When you are God’s…..He is always with you.


What is the greatest gift we receive from the Lord when we choose to serve Him?  When one cries out to the Lord for salvation, and believes in Christ, so much happens.  Being a follower of Christ give us so much grace and truth from the Lord.

  • Our sins are forgiven, as Jesus suffered for us on the cross (John 1.29; 1 John 1.1,2).
  • We are adopted as children of God, into the family of God (John 1.12)
  • We become new inside (2 Corinthians 5.17).
  • We stop leaving for our purposes or none at all and begin to live the purposes of the Lord. Our life has purpose and significance because we realize we are treasured by Father God.
  • Our names are written down in the book of life, promising us eternal life (John 5.24).
  • We receive the Holy Spirit and He lives in us (Ephesians 1.13,14).
  • We begin a life-long adventure of getting to know Christ, and His ways, as the Lord gives us revelation through His words, and our life.  We become set apart for the purposes of God.
  • Because the Lord lives in us, we hear Him. We can sense God in our daily lives.
  • We understand the Bible, the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2.14).
  • We begin to heal from the hurts of our past.
  • We do not have to fear death, or anything, because we are God’s and will live with him forever.
  • We have victory over sin, addictions, and the enemy (1 John 3.8).
  • We are delivered from the emptiness of religion and trying to be “good” to earn God’s love or salvation.
  • We gain wisdom from God (Proverbs 9.10). This wisdom helps us walk through life, make decisions, and treat others.
  • We have the power to forgive those in our past, those that hurt us, and those that will in the future.
  • We care for others with the unconditional love of Christ (1 Cor. 13).

But, one of the greatest things that happen when we choose to follow God, we have access to Father God, through Christ (John 14.16). We get to know God and call out to Him as our “Abba Father”. He is not known afar off. He is not aloof. He is with us.

We need His presence!  We need his power.  We need His wisdom, direction, Word, life, and light to help us on this earth because it can be very difficult.  We have our hope in the Lord, that whatever circumstances, heartaches, joys, tragedies, in life, our God is with us.  He has redeemed us, by Christ, bought us back so we can be His.

The most wonderful gift of salvation to me, is knowing that my Father God is with me.   It does not matter if I feel Him, He is with me.  It does not matter if tragedy strikes, He is with me.  Even when I sin against Him, He is with me.  When I don’t think about Him, He is with Me.  He is with you too.  Always.  Don’t think He isn’t if you believe. He is with you.

Pastor Nate Elarton

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13.5-6

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8.38-39

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.  John 14.16-18

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Message is on sin this weekend and the remedy, John 1.29


I, by nature, am an encourager. The message this week is on sin and how Christ came to take away our sin as the “lamb of God.” (John 1.29).  As I have been seeking God and praying about the message it dawns on me through illumination and the Logos Word of God, that God is pretty serious about sin.  Sin in the believer and the believer.  For us to understand the Gospel, know about Jesus, and to continue to willfully live in sin, apart from God, is a horrible decision.  Communicating this serious Truth with grace and love will be the challenge this weekend.  Freedom is enouragement and walking in truth is also.

Our greatest life is to be forgiven and honor God with our life. To walk away from sin, sinful behavior, sin of ignoring Christ and what we know, bring amazing joy, peace and freedom, and removes the wrath of God from our lives (John 3.36). Pray for me as I teach these truths. Pray for us all, that we would be aware of sin, and believe, be forgiven, and walk in grace with thankful hearts.

Pray for those who know all of this, yet seem not to care anymore.

Pray for those who will hear the Gospel for the first time.

Pray for those filled with spiritual pride that think this message is for everyone else, not them.

Pray for this pastor.

Below are the handout notes.

P. Nate

John One|1.29

Compelled Church,

July 6, 2017

 

John 1.19-34

1.29   “ The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “

 

Some Definitions

“Lamb of God”

The Lamb provided to Abraham Genesis 22:8 “ Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.”

The Passover Lamb- Exodus 12. 1-13

The Lamb of Isaiah-Isiah 53.1-5

The Lamb of Revelation  (Rev. 5 1.1-10   Revelation  5:9–10 (NASB95)

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

Sin- Gr. “harmartia”  sin, evil actions, guilt

Two Types of Sin- 1)Omission 2) commission

Of the World-  The atonement of Christ is comprehensive-

1 John 2:1–2” My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

  1. The foolish view

I don’t care about my sin.  (God cares)

It does not bother me to sin.  (you are deceived or heart has become hard)

I don’t feel guilty when I sin.   Guilt could be covered by selfishness and rebellion

James 1:14–16But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. “

 

  1. The significance of “sins gone”

The guilt of sin is gone Hebrews 10.22 Hebrews 10:22 (NASB95) “ let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. “

The punishment for sin is gone from us (1 John 2.1-2)

John 5:24- “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

  1. The gift of “sins gone”

John 1.12- We are adopted as the Father’s Children

  1. The response of “sins gone”

We live thankful.

We walk in God’s Grace

We stop willfully sinnin

1 John 1:9 (NASB95)

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

What about the Christian that continues in sin?

What if we do not stop, confess, and repent of sin?

 

 

The Effects of continued sin in our life.

  1. Drift happens
  2. Selfishness inflates
  3. God thoughts diminish
  4. Compassion begin to dissolve
  5. Love for God, becomes a doctrine, not an action
  6. Priorities of life become scrambled
  7. Desertion starts becoming complete.

 

We stop desiring to serve the Lord or honor him with our life.

 

Believe in Jesus as your Savior and have him forgive your sins by asking.

Acknowledge sin and ask forgiveness and be free.

 

 

He is My Confidence


When you struggle with fear, situations, and the feelings of insignificance, Jesus is our confidence.  We can rest in Him.  Trust in His Word, and the presence of His Spirit to guide us through every situation.

Love this song my Iron Bell Music  “My Confidence”. Enjoy and listen to the words closely.

Knowing God


We know much about God, but few really know God and fewer understand Him.  We know and experience a lot of the “culture” of God, or the church.  The potlucks, the music, the jargon of God’s people,, the do’s and don’ts of faith. These things are familiar to us, yet really  knowing  God escapes most.  We understand the way to God or the Father is Jesus and His work on the cross, and resurrection, but to know the Lord, and to have friendship with God is elusive to most, never thought about to some, and pursued by the minority of those who admit to being His people.

To know someone takes time.  Sadly, I must confess, we try to know God, while investing as little time as possible.  Many families worship together now, only a couple times a month, some do some Bible reading at home, and say some prayers.  I must confess to my own lethargic attention at times to my efforts to know the God of the universe. It is no wonder when hard times hit us, we wonder where God is?  When the comforts of our modern culture are interrupted we question the very existence of God and our own faith.  Making large investments into our soul, must no longer seem impossible, out of reach, or unrealistic. It is time to take time to know Him.

I have learned and I am being being reminded (as of late), that there are no short cuts to knowing God.  There are no “hacks” or apps that make it faster and easier than daily investing some time, reserving some place in our thoughts, and making choices in our day, to carve out time to get to know our closest friend.  It is all about time.  We, I, am too much in a hurry.  We have too many things to do, and we are hurried even when there is respite and time off.  We must complete the yard work quickly, get the kids to bed, eat and do chores fast, and we never pace our lives  to enjoy the life God has given us,  for He is not separated from us, therefore, He is not separated from our daily activities of our  lives, however mundane and routine they are.   We must grasp the realization that we are living with Christ, all the time. So setting aside extra time in the day to know Him, is not that out of reach.

Being taught by the living Christ, through contemplative prayer, solitude, true study of Scripture, and prayer will lead us to knowing God  on a level we never thought was possible.  We must reserve room in our mind to think of him, and to become one in thought, heart, and soul.   We must immerse ourselves in solitude and silence, with undisturbed times from the electronics, of phones, and IPads, that ding, alert us, and drag us back to the hurried world, and out of His presence. We must rush off, making money, making friends, making our mark on this earth, but without knowing  God it is all in vain, hollow, and pointless.

We must invest in our spirit, in the same way in invest in our physical bodies.  This investment has the greatest return. We will slowly, day by day, understand the Lord, feel His heart, grow in love, and many things in the world that we have been deceived as being such a high priority begin to grow, “strangely dim”.

We make time to do so many things, that I think the “I don’t have time” excuses have no more merit. The stakes are too high. Your transformation is imperative to your parenting, marriage, vocation, and enjoyment of life if we truly want  the abundant life Christ promised us (John 10.10).

May this Psalm be the cry of our heart, and the evidence of that cry
1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.

6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
7 Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
Tyndale House Publishers. (2013). Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Ps 63:1–8). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

What is shaping you?


We are constantly being shaped and molded.  No one is static. We are changing, morphing into what we are becoming.  I am not the man I was in my twenties (thank you Lord!), and I am not the man now, that I will be in my 70’s. I am changing, being shaped, every so slowly, every day.

Habits and routines shape us. We wake up and immediately grab our phones, scrolling through the most recent Facebook posts, like something important would have happened to our “friends” since we last checked it at 11 pm.  Our day is shaped by the technological stream of information we cram into our minds the first 15 or 20 minutes of waking up. News, twitter, political rants, shape our mind and day and we are imprinted, not by what we have chosen to look at, but by the algorithms of twitter, Facebook, or snapshot.

I am surprised by how many people turn on the TV immediately, as if the silence of the new day cannot be tolerated.  News media, with their own bias and agenda, begin to imprint us and shape our lives. Slowly, morning after morning, one brain cell at a time, we become them, and “parrot” their news bites in our views as if we came up with it from scratch rather than admitting we are lemmings of some producer somewhere who is deciding how we should think and believe.

Our habits throughout the day shape us.  The jokes, hobbies, vices,  talk, radio, friends, and what we read, investments in our marriage, our family, our God, are slowly digested into our person, character, and personality. Our daily exposure to people, information, and relationships are changing us, for the better or the worse. We are being shaped, whether we think so or not.

So are your habits shaping you into who you want to be, or are you just letting a “routine” shape you into whatever you, by chance, you end up becoming?  Can we allow our God to shape us?  I am talking about habits outside of a church service a couple of times a month. Habits of a pursuit of a God, through Christ, that wants to shape us into the person that lives without addictions, regrets, fear, and pain of the past?  Could a new habit of silence, prayer, family time, worship, daily shape you into a person better than the current routine?  We each choose what we allow to be part of our life, our mind, and our spirit. It may be time for some honest evaluation. Time to stop being a slave to our phones and tablets?  It might be time to be shaped by living outside ourselves and for others?  To read and look at things that add value and don’t diminish us. New routines, and new habits, can bring a new you.  The Lord of our souls wills that. Choose wisely, every day we are all being shaped.

Personal Post


It has been a whirl wind of a couple weeks here. Feel like this is the first time I have been able to be alone and just reflect.  So many high’s and low’s.  Levi, my son, made it to states se) taking 4th at regionals (wrestling of course, last weekend. That was awesome to see him win, as he worked so hard, even with a knee injury he did not give up.  I am so proud of Levi on so many levels!  After that we went to Hudson, MI to see Wendy’s folks. Randy has a surgery this week.It was a great Saturday.  Our whole family was together this weekend, and then together at regionals.  it was all so special to me and warmed and swelled my heart.  We have also had a marriage banquet Wendy and I spoke at, I daily check on my dad,  and I had some presbyter meetings, and the services on the weekends.  I am thankful for my staff that keep on top of things when we are all so busy.

The sadness of Marty’s sudden passing still haunts me. I miss my friend. I miss his encouragement, chats, carving, and presence.  I know we will all go one, but, pastors don’t have too many voices in their lives like Marty’s. He was an amazing encourager.

We went to Grand Rapids,  Michigan yesterday to hear  Justin preach at a sr. chapel at Northpoint Bible College.  Man it was good. He is a brilliant young man and spoke an amazing message of humility.  It was simply solid, and profound.  I am thankful for him and his entrance into our family.  What a blessing he is and to know he is taking care of my daughter, is awesome. They are such a great couple and we are so proud of them.  God has a great plan for their lives and is going to use them for His glory.

We got back late after a nice stop to have dinner with Steve and Lillian Miller. They pastor a great church in Three Rivers and we have been friends for years.  He is a great encourager also.  Steve’s joy and laughter was a refreshing welcome to my soul.

I did manage to get out and finish a carving that has been half done on the bench for a couple of months.  It has been so busy, so carving goes first of course.  I needed to make time. I know Marty would have liked this one.  He would comment that I am getting better on the nose, and the stocking cap was cool

Today is a study day and prep day for the week so I had better continue on that.  My heart is thankful for God’s continuing strength and presence.  I am grateful for so much and the Lord’s grace.

Encouraging Truths to Live by


Here are the notes from the message this weekend. Encouraging truths after our week of prayer and fasting.  Blessings, Pastor Nate

“In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” Psalm 138.3

“But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble.” Psalm 37.39

  1. Do not fear. There is lot of fear about the future on cards. I too deal with some of that.

Keep remembering God has our future in His hands. If we walk with Him, we are going to make it with victory, faith, joy, and security.

  1. You are growing more than you think

Everyone’s default is they are not very strong spiritually, lack faith, fail God, and upset him.

Let me tell you. Every act is fruit and the Lord is glorified with fruit in our lives(John 15.8).

  1. Keep depending on the love of Jesus, to love and forgive others.

You will not always hurt.  You will be released more and more as you forgive. Live in His love and you will live in love and  forgiveness for others.

  1. Stop self-negative talk and self-condemnation

“There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8.1

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 8.21

  1. Give your anger to the Lord. Be happy again.

Don’t allow a few little things to blow into giant things. You must believe that you are going to forsake and be delivered from rage, anger, grouchiness, and you are going to grow in self-control, as we grow in the fruit of the Spirit.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5.22-24

 

  1. Be free of personal perfectionism. This results in always being down on yourself, and guilty.

And free those around you .  tolerate failure, selfishness, and less than perfect. Ease up on your family.

  1. Never give up. Don’t quit your faith, because you don’t see God doing what you believe He should. Don’t waver because of your past. Don’t listen to the liar.

“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8.44

  1. Our identity is in Christ

“For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3.27-28

 

  1. Stop concluding you are a terrible parent. Move forward, keep loving, and building.

 

  1. Don’t stop praying about your marriage. Pray for your spouse, pray about your troubles, pray about your reactions, pray about your sex life, pray about your children, give your pressures to the Lord
  2. Don’t pray about your past sins and mistakes anymore. Move on.

As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103.12

  1. Stop speaking of in justices done to you in the past, let them go, move on.
  2. Take time to rest. Turn things off and go to bed. 30% of America is sleep deprived.

Part of our struggles is we are over tired, undernourished, and worn out. I am convinced rest and lack of rest affects me spiritually, my leadership, and my mood, demeanor, attitude etc. Yours too.

  1. He is not done with you, we are going to keep growing and maturing, so are those around you.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1.6

  1. He loves you more than you are currently believing

We respond differently to people if we think wrongly about them.

Conclusion

 

  1. God is with you and He is for you.

 

Joshua 1.9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Ways to Pray for a Personal Renewal


Ten Ways to  Pray for a Personal Renewal

By Nate Elarton, Compelled Church 2017

 

  1. Receive forgiveness for past-Past sins and mistakes will continue to bring self-condemnation, and paralyze you from moving forward. Receive the grace and forgiveness Jesus freely gives. Stop asking for forgiveness.

“There is, therefore, now no condemnation against those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8.1

 

  1. Forgive– Now that we have received forgiveness, we must forgive those that have hurt, betrayed, neglected, and/or attacked us. Be free from the prison of bitterness, that leads to hate. Pray that God forgives them, blesses them, and they know they are loved by Him.

 

  1. Present Sin– Is there sin in your life presently? Maybe things you don’t even recognize as sin because they are so common, been in your life for so long, or so accepted in this world. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal and sin in your life. Confess, and receive forgiveness, and cease that in your life.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” 1 John 1.9

 

  1. Present Habits that Bind? Are there habits you have that are controlling your life that need to go. Their bondage needs to be broken? Addictions, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, TV, facebook, tablet games, Netflix, gambling, porn. Addictions waste blessed resources of time and money and rob us of potential serving and relational opportunities, as well as turning your heart in to self and not to God and others. Pray and ask God to give you the strength and self-control to break addictions.

 

  1. Begin to connect to the Lord through Praise and Thanksgiving. Give Him thanks for the cross, forgiveness, His abounding love, His grace, His work in your life. Praise Him for His power of sin, the past, unforgiveness. Praise Him for His goodness to you and your family.

 

  1. Ask to be filled with His Sprit. Empty your heart of self, and ask to be filled with the presence of Jesus, His Holy spirit. To walk with the Lord in victory, we need the Spirit to fill us, possess us, and overwhelm us. If you are full of yourself, there will not be much room for Him. Empty and fill (Mark 8.34-38).

 

  1. Pray that you will love the Word-Read, study, learn, and grow as you read God’s Word, and His words bring internal change that will be noticed on the external (Psalm 1; 2 Timothy 3.16; Matthew 7.24-28). Pray you receive greater faith as you read and know God more.

 

  1. Ask to be more like Jesus. We need to be more patient more loving, more caring, more giving, etc. That you would care and have compassion and burden for lost people (Romans 8.29). That you would be a servant, first to family, church, work and community (Mark 9.35).

 

  1. Be Honest about where you are now. Talk to the Lord as a friend. Are you afraid? Are you lonely? Worried? Sad? Insecure? Pour your heart and feelings out to the Lord, don’t deny them. He cares and His Spirit will begin to work in your heart and emotions. He is our Father, our daddy, our “abba”. Romans 8.15 “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have receive a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

 

  1. Pray that you continue to grow in knowing Christ. These patterns are not a one-time thing, but a way of life to continue growing in Christ, and in spiritual passion, commitment and strength. Pray you continue and told let old ways seep back into your life.

 

..Scriptures to pray through on back

Matthew 7.24-27

“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

 

Ephesians 6.18-20

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

 

Matthew 6.9-15

Our Father in heaven,

may your name be kept holy.

10 May your Kingdom come soon.

May your will be done on earth,

as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today the food we need,

12 and forgive us our sins,

as we have forgiven those who sin against us.

13 And don’t let us yield to temptation,

but rescue us from the evil one.

14 “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Ephesians 2.1-5

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!).

 

Psalms 1.1-3

Oh, the joys of those who do not

follow the advice of the wicked,

or stand around with sinners,

or join in with mockers.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,

meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,

bearing fruit each season.

Their leaves never wither,

and they prosper in all they do.

Fasting Tips Week of Seeking God


Seek prayer 2017.png

Encounter Christ Deeper  

A  week ofSeeking the Lord with fasting

  • For personal renewal and revival
  • For Compelled Church ministries to reap spiritual and Kingdom fruit.
  • For our communities.
  • For people to be saved
  • For your life and family.
  • For our pastors and their families.
  • For the church to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
  • Missions and our Missionaries
  • The Holland Campus
  • All the prayer cards that were filled

Commit to prayer, and seeking, and participating with your church.

Fasting is also encouraged.  Read Below for helps

 

Come early in the morning to seek God, read the Word, and soak in his presence. Come at noon to pray a psalm.  Come and pray with our church family because “Without Him we can do nothing.” John 15.

I am praying we will have more people involved than ever. I encourage you to be part.  Break out of the mold and thought that you are not a person of prayer. God is calling us all to prayer and we will reap the benefits if we take the challenge.  If you can’t make it to the church, fast, and pray at home more than ever.

Pastor Nate

 

 Physical and Spiritual  Benefits Of Fasting

The benefits of fasting are innumerable. Here is just a partial list of the many benefits of this most powerful of spiritual disciplines.

* The Word of God comes alive

* Addictions and strongholds are broken

* We become more sensitive to God’s presence

* The physical body is purged of toxins

* It becomes easier to trust and obey God

* The sanctifying process is accelerated

* Faith increases

* Doubts and fear vanish

* God reveals to us our sinful attitudes

* Decrease of self-indulgence

* Decrease of self-righteousness

* Emotional scars are healed

Practical Tips for Fasting

 

* The early church gave themselves to fasting and prayer for a time. If they needed it then, we need it now! Every time you pray and fast for a certain amount of time, you are investing in a powerful kingdom – the kingdom of God.

* Set a definite time for your fast so you know in advance how long you will be fasting. Keep in mind fasting changes your heart. A one-day or one-meal fast can be very powerful when submitted to God as a sacrifice of yourself.

* Since you are denying your flesh and seeking the Lord, you may find yourself in the midst of spiritual warfare and thus becoming irritable or unwilling to pray. Some of these feelings may be physically induced just because of a physical reaction. Plan beforehand to “pray through” the spiritual battle.

* On longer fasts (2 or more days) the body is cleansing itself from physical impurities. Possible side effects from toxins include bad breath, headache, nausea, hunger, weakness, and leg cramps. To help prevent these problems, abstain from caffeine, sugar, and junk food five days prior to your fast. Drink pure water (distilled if possible) throughout your fast, it helps with elimination of toxins. The cleaner your system, the less discomfort. The less waste that is stored in the body when you begin your fast, the fewer toxins will be released.

* Try to rest if you feel weak and get some fresh air every day.

* Spend time in prayer, worship, repentance, and read your Bible. Use the time you would normally spend eating or preparing food for “spiritual exercise”. Many people have noticed that the Bible simply comes alive while they are fasting.

* Have specific spiritual goals that you desire to obtain while praying and fasting. Without prayer and a set purpose, fasting is only a glorified diet.

* Break your fast with grape juice, fresh fruits, and steamed vegetables, adding other foods in a day or two. Avoid meat, bread, and fats for several meals or days depending on the length of the fast. Keep in mind your stomach has been inactive and it takes a while to restore essential digestive enzymes and acids. Fasting is a very healing process for your body so do not undo your efforts with unhealthy foods.

* Some medical conditions are prohibitive to fasting. Get the advice of your physician if you have a medical condition. These conditions include diabetes, hypoglycemia, and heart disease. Pregnant and nursing mothers also should not fast because toxins will be passed on to the baby. Also, some medications need to be taken with food so use discretion. In these cases where you are unable to do a complete fast (water only) consider abstaining from television and dedicating yourself to prayer during this time.

    * Other types of fasts include:

o Water, Honey and Lemon – This is considered a cleansing fast. Squeeze 1/2 lemon in a cup of hot water and add honey to taste. Drink water throughout the day. This can be used for an extended fast.

o Juice Fast – This is self-explanatory. No food, coffee, soft drinks, etc. Juice only–fresh carrot juice is excellent.

o Daniel Fast – Fruits, vegetables and water. This is a good fast for those who have physically demanding jobs.

Questions and Answers Regarding Fasting

* Is fasting for everyone?

Fasting is beneficial for anyone who desires to draw closer to Christ. Every Christian should do some sort of fast at least once a month. The Apostle Paul fasted often.

* What if I don’t feel called to fasting?

Fasting is a spiritual discipline, just like prayer and reading the Bible. It is not something we are called to do, rather we choose to obey Christ and sacrifice some of the pleasures of this life in order to please God. Fasting trains us in self-control and produces fruits of peace and righteousness.

* Why is fasting so important?

It reduces our appetite for carnal pleasures and creates a hunger for God’s treasures. We are commanded to walk in the Spirit so we won’t fulfill the desires of the flesh. Fasting helps us to resist the flesh and walk uprightly before the Lord – to live a life which is pleasing to Him.

* How do I get started?

Begin with a one meal fast and go from there. Some of the most powerful fasts can be one or two meals if you enter into it with pure motives and a desire to spend time with the Lord Jesus.

* What should I do while fasting?

Spend as much time with Jesus as possible. This is how we become more and more like Him. Read your Bible, worship with song and thanksgiving, be silent and listen. Silent reverence with repentance is powerful!

* Should I fast if I have dietary restrictions or am on medication?

You should seek the Lord and consult your physician if you have any concerns. Medical science has known for some time that our bodies purge toxins while we fast. Chapter 58 of Isaiah mentions healing as one of the many benefits of fasting. However, use discretion when doing a food fast and consider an alternate fast if you are medically restricted in any way.

* I really enjoy eating; do I have to do a food fast or are there other types of fasts?

The most beneficial fast for your body and spirit is water only. However, God will honor any type of fast if you have a sincere desire for personal revival and holiness. Here are some alternatives to a food fast.

o Daniel Fast-  fruit, vegetables and water

o Juice Fast-  fruit and vegetable juices only. If you are hypoglycemic, you might want to use a 50% water mix with the juice, especially if using bottled or canned juices. Fresh juices, however, are best. They may be purchased from a health food store or use a juicer.

o TV/Entertainment Fast/Facebook/computer games/

God will bless you mightily if you’ll shut your TV and computer off for a time to seek Him. You should also set aside newspapers, talk radio, video games and movie theaters. Instead, spend time with your family and the Lord. The purpose is to focus on God and avoid distractions.

* Why do I get headaches when I try to fast?

Your body is purging toxins which have accumulated from years of a poor diet, prescription drugs and bad habits. Headaches are one of the results of this cleansing process (usually the second day). Prepare your system prior to a fast by eating healthier. Avoid red meat, sugar, caffeine and bread. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables three or four days before going on a fast of more than one day.

* How will I benefit from fasting?

The benefits of fasting are many for those who continue faithfully in this discipline. Here are just a few (Is. 58).

o A significant increase of understanding and revelation from the Word of God

o Addictions and strongholds are broken–permanent changes take place

o Recognition of sinful attitudes or conditions of your heart that you haven’t noticed before

o Decrease of self-indulgence and self-righteousness

o An increase of faith; Fear and doubt diminish because of confidence in God rather than your flesh

o Supernatural release from bitterness and an ability to forgive others

o A much greater sensitivity to God’s presence

o The ability to hear God is greatly enhanced

o You increasingly become more like Jesus with a notable increase of love, humility and wisdom.

* Will all of my prayers be answered if I fast and pray the right way?

No, probably not. Fasting does not force God to do something He otherwise wouldn’t do. Your circumstances may actually worsen at first. If you’re fasting for God to change a particular person, it may not happen. However, there is no wasted time or energy when seeking God through fasting, prayer and worship. He will change YOU! He will soften your heart and give you a healthy perspective of your circumstances and relationships

 

 

What The Bible Says about Prayer and Fasting

Fasting Scriptures

* Moses (Exodus 34:27,28)

* Samuel (1 Samuel 8:5,6)

* Christians (Acts 13:1-3; 14:23)

* Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 20:1-3)

* John’s disciples (Mark 2:18)

* Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1:4; 9:1-3)

* Paul (2 Corinthians 11:27)

* Ninevites (Jonah 3:5-10)

* Apostles (2 Corinthians 6:4,5)

* Israelites (Judges 20:26)

* David (2 Samuel 12:16)

* Darius (Daniel 6:9,18)

* Anna (Luke 2:36, 37)

* Ezra (Ezra 8:21-23)

* Esther (Esther 4)

* Jesus (Matthew 4:1,2)

* Elijah (1 Kings 19:8)

* Daniel (Daniel 9:3)

Bible Characters Who Fasted

* Moses fasted twice for 40 days-Following his first fast, Moses received the Law. The second was to turn God’s wrath away from God’s sinful people. Deuteronomy 9:9,18,19

* Hannah, for a child. She was barren and deeply distraught. God gave her release from inner turmoil. Then He gave her a baby boy, Samuel, who grew into a mighty man of God. I Samuel 1:7,8

* Elijah fasted for 40 days while fleeing in fear from wicked Jezebel, who threatened to have him killed. God gave him comfort, boldness and instructions to go back the way he came and anoint new prophets. 1 Kings 19

* King David for seven days that God might heal his dying, infant child, conceived illegitimately with Bathsheba. The baby died, yet David experienced God’s wonderful peace through this incredible trauma. 2 Samuel 12:16-23

* Proclaimed by King Jehoshaphat – When he and his army were surrounded by enemies and destruction seemed imminent. After proclaiming the fast, they rejoiced with praises and God destroyed their enemies. 2 Chronicles 20

* Proclaimed by Ezra – Prior to a very perilous journey to Jerusalem. Ezra 8

* Nehemiah – For restoration of the city he loved (Jerusalem). Nememiah 1:4

* Proclaimed by Queen Esther – For the entire nation to fast for three days without food or water. They were on the brink of annihilation. Esther 4

* Daniel’s partial fast of 21 days – He received a vision and revelation of end times. Daniel 9

* Proclaimed by the King of Ninevah- With national repentance to avert disaster through God’s wrath. Jonah 3

* Jesus for 40 days. If God in human flesh fasted, how much more ought we? Matthew 4:2

* John the Baptist – He and his disciples fasted often, as did the Pharisees. Matthew 9:14,15

* Anna – A widow who dedicated herself to prayer and fasting and is honored in the eternal Word of God. Luke 2:37

* Paul the Apostle- He fasted for three days after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus (while still known as Saul of Tarsus). Acts 9:9 He later wrote in 2 Corinthians 11 that he fasted often.

 

* Isaiah 58 is the fasting chapter. Read and study it to discover the many benefits of fasting when done God’s way.

Is it a holy night?


We have been singing and listening to this Christmas song “O Holy Night” for 159 years since it was written in 1847 by Placide Cappeau.

I love the words, “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.”  Meaning we were getting worse and worse and our error was continuing to degenerating us until.  Until Christ arrived to save us, “Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.”  The gift of salvation has amazing and priceless value. Jesus, and know Him personally, is so  worthy.

We have designated worth to so many things in our culture that are not really all that worthy.  And trash compared to knowing God.  Our newest phones, our vehicles, our social media fake personality, ourselves, and our happiness.  We have given worth, and they have consumed our lives. Is this stuff really that worthy? Do they deepen our character? Make us more like Christ?  Do they help us be emotionally healthy so we have meaningful relationships?  The answer is no of course.

Does your soul know the worth of Christ?  Do you treasure Him and His ways beyond anything else?  Sin and error will “pine” in our lives without Christ.  It will just get worse.  Only Christ should get our lives. Only he is worthy.

I pray that we know and reflect the worth of Christ this Christmas and every day.  That we would treasure him far above anything else in this life we have the blessing of enjoying.  May your soul know His worth, this Christmas Eve.  If you do, it is a Holy, sacred, and special night.

Merry Christmas

Nate