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More On Corinthians

In our study of Corinthians we found that Paul answered a number of questions the Church asked him.  Some of the questions are seemingly irrelevant to us.  “Do we eat meat sacrificed to idols?”.  We will likely never faced this situation.  However the answer that Paul gives is relevant to us.  “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  This is excellent truth!  We must do everything we do for the glory of God.
The second irrelevant section is on the wearing of head coverings for women.  Someone asks about proper attire at church.  In those days, women were expected to cover their heads whenever they prayed or prophesied.

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Jesus Is Life

The picture you see above is the glass door of one of our Church Families homes. They sent me this picture through text Sunday night. Being quarantined at home Arianna and Lilly found something creative to do. They used glass art paint and painted their front door. I think it is beautiful and so inviting. This reminded me of one of the scripture verses that I have been pondering on for several weeks now. Psalm 90:1 “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!”

Psalm 90 is entitled a Prayer of Moses. Here he is giving God praise for being the dwelling-place-the refuge-the help in all generations.

This prayer of Moses was written during the 40 years of the Israelites desert wanderings due to their lack of trust and unfaithfulness. But even then, God was their refuge and their home.

If you are a child of God, then you are at home in God. He is your comfort and your place of safety. Even amid crisis and uncertainty, inside the door you are sheltered in God.

Look at the beautiful door again. It says,

“Jesus is Life” Wow!, what a witness to their neighbors.  Yes, the only way to Life, is through Jesus Christ.  God gives us eternal life in His Son. He did this out of Love.


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What Satisfies the Soul?

I come to the end of this season of fasting.  Earlier in the year I was greatly impacted by a testimony that George Wood shared about the founding of the Assemblies of God churches in Springfield, Missouri.  Amanda Benedict was one of the early participants in the Pentecostal movement. Though she was already 60 years old, and had served the Lord with distinction in rescue home for girls in Chicago, when she arrived in Springfield she set her heart upon receiving the Holy Spirit and being a part of a world-wide revival.  She decided to pray and fasting for one year, eating only bread and water.


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Hitting the Wall

There are times of fasting in which you hit the wall.  The wall comes more frequently if you allow yourself to think about what you are doing.  On day 11 I celebrated and felt great.  I was half way!  Then on the next day I got up and could barely move and thought “Oh no I have 10 more days?!?!?!”  You just have to learn to rely upon the Lord to keep you busy and mentally focused upon the task of getting through the day.

I also see that as I grow closer to the end of the fast that my mind and body are preparing to eat.  I have looked up menus for coming off a fast—none of them are appetizing.  Mostly juices and steamed vegetables.  Absolutely no meat for at least four days, some say a week, others question why you eat meat in the first place.  Needless to say my mind and body is trying to be ready.  This creates tension however in the body.  My body craves food intensely and its cravings are sometimes overwhelming.  It is not pain as such as it is a deep anxiety, a deep longing for something that is missing.


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Expansion

Expansion of the Kingdom comes through sacrifice.   The greatest move of the Spirit that I experienced in Russia came after a time of an intense Daniel fast in 1998.  Healings and salvations were common place and the Word of God came alive to me as never before. In 2009 after years of sowing in fields in China revival came.  Over 13 years I had traveled multiple times in China each time after I had spent time fasting with the Lord. Fasting is about Kingdom expansion.


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The Purpose of Fasting

 Many people ask why I fast and I don’t truly have a good answer except that it seems that fasting works for me.  God works more in my life during and after a fast, than if I don’t fast.  I don’t think everyone is called to the same level of fasting that I am.  But I would contend that you should have some seasons of the year where you demonstrate to God that He is more important than food, or entertainment, or comfort.  This fasting helps us break out of spiritual ruts and malaise.  It wins the victory over the darkness and oppression of the enemy.  Fasting and prayer just works.


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Trusting God

Recently I was confronted with a ministry challenge that reminded me that I desperately needed the Lord’s help in order to accomplish what I had to do.  He gave to me the verse,“I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).  I memorized that verse as a child and quoted it many times to myself and to others.  It has a tendency to become a cliche-something we quote but never truly experience.  Yet over the past few weeks I have experienced the strength of Christ daily.  I needed his strength and he supplied.  I needed his comfort and he was there.  I needed his wisdom and he spoke to me.  I can do what God has called me to do, because he has given the strength to do it.


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Man Does Not Live By Bread Alone

 
Fasting is often a solitary practice.  I have fasted many times and in sundry ways and the one thing that stands out in my mind is the loss of conversation and connection at the table.  My wife and I stop eating together because it is at home where fasting is the most difficult.  As long as I am active and busy and away from the refrigerator then I am not tempted to check and see what there is to eat.  Our evening usually include some early evening snack like popcorn or chips and dip so fasting interferes with that connection.  We become single adults living together during a fast and the connection is sorely missed.

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Prayer for Greater Things

Jesus was talking to his disciples about the future when he made the statement in John 14:12, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.”  This year we are believing God for “Greater Things”.  In January we have fasted and prayed for 21 days.  Many people accepted the “Daniel Fast” of eating no meat and no sweets, or some other version.  The testimonies are encouraging.  One person talked of how God has revealed his purpose in her life.  Another spoke of how God was confirming a call in ministry.  One person had a breakthrough in her work conditions.  One husband has  begun to seek God’s presence in his life.  God is moving.

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Ten Commandments for Men

1 THESSALONIANS 5:12-22 PLUS

1. Find a spiritual leader for your life and learn from him.

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 

13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work.
It’s difficult to make it spiritually on your own, without help from someone.  Find someone you trust and follow them.

2. Learn to get along.  13 b And live peacefully with each other.     If you are always in conflict with others, or even if others are in conflict with you, then you need to check if you are the problem. (compare /Romans 12: 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.


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