Monday, January 23, 2012
In the sermon yesterday, we were challenged to crave Jesus more than we crave other things to satisfy us. In Mark 2.18-22, Jesus responded to the question why His disciples didn't fast. At that time there wasn't any reason to fast since Jesus was in the flesh with them. Just like the guests at a wedding aren't crying out in pain and sorrow. It's a time of joy because the bride and groom are present, ready to join in marriage. Although Jesus did respond to His critics that there would be a time His disciples would fast. Those words were written for the church's instruction. It's clear the disciples who weren't fasting then understood the need to fast when Jesus wasn't with them any more (i. e. Acts 13.1-3). We don't fast today because we're preparing ourselves to receive forgiveness like the Jews did at the time of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16.1-34). Jesus fulfilled everything the Day of Atonement required. Atonement was finalized in Jesus' one perfect sacrifice! Now we fast because we understand the blessing of salvation we have in Jesus. We fast because we want more of Jesus.
I challenged you to plan for a time you can fast in order to pursue Jesus. The riches of Jesus are worth abstaining from one meal or a day's worth of food. Take time to plan for a fast so you can pursue God's will and His riches in your life. Let's join together as a church to pray for these five areas:
1. Our lost friends and family members
2. Our church - pick someone in our church and pray for their growth in the Lord.
3. Our nation - pray for the evangelism and church planting going on in the New York, specifically for Pastor Freddy Wyatt at the Gallery Church to lead the efforts and train up new leaders who will see many people follow Jesus.
4. Our world - pray for the unreached people group of Tai Nyo. They're located in Northeastern Thailand along the Mekong River. There are 96,500 of them and less than .1% are Christian. Pray that God will send workers to this area; pray that God will gather new believers into churches and for new churches to grow and grow.
5. Our Convention leaders - pray for Jim Smith. God has gifted him substantially as a leader and a writer. Pray for God's provision and protection and His anointing over His ministry.