qualities of a “follower that leads”:
– they are self starters
– able to take a directive and run with it without being reminded multiple times
– are concerned about the preservation of the anointing on their leader’s life
– are mindful of the God-given vision of the house
– provides creative ideas, solutions and workable plans to accomplish vision
– ask: what are we going to do about the vision that has been cast to us?
Followers that lead are a rare breed! They are indeed those who have moved beyond being merely compliant and have now become the committed! Are you one?
Nothing we can ever do is capable of impressing the God who can do the impossible! When it is all said and done, especially as preachers or ministers of the Gospel, only what this God thinks of us will matter. His judgment supersedes all others. So, seek not to impress men but to please God!
The Apostle Paul was used mightily of The Lord, but he himself was unimpressive. His primary motivation was never to be impressive but to bring glory to God. Listen to some of what he said, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:1-5 NKJV) His desire was to be spiritually impactful. Not humanly impressive. At the end of the day, he desired that men be impressed with his Lord and Savior and never with him as an Apostle & preacher.
Paul also declared, “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” (Galatians 6:14, 15 NKJV). Again, Paul’s motive, as well as ours should be, was the glory of The Lord! Key to this is the world and its influences being dead to us and us to it. Notice, the thing that appears to matter to God is that we are new creations, capable now of being spiritually responsive to Him!
Let’s endeavor to live this quality of life; one that has as its aim the glory of God!
Until the next time, Stay On Target!