“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)
Ah – the Great Commission. What does this really mean to fulfill this? God really impacted me yesterday of what this means. We can read these words and lead in a way to fill pews but really have no impact in our world. Yes, the church needs to grow. Growth is a sign of health. Growth is an indicator that we are making a kingdom impact in our communities. But what if your church ceases to exist in your particular community? Will people notice? Will people really care? As followers of Jesus the community we minister in needs to care. They need to notice.
So we pray for more people to join our community of faith. We need too. We desire the growth of the bride of Jesus – the church. But not just to fill the pews, but more children of God who have gifts, abilities, and passions so serve the community and the church. More people to take this journey with us so that we can have a greater impact because there are a greater number of us.
May we be a people who is bold with the Gospel and desiring the growth of the Church so that a greater impact can be made.
Well, Day #4 would be Thursday. The reading yesterday was about a dream that the King of Babylon had and then Daniel told the King the dream and then interpreted it.
What I found most interesting in this passage was two things:
1. The opportunity for Daniel to serve and share God.
2. The kings response
First, Daniel leaned into the opportunity when it came. He was bold, and yet was not offensive. He pointed all toward the God of Heaven and gave little credence to his humanness (he knew his place before God – the true definition of humble). He took little, or no credit on his abilities. He trusted God emphatically.
Second, the Kings response to Daniel and what God revealed through him was praise to God. The King had a realization that the other gods were worthless. The only God who could do what HE did was the God of Heaven.
When we lean into the opportunities God gives us. Do not lean into our own abilities, serve and share with boldness (not being offensive and a know-it-all); God will honor that and people will recognize the God of Heaven and the Salvation HE offers.
May we be a people who trusts Jesus and the mission HE has for us. May we be faithful to the message and always trust HIM for the results.
Be bold – serve and share Jesus with someone today and pray for an open door for you to invite them to Grace Church or better yet: Jesus!
This is best word that described this day. I do not know if it is because I am very hungry or spiritual attack. I believe it is probably a little bit of both. As the day progressed and even into today (day #4), I am coming to the realization that the core of my frustration is spiritual – it is about what I am not doing for Jesus in being used to reach more people, because the day started with meeting new people.
I will admit it. I have not been regularly reaching out to people. I have only do when it is convenient for me. This needs to change in my life!. This is why I am frustrated. I am frustrated with myself. Over the fist few days of this fast, God has put opportunities in front of me to share HIS hope and plant some seeds. Day #3 was about conviction. I have not been praying, looking, and leaning into opportunities to share Jesus like I should. I have not been serving like I should.
This will be changed in my life. Thank you Jesus for convicting and showing me the way that I should be leaning into: interceding, investing, and inviting.
Daniel Fast Recipes
I have included a book with some recipes for the Daniel Fast. There was observation I had. There has been a question regarding bread. This book says absolutely no bread – including Ezekiel Bread. I would disagree with this and you can include this. This book cites the reason is that it has yeast. We have to remember that the Israelites could not have yeast during Passover. This did not apply when Daniel fasted.
I also want to remind you that fasting is NOT about what foods you can or cannot have. It is about getting closer to Jesus and giving HIM more space in your life to work. We fast to be intentional about seeking Jesus for individual and corporate repentance, our spiritual growth, and us being used by HIM for HIS purposes (not ours). This purpose is to see more and more people come to follow Jesus in their lives. We also fast so we can grow spiritually and numerically at Grace Church.
I hope you enjoy these recipes…
I thought this day was going to be a pretty slow day. Boy, was I wrong.
I spent the day at Grace Church to start on a lot of regular weekly routine stuff: staff meeting, preliminary sermon prep, etc..
God had other things in store. We had someone who came to the church that needed prayer and ministry. God used me as well as another person to pray over, with, and minister to this individual. We invited them back to Grace for worship and got a phone number to follow up with them.
In a later conversation with another individual, I was reminded about the power of prayer. In the book of Daniel, Daniel prayed and then heaven moved. Michael was restrained by the Prince of Persia for 21 days for attending to Daniel (Daniel 10:10-14). We need to remember that when we pray, God does hear and will act. It may not be in our timing, but God is never late.
Continue to pray for:
1. Individual and corporate repentance
2. YOU being used by GOD to advance HIS Kingdom (not yours)
3. Spiritual and numerical growth of Grace Church
You guys are doing a great job and God does hear your prayers….
Over the next 21 days, I will periodically give some updates and challenges to us as we journey this together.
It did not hit me until the evening of day #1 of the opportunities the Lord gave to share HIS hope and love to people. During the day, God gave 3 opportunities to share this hope. These people asked my what God’s will is/was and this led to some very cool short conversations with these individuals.
The challenge for us is to recognize and be sensitive to these opportunities as well as walk in obedience in sharing Jesus. In these cases, it was a kind word of encouragement while remaining true to the Gospel. After these conversations, these 3 people knew where I was a pastor at and was invited to worship with us.
So who are you praying for to invite? What opportunities is God giving you even today. As we journey forward with this fast pray and lean into the following:
1. God will use you to intercede, invest, and invite other to Jesus and Grace Church.
2. Individual and corporate repentance and turning toward Jesus in everything.
3. Spiritual and numerical spiritual growth of Grace Church
Lastly, I want to encourage you to be sensitive to those opportunities God is giving you each day to share HIS hope and love. If you miss them, do not beat yourself up. Recognize the missed opportunity and then move on. God will give you others…
In less than a week, Grace Church will be engaging on a prayer and fasting journey! This is always a time when people grow closer to Jesus. April 8 – April 28, 2013 we will be praying and fasting for the following:
1. ME: God, what do YOU want to do in and through me?
2. YOU: God, what impact can I have for YOU in my sphere of influence?
3. US: God, what can I pray for Grace Church?
The above is just a simple way to remind us what we should be asking the Lord for. This is an amazing time of individual and corporate repentance and seeking the Lord. During this time, I challenge you to get a note book and journal. In the below guide, you will have a choice of 4 reading plans as well as directions on how to journal. In the guide, there is also foods to eat and what foods to avoid.
Please take the time now to consider if you will join Grace Church on the journey of praying and fasting for the next 21 days. I am confident that God will show up in your life like ever before.
Grace Church Daniel Fast Guide