LFC 21 Day Fast 2013
January 7, 2013
IT’S IMPORTANT TO GET OUT OF THE STARTING BLOCK!
This fast will be successful when you plan, seek God for His direction and hold yourself accountable. It’s also a great idea to get an accountability partner that will intercede prayer with you and push you to stay the course and finish well.
So today I want to give you a devo and some fasting links. The devotion comes from the message God gave me to share last night called “Foundations of Fasting. The fasting links come from other church “fasters”, the YouVersion Bible App, and others I’ve found.
FOUNDATION #1 … REPENT!
Part of the translation of the word “repent” means, “To change one’s thinking or to change one’s mind.” John is preaching “Change your thinking, your mind”– change your heart and your life.
THE PROOF OF TRUE REPENTANCE: “You will Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” John the Baptist, in Matthew chapter 3, called the Pharisees and Sadducees “unrepentant “vipers” (snakes). Pretty strong language against the religious but true. How did he know they hadn’t truly repented–it was because there was no change in their life. In essence, John said , “I don’t know what is in your hearts; but I can see what is in your lives.” Repentance is a change of thinking, change of mind, change of heart and a change of life. If lives are not changed, the hearts have not changed either. The thinking hasn’t changed.
What does God fill the repentant with? James 3:17 says: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere”. As you hear that list and study it today and this week, you realize there is nothing materialistic in this list, is there? Sincere, considerate, peace-loving, submissive, full of mercy, impartial–all character traits of a Christian. This is the tree that produces good fruit. As you and I get to hear God’s word and study it and read it for ourselves, we begin to understand God’s wisdom and it produces fruit in our lives. We don’t have to look very far or go very far outside the doors of the church or the comfort of God’s house to find those who are not filled with peace, who are worried, scared, frightened. So the Lord says in our lives, we as trees are to let that fruit be seen–peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, good fruit, impartial and sincere.
How does this change happen? The believer is blessed who does not sit in the seat mockers or stand in the way of sinners the Psalm writer tells us. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1:3)
The study was performed at Hope College where the individual’s blood pressure and heart rates increased, and muscle tension was shown to be higher. This demonstrates that stress levels are higher when an individual is walking in unforgiveness as oppose to forgiveness. Stress leads to a host of other illnesses that lands people in hospitals. Dr. Don Colbert, M.D. says, “One of the secret causes of stress plaguing millions of people is unforgiveness.”
The human brain is like a computer; it is a memory bank and, whether it is short term or long term, it releases biochemical stress responses when you meditate and rehearse all the offenses that have been committed towards you. I have heard it said that the individual that is living in unforgiveness is the one drinking the deadly poison, but instead wishing the other person would die.
We have all been hurt and devastated by someone close to us, but we have the option to not allow the hurt to get rooted in bitterness, which then causes stress and stress causes a variety of sickness and disease to harvest in our lives. Some offenses may seem minor which makes forgiveness easy; however, the true test is when it is difficult to forgive but we choose to forgive anyway.
The BIBLE SAYS in Mark 11: 25-26 25And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses
God directed me to simply give you a passage of scripture for this one.
Matthew 17:19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
NOW HERE’S A FEW GREAT FASTING LINKS:
MORE LINKS TO FOLLOW ON A LATER BLOG.
bible.com (this is the YouVersion Bible App for computers, ipads, smartphones, etc. Once you download it, go to Plans, then hit the New tab and scroll and you’ll see several 21 day devotions. There are some specifically for women, leaders, etc. Also there are Promise plans and Bible study plans.
TOMORROW! STORIES AND TESTIMONIES FROM FASTERS!
SO GET GOING AND I’M PRAYING FOR YOUR FAST!