A Time to Fast

Your Heavenly Father will reward you.

Daily Spirit & Word: 792: A Time To Fast.

“When you fast”

In the life of the Spirit there is a time to fast, but let’s do it right.

Good morning my friends, I don’t know about you but I find fasting quite difficult. Going without food is not natural or normal. We were born hungry, just observe a tiny little baby and you’ll soon see that when it gets hungry it cries out loud, sometimes very loud. So too when we get hungry, we might have gone without food for a few hours and we’ll return home and say to our family; “I’m starving” or “I’m famished”… but we’re not really, we’re just a bit hungry. So eating food regularly is natural and normal. Going without food is not, so why would we fast? Why would we go without food on purpose?

However, notice Jesus’ words, “When you fast”… It’s like Jesus expects His followers to fast regularly, because He does not say, “If you fast”..

Matthew 6:16-18 (NIV) FASTING
16 “When you fast, do not look sombre as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
17  But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18  so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (He will REWARD YOU: Openly or Publicly).

Like giving and prayer (See yesterday’s devotion), this open or public reward by our Heavenly Father should not be our motivation for fasting. However, accept it as a promise of the LORD that when you fast with right motives, your Heavenly Father will reward you openly.

Verse 16: In ancient times in Israel people fasted regularly. The religious Jews fasted twice a week (Luke 18:12). However, they also had a tradition that they’d dress in a certain way and put things on their faces so that everybody knew they were doing something ‘religious’. Some I’m sure were trying to get closer to God, but others, as our LORD points out, were doing it to impress other people. Jesus has harsh words for them, “Hypocrites”… They’re not really doing it to honour God or draw closer to Him, they’re just doing it for show. You can’t FAST and have sin in your heart and expect the LORD of Heaven to bless you.

Verse 17: “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face”…

i.e. Don’t let anyone know by your appearance that you are going without food to get closer to God. In the same way don’t go getting all dressed up for a fast, if that is not your normal attire. Just be as normal as you can be when you are fasting for God.

Verse 18: Jesus gives us the reason we’re to be as normal a possible: “So that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father”… Only the unseen God of Heaven will know you are going without food.

If you are married, then your wife or husband will probably know too, that’s to be expected in any close relationship. But don’t let anyone else know.

REWARD: “When your Father in Heaven sees what is done in secret, He will reward you openly or publicly”.

Secret Devotion Yields Rewards.

When you really want to get close to God, He will always reward you.

Let’s see if that’s true:

James 4:8-10 (NIV)
8  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

What’s God saying in this little passage from James? “Come near to God” what will God do? “He will come near to you”… i.e. there’s no question about it, He will come near to you. This is a wonderful promise of the LORD of Heaven to come to you when you come to Him. However, we’ve got to believe, trust and accept it by faith. Because without FAITH it is impossible to please the LORD. If we don’t come expecting then we won’t get anything.

James 1:5-8 (NIV)
5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
6  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
7  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
8  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

In FASTING when you draw near to God, by going without food, if you don’t come expecting, then you won’t get anything.

So my friends, FAST regularly, draw near to God, believe His promises that He will come to you; He’ll lift you up, bless you openly (publicly), He is the rewarder of those who seek Him out.

Hebrews 11:6 (NIV)  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Faith is a gift from God, He gives it to EVERYONE who comes to Him (It’s a gift so that we can’t boast about our great faith ….)

WOWzer! Look at those awesome promises today:

  • He will reward you openly.
  • He will lift you up when you come to Him.
  • He will reward you when you seek Him in faith.

Finally: ASK, SEEK, KNOCK:

Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
7  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
8  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Sometimes we don’t get because we don’t ask. I’ve known many wonderful Christians who’ve loved the LORD, but forgotten to ask when they are in need. I’ve done it myself. Just the other day, I was in a hurry to get out the house to go and pick up my wife, but I couldn’t find my wallet. I searched frantically but to no avail, then I stopped and prayed. “LORD, I need to find my wallet, You know where it is Lord, please show me”. Within a few seconds I got a picture of a shelf in my study, I put my hands up and there it was. I didn’t find until I asked. The LORD has amazing ways to remind us to seek Him and search for Him and when we do, we’ll find Him, always.

So today, FAST, it’s not easy, it’s not normal to go without food, but it yields rewards for your Father in Heaven.

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to you today in faith, believing Your promises that when I seek you, and seek you with all my heart, I will find you. (Jeremiah 29:13).

I’m going to ask You Father for my needs …………………………… (Name them specifically) I believe Your promise that I will receive.

I’m going to seek your direction for my life …………………………….(What decisions do you have looming in your life?) I believe Your promise that I will find.

I’m going to knock on doors ………………………………… (take steps in the right direction and try some doors). I believe Your promise that it will be opened.

Your Heavenly Father’s Heart is to REWARD His beloved children.

Be blessed in Jesus and full of Holy Spirit today,

Don.

 

Believe The Promises of Jesus Today

Daily Spirit & Word, 628:

BELIEVE THE PROMISES OF JESUS CHRIST.

Good morning my friends, there are many times when sincere followers of Jesus feel low.

What are we to do at these times?

  • When there is no joy in our religious activity?
  • When there is no sense of God’s presence?
  • When the Word of the Lord seems not to be speaking to “Me”? 
  • When we feel far away from the Lord?
  • When we want to know the Lord’s comfort, but find none?
  • When we try to pick ourselves up out of the dirt and fail

Listen afresh to what the LORD says concerning this kind of thirsting.

Trust afresh in ALL the Promises of Jesus.

“I will” it’s His PROMISE:

THE LORD PROMISES:

First to Israel: The Lord God Almighty (Jehovah) made many promises to His Chosen People Israel: These are promises: a promise is something that’s bound to happen and they cannot be revoked. Some of the Lord’s promises to Israel are not popular or positive; the promise to judge them and exile them if they turn away from Him. But His eternal promise that they will be His People and He will be their God is until Christ returns in Judgement.

Isaiah 44:1-5
1 “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen.
2  This is what the LORD says— he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
3  For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
4  They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5  One will say, ‘I belong to the LORD‘; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’S’, and will take the name Israel.

What an awesome series of promises from the Lord don’t you think? But now speak the following promises out loud to your thirsty soul.

THE LORD JESUS PROMISES:

These are PROMISES to those who’ve trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation and taken hold of Him as Saviour.

First: Jesus’ ENCOURAGEMENT TO OVERCOME:

Revelation 3:12-13 “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

WOWzer! What a wonderful promise: Jesus is going to write on you God’s Name and His Own New Name (Don’t know what that is yet do we?). We’ll be in God’s Temple and Never again will we leave it. (The Temple is the Presence of God).

Second: Jesus Christ and His Teachings and Commandments Are Your WISDOM:

Matthew 7:21-25 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Are you certain that you are IN CHRIST and that He is IN YOU? You’ll know, because God’s Spirit will let you know that you belong to God.

READ THE GOSPEL:

Watch Hell’s Best Kept Secret:

Third: Jesus Promise of ETERNAL LIFE & ETERNAL SECURITY:

John 10:24-30
24  The Jews gathered round him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25  Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me,
26  but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.
27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.
29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and the Father are one.”

WOWzer! Such a beautiful promise of Jesus “no one, nothing can snatch us out of The Lord Jesus’ hand or the Father’s hand.”

Finally: THE PROMISE OF FRESH PASTURE & ABUNDANT LIFE.

John 10:9-11
9  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Jesus gave His life so that you could experience ABUNDANT (FULL LIFE).

When the Father draws you by the Holy Spirit to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, then once you’ve responded in repentance and faith, received the New Birth and become a member of God’s family; it’s forever!

Trust in these promises, AND ALL THE PROMISES OF JESUS, for there a many more: CLICK HERE.

  • WRITE OUT THE PROMISES OF JESUS IN THE BIBLE.
  • READ THEM ALL OUT LOUD.
  • BELIEVE THEM ALL AFRESH
  • TRUST IN JESUS AGAIN.
  • RECEIVE HIM AS LORD: AGAIN.
  • GET SOME FELLOWSHIP: There’s nothing better than gathering with the Saints to praise and worship the Lord together. Ask them to pray over you in the power of the Holy Spirit. 

You will be refreshed, you will be set on fire, you will know that He is your Lord.

Do you treasure the Promises of Jesus?

I’m hoping and praying that EVERY Follower of Jesus will be Full of His FRIDAY FRUIT today.

Don.

Note: Here are many more promises of Jesus: Click Here. A Downloadable FREE PDF:

The Promises of Jesus Christ

 

Wondering Why?

War, Famine, Refugees, Injustice, Pain, Hurt, Jesus, Hope, Faith and LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 613: Wondering Why?

“He WILL Wipe Away EVERY Tear From Their Eyes”

Good morning everyone, last night was the first real cold evening of the year, with a cold wind, slight drizzle and brooding sky we ventured out to share the Good News on the Streets. Understandably we got into very few lengthy conversations with people, but handed out more tracts than we’ve ever done. However, Sherrie was the one last night who did manage to have a long conversation with a woman who attended the local Roman Catholic church for over 30 years. She was a devout Catholic, but didn’t know the Bible at all, had no assurance of her Salvation, and just trusted in her ‘religion’ to save her. She didn’t know Jesus as Lord or Saviour. It’s such a shame that a person can be fooled into thinking that being ‘religious’ will save them on the day of judgement. Sherrie gently shared the Good News and the woman, who was in a rush to get home initially, stopped for over 20 mins chatting, listening and asking questions.

One thing the Catholic woman said was, “Nobody Knows what Heaven is like, because no one has come back to tell us”.

However, we do have one who came down from Heaven to tell us, not so much what it is like, but to get ready and get right so that we will be able to get into Heaven when we die. Sherrie unpacked that TRUTH for the woman last night.

  • We do not know, but God has promised that one day we will know EVERYTHING.
  • We don’t know why there is so much suffering and harsh treatment of innocent people.
  • We don’t know why there are dictators who care little about their own citizens.
  • We don’t know why men will scheme and go to war to kill thousands with bombs and bullets.
  • We don’t know why the good people suffer, whilst evil people seem to prosper.

However, we do know that one day we will KNOW EVERYTHING.

It’s just that the LORD wants us to trust Him, even though we don’t know everything now.

Not knowing why God allows these things does not mean that He’s lost control or is powerless to do something about it. He does in fact, but we can’t often see the forest for the trees. When we look at the reverse side of a tapestry it just looks like a complete mess, but turn it over and we observe the magnificent beauty of delicately crafted and skilful needlework, but it’s not until we take a few steps back that we see the whole picture and it’s AWESOME. When we get to Heaven, we’re going to see and know what they Lord has been doing all along in Human history. He will be glorified: and we will praise Him for His magnificent beauty of holiness.

When Job had lost everything he had, except his own life, he just knelt down and worshipped the Lord. He declared,

Job 1:18-22
18  While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, 19  when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”
20  At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21  and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” 22  In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

My friends, we don’t KNOW it all just now in this life, but we still worship, trust and praise the LORD. We are not overjoyed about the evil that’s happening, but we can be at PEACE through everything that comes upon us and the people that we love in this world.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

That’s why there are no real Atheists, because they don’t KNOW everything, to say that there is definitely no God who Created everything is logically flawed, to be able to say that with conviction, you’d have to know everything. But we don’t even know very much about the Earth, not really, we’re just sitting on the top of an iceberg of understanding, we can’t even see what’s beneath the surface, yet. In some place or space in the universe that we don’t know, is there room for the God who could have made it all? Of course there is, because He did: It may seem disorderly and random, but just take a look through the microscope and you’ll observe wonders to behold; order and structure and amazing beauty. You’ll see the fingerprints of God and marvel at the Creative genius behind it all.

We don’t know WHY He allows so much evil to persist upon the earth between human beings, but we can still have; faith, hope and love through life: When we get to the Lord’s side, then we will know fully, even as we are fully known by the Lord.

In the meantime, He’s given us work to do for His Kingdom and Glory: He wants us all to be on His rescue mission, to save as many souls as we can for His Heaven. Let’s just keep at it, for when one soul is saved and delivered from the slavery of sin to the freedom of the Saints, they too will be about the Lord’s work and will be filled with the HOPE of Heaven in their hearts.

There is also so much good we can do to alleviate the suffering and injustice in this world too: We can be an influence for good and for peace. Think about the STREET CHILDREN around the world, they live in constant fear, suffer hunger and incredible injustice. The authorities seem to hate them and they are living with the dread of something happening to them at the hands of evil men. Think about places upon the earth when people are fleeing war or famine or disaster; be filled afresh with God’s compassion and get involved. We can all do something, even if it’s something small, it all helps to spread the good and the LOVE of God.

  • We can pray and seek God’s will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven. That’s what Jesus told us to pray for.
  • We can pray and ask for daily bread, not just for ourselves, but for those who don’t have any.
  • We can pray and be part of God’s Healing for people; when you pray and lay your hands upon people in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, miracles can and still do happen for people who don’t even know the Lord yet.

When you weep at the injustice and brutality of evil regimes upon the earth, bring those tears to God and ask for Him to bring His swift justice for the poor and the weak and those who can’t speak for themselves. The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt for over 200 years, then the Lord heard their cries and brought the Ten Plagues upon Egypt. He does things in His own time, but we can and should be crying out to Him. Perhaps He’s just waiting for your prayers today and then He’ll move???? You know my friends, God cares far more about injustice than we do. He loves far more than we do. He is in control of the situation and will move in His own good time: Watch and Pray!

In the meantime we have God’s PROMISES:

Revelation 21:3-8
3  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4  He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6  He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.
7  He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
8  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practise magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death.”

Have an awesome Thursday with Jesus.

Stay close, worship Him no matter what you are feeling like today.

Don.