Tag Archives: chapter

Jesus The Bridegroom 40/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

You have made it! Today is the last day of The 40! Whatever else has taken place over the duration, we have set our hearts to seek The Lord, and together we have reached the finish line.  Even though The 40 will be completed tomorrow, I pray that we have all gained something that will stay with us throughout the rest of our lives.  

May the hunger and humility of seeking Jesus first and coming to Him for everything we need only increase as we are propelled into new levels with Him!  Begin even now looking for the change, the increase, the revelation, and recognize that it comes straight from The throne because of His faithfulness as The Rewarder.

The last few days, we have been talking about feasting, celebration, and obedience.  We must always have a right heart no matter what we are doing so that only God will get the glory.  Today, I want to look at some of the words of Jesus that not only give us hope for today, but help look to the future as well.

Matthew 9:14-15 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?” And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 

Contained in these words of Jesus are some very important things we need to see.  We, as disciples of Jesus, are called “friends of the bridegroom”.  We are Jesus’ friends if we are his disciples.  It is always important to realize that we move from being servants and slaves to friends and heirs.  We will take joy in what Jesus takes joy in.  Whatever He sets His heart on will be on ours as well.  We should be completely full of joy in the presence of Jesus. As we seek Him, we come into a place of celebration even though their may be depression, despair, and darkness all around.  

Jesus also lets us know in these passages once again that we are supposed to fast. Currently, we do not have Jesus with us in the body.  In our fasting, we are longing for Him, The Great Bridegroom to return just as He said He would.  Fasting prepares us to receive Jesus in the right way at His second coming.  Then Jesus goes on to say:

Matthew 9:16-17 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Again, we see that fasting prepares our hearts to receive the new things that Jesus wants to release to us in preparation for His return.  If we are not filled with Holy Spirit over and over again, we will become crusty, dried out, and useless for the Kingdom.  The more that we fast and seek Him, we will be prepared to receive The Great Bridegroom at His second coming.  

We also need to realize that through fasting and prayer, seeking Him, and being obedient we will hasten the return of Jesus.  

Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

In this chapter, Jesus is asked when the end will come.  Jesus tells a lot of signs that will indicate the nearness of the end.  However, this passage tell what must take place before then end.  Once again, we return to The Father’s heart for souls.  The gospel must be preached in every nation or tongue and then Jesus The Bridegroom will return.  Fasting, praying, seeking The Father and being obedient will give us His heart for those who do not know Him. By His Spirit, we are enabled and empowered to be His witness everywhere that we go, across oceans and across the street.

My encouragement for today is not to stop seeking The Lord and to ever remain obedient to Him even after The 40 ends.  We are friends and therefore will desire to show our love in practical ways even beyond our intitial commitment.  If we truly desire Jesus The Bridegroom to return in all of His glory, we will seek Him, gain His heart, and be an obedient witness to share Him anywhere and everywhere that He may take us. 

Jesus, I desire to see you returning in all of Your glory! I want to walk on this earth as your friend ever working to prepare the way for Your second coming. Do a work in my heart and my life that I will never stop seeking to know you and help others to know you and well. Help me to prepare my heart and this land for your return. I love you and know that You are worth so much more than I could ever give.  So, once again, I give you my heart and life to do with as You will!

Practical –

  • Ask for revelation of Jesus as your friend and bridegroom
  • Seek Him for His heart
  • Live in obedience to all that He asks if you

Be blessed today with the ability to truly be propelled into the next level.  May your heart and life come more into line with Jesus, and may you give Him all that He deserves, today, tomorrow, and forever!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Advertisements

Inherit The Promises 36/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement

Now, we are so close to the end. The end is in sight.  Do not give up or surrender to the enemy. Press on and obtain the prize of knowing Jesus in a greater way.  The 40 has been a special time of sowing seed together, and we will fully complete it together if we do not lose heart!

Today, As we press on toward the end. I was reminded of something that needs to be shared.  Lou Engle, a man who is known for fasting and praying as a lifestyle, has said that often, we do not see the fruit of 40 days of fasting until afterwards.  My wife and I have been seeking the Lord diligently for a long time with varying degrees of success in hearing and seeing.  However, it seems that during The 40 there have been no dreams, visions, or life-changing words yet.  I know that if we are experiencing this, others are as well. It can be discouraging to be in a time like this, but know this, you are not alone, and the best fruit takes a little longer to grow.  

As we look at faith and patience partnering together to bring forth fruit, we must recognize the entire book of Hebrews was written for this purpose. I encourage you, the last few days of The 40, read through Hebrews a couple chapters at a time.  This book was written to Jewish people that had converted to Chrisitanity, but were not seeing the benefits and blessings they had been told about.  Because of this, they were considering returning to religious Judaism which they were more accustomed to and familiar with.  

Hebrews 6:12 “…do not become sluggish [lazy], but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

In this chapter the writer of Hebrews reveals that the great fathers of the faith, such as Abraham, inherited the promises of God by faith and patience.  The promises that God gives are not received by a one time prayer and here you go.  The greatest promises took years of enduring faith for the people of God to see take place.

Vs. 15 “And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”

Abraham being the example here, had to wait until he was well past the normal point of having children to receive the first fruit of his promise Isaac. God promised to give him more than the stars in the sky multitude of descendants and he had to patiently endure just to see Isaac.  Through faith and patience, he obtained and inherited the first part of an amazing promises that is still being fulfilled today!

Over in Hebrews 11 is the other half of the story:

Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.

Sarah also had to have a persevering faith to believe that what God said he would bring forth through her would take place. The good thing that we see here is that her unbelief, she laughed at the word of The Lord, is not recorded.  Only the faith and patience that inherits the promise is recorded in the history of heaven.  

Even after Abraham and Sarah received the primary fulfillment of their promise Isaac, God tested them to see if they would still have faith that would be supernaturally obedient and endurant to give God glory through the seed.  This is what is recorded about Abraham’s faith:

Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Abraham had such an assurance in the faithfulness of God to bring about the promise that He had spoken Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead to complete it. This faith was that much more incredible, because no one had ever been raised from the dead yet.  This is just one of the fathers of our faith who is a great example of inheriting the promises of God by faith and persevering patience.

My encouragement for us today is to never give up and never lose heart. Maybe you have seen some fruit already from The 40, maybe not.  Look to the faithfulness of God to bring forth the seeds that have been sown and grown during this season to bring them forth at exactly the right time.  I got news last night that my unborn nephew that was supposed to come early because of complications is doing better and being allowed to go full term.  My family has been fasting and praying for him since we found out.  His full healing may not be there yet, but praise the Lord for a good testimony.  Look for the fulfillment of your prayers, big or small, and let them spur you on to faith and patience in obtaining the promises of God and never giving up on what God has spoken!

Jesus, I desire to truly be one of Your children of faith. No matter what I may see with my eyes, I will look to You to fulfill Your promises. Help me to have continually increasing faith and patience in You that You may bring forth all that You have for me and want to do through me. May I never give up on You because You are faithful!!!

Practical –

  • Read through Hebrews over the next week
  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal promises that God has spoken to you
  • Ask for an increase in faith, patience, and obedience
  • Walk out all God has called you to do

Be blessed today to stand strong and be the person of faith you were created to be!  May you stand strong in faith and persevere through every obstacle to lay hold of the promises of God as you are propelled into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Increase Our Faith (Act) 34/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement

One week from now, we will have completed The 40. Praise The Lord for His grace and mercy. Whatever God has called you to fast, you must be very careful in breaking the fast. A total fast must be broken with small amounts of juice every 4-6 hours. A juice fast should be broken with small amount of light fruit gradually adding in more complexity and quantity of food.  After fasting for so long, our bodies stop producing certain enzymes and it can have disastrous effects if we lack self-control at the end of the fast.  May God give us all the strength not just to pray and fast for His glory, but to break the fast and eat in a way that glorifies Him.

A few days back, we started talking about being God’s witnesses.  This starts from a place of knowing and growing in Him.  As we grow in Him, we will gain his heart and desires and begin to pray and ask for what is most valuable to Him. Souls and nations would be at the top of this list.  In our asking specifically for the lost in our family, neighborhood, sphere of influence, and nations, we must begin to speak out the wonderful works of God.  This is how all people will come to know who our Great God is.

Today, we move on to the next phase in being a witness: Act.  When we know God deeper, are praying along with His desire for souls, and speaking out our testimony and witness for His glory, we must begin to act on what Holy Spirit has called us to do.  Words without action are hypocrisy and will never lead to the next level with Him. Let’s look at what The Word has to say about this.

Joshua 1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.. 

Here, Moses has just died and Joshua has become the new leader over all of Israel. I am sure Joshua is a little bit apprehensive in trying to follow in the footsteps of such a great man of God.  In the first chapter of Joshua, both God and the people tell Him not to fear multiple times.  In the middle of God’s encouragement to Joshua, He reveals this promise to him.  God has given Joshua and the people all of The Promised Land, but they have to go and take it.  They had to act in obedience with the word of God for this promise to take effect.  Let’s dig a little deeper into this.

The word tread in this verse comes from the Hebrew “Darak” which means to tread, lead, guide, wield, shoot, aim, march.  If we study this out, we find that God is giving us every place we have aimed our hearts in line with His will to seek. He is giving us every place we have followed Him in obedience to lay hold of.  It takes our action added on to our speaking, praying, and knowing that will allow us to be the witness that God has called us to be. You have to walk the walk not just talk the talk.

That is what God says in the Old Testament, but let’s see what Jesus has to say on the same subject:

Luke 17:5-10 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself  and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded  him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”

The apostles come to Jesus and ask for Him to increase their faith, as we probably have done ourselves. Jesus reveals that it is not the size of their faith that is most important. The smallest mustard seed of faith is enough to do seemingly impossible things.  Jesus then gives an illustration of masters and servants.  There is a reason these verses say “The Lord said”. The issue is not about increasing and gaining faith, it is about increasing obedience.  Contained in the promises and revelation of Truth we have been given, are conditions according to our obedience. Noah was instructed to build and ark.  Abraham was called to go out.  Moses was to go and speak to the Pharaoh. We could go through the scriptures proving what Jesus reveals here.  Actions and obedience are what take us to the next level.

My encouragement for us today is to take our witness to the next level. We must continue on with knowing God, asking for his heart of compassion for the lost, and even past speaking out His wonderful works.  We must begin to act in obedience to whatever He calls us to do. We do not need to be rewarded for being obedient to God, but we He is the rewarder! We will be rewarded whether we see it now or not. However, we must not be obedient to Him because of the reward we will get, but because He is worth it, and we love Him!  Practical action combined with speaking the word and asking for what God desires, because we are growing in knowing Him, will lead us to be propelled into the next level with Him.

Jesus, I want to be obedient to everything You have called me to do. You are my Lord and Master and what You say help me to always obey.  I know that Your power and promise depend upon my obedience to You. Help me never to limit what You are wanting to do in or through me because of my disobedience.  I want to love You with my “YES” and with my obedience!

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to help you to know Him more
  • Seek to know The Father’s heart
  • Speak out what God has done for you, your testimony
  • Act in obedience to everything He tells you to do

Be blessed with knowing and growing in God, receiving His heart, speaking The Truth of your testimony, and becoming increasingly obedient to everything you are called to. As this happens may you be propelled into the next level with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Humble Yourself 23/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

I want to release a song that God gave me for my sons 2 and 4 years old.  “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyy. It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!” Its kind of a catchy little tune that gets in your head, and I often sing it when they, or I, am not in the greatest mood.  So, if you are struggling today on day 23 or if you are doing great, may you be blessed with knowing, “It’s a good, good, good, good, good, good, dayyyy.  It’s a good, good, good, good dayyyy!”

As we press on in The 40, we must remember to focus on Jesus for our strength and sustenance. We need him today more than we ever have whether we are fasting or not.  When we admit our need for Jesus and that we cannot do anything on our own, in agreement with John 15:5, we are stepping into humility.  As we continue to fast and pray The 40, humility is one of the greatest virtues we could gain.  Humility partnered with prayer and fasting has an indescribable power that begins to release itself in us and flow out from us.  

Let’s examine a few places in scripture where humility is partnered with repentance, prayer and fasting.  In 1 Kings 21, you actually find the only place of fasting without prayer, humility or repentance.  The wicked queen Jezebel actually calls a demonic fast as she schemes to murder Naboth and take his vineyard from him (1 Kings 21:9, 12). This is done through pride and for personal gain and results in false accusation.  No humility here.  

As King Ahab goes to survey his newly acquired vineyard, Elijah is sent to him with a message. Ahab, Jezebel, and all their children will be completely destroyed and wiped out.  This is a judgment because of their wickedness, rebellion, and constant disobedience to turn from God and his ways.  The following verses contain Ahab’s response:

1 Kings 21:27-29 So it was, when Ahab heard those words, that he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his body, and fasted and lay in sackcloth, and went about mourning. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Even though the judgment of The Lord had been pronounced repentance, fasting, and prayer were evidence of a humbled heart before God and his judgment was delayed until a later time.  The fasting and repentance were proof that Ahab had truly humbled himself and submitted himself to God. It was too late to avoid judgment, but God recognized and had mercy for a time before judgment took place.  

As we continue looking at humbling ourselves, repentance, fasting, and prayer, we move to a passage we discussed in Touching The Kingdom.  Here, we see the prophet Daniel has moved from repentance prayer in chapter 9 into fasting and prayer for 21 days.  He is pressing in for revelation and desires to gain understanding. As this happens, he sees, hears, and is touched by the heavenly realm:

Daniel 10:2-3, 12 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three full weeks were fulfilled…  Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

The angel recognizes that Daniel is seeking understanding and humbling himself in prayer. This humbling of self was evidenced by the fact that he was repenting, fasting, and praying.  These are only two of the verses that can be found that provide proof that fasting is a fruit that comes from a repentant and humble heart. 

How much more should we seek to have a heart of repentance and to humble ourselves through fasting knowing our God of great grace and mercy that works mightily on our behalf?!

The final passage I want to pinpoint is one that we all probably know and may even have memorized. We have used this scripture for years because of the promise contained within, but I did not understand the full meaning until just recently God opened my eyes to a revelation that was hidden right in front of my eyes. 

2 Chronicles 7:14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

During the National Day of Prayer and other regular prayer meetings, this passage will come up frequently because everyone knows we need our land to be healed.  Now, more than ever, we can see the division and disunity the enemy is trying to bring into the whole earth. 

What is the solution? The people of God must come together in true repentance, humility, prayer, and seeking God. In various other places humbling yourself is equated with the action of fasting that evidences your need for God.  

Is it possible that this passage that is referenced over and over actually is a call to the people of God to repentance, prayer, and fasting in a spirit of humility that the sin of our land be forgiven and for our prayer to be answered?

There is true power in corporate humbling ourselves through fasting, prayer, and repentance. We must tap into this power if we want to gain the benefits that result.  

Vs. 15-16 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

My encouragement for you today is to come seeking God with a heart of humility and repentance. Just because we are fasting does not mean we are humbling ourselves. However, when we realize our need for Holy Spirit to help us, and recognize that He is the only one that can do supernatural work in our lives and in the healing of our land, the eyes and ears of heaven will be open and attentive to us. God’s holy name will be on us to sanctify us, draw us closer than ever before, and heal our land. As this happens, we will daily be propelled into the next level with Him!

Jesus, I desire to humble myself before you today. I recognize my utter dependency on you.  Without you I can do nothing. Thank you that I can come boldly before your throne of grace and ask for all I need. Do a mighty healing in me and in the land as I come to you in humility and repentance today.  Make me a sanctified place of residence for Holy Spirit and use me to do your work.

Practical – 

  • Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you your need for Him
  • Humble yourself by coming to Him in repentance and humility 
  • Ask for the strength and sustaining power to walk in obedience today
  • Obey all He calls you to do

Be blessed with new revelation of humility and your need for God, and the ability to walk into deeper levels of humbling yourself. May your land be healed and your people restored as you humble yourself and are propelled into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

        –

Touching The Kingdom 21/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Well, here we are at the end of week three. Day 21 is important because we have a biblical precept in Daniel.  There is great spiritual benefit in fasting The 21, but let’s not stop and settle on less than God intends.  If you have been prompted to go The 40, or desire to partner with us who have, come along on this wild adventure of seeking The reward of Jesus.  Let’s reap the benefits together of commitment, obedience, humility, and hunger. 

Sometimes in our lives, we have such a desire to know, understand, or even hear a specific word that we will do whatever it takes to get an answer.  This is where we come upon the prophet Daniel.  He needs an answer and has been doing whatever it takes for three full weeks.  Let’s see what that entailed for him:

Daniel 10:2-3 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

The answer Daniel was seeking did not come from his regular lifestyle of praying and fasting that we see him involved in throughout his life.  So, it seems he goes back to the first fast we see him involved in, a fast for purity from the pagan culture (Daniel 1:12-15). This fast allowed him and his friends to receive the blessing of heaven after 10 days and beyond.  Daniel returns to this fast to purify himself from the pagan culture around him.  However, he does not stop when nothing occurs after 10 days.  What he is seeking is so important that he continues on and more than doubles what he had originally done.  

What is the result?

Daniel 10:5-6 I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was  girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

Daniel’s eyes are opened to see a heavenly revelation. Some scholars differ as to who this is, some say Jesus, others say Holy Spirit.  I do not think that Daniel had this debate going on in his head.  Neither did those around him at this time, because the men around Daniel did not see anything.  We find in the next verses that there were men with Daniel, but they see nothing.  They had not been praying and fasting for an answer and because of this, their eyes are not opened to the heavenly realm. They were not hungry, did not humble themselves, and their spiritual eyes were not opened.  

Daniel 10:7-9 And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength.  Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground. 

Not only did the men with Daniel not see what he saw, but when they did sense the supernatural coming close, it caused them to fear and flee for their lives.  They were unable to see, unable to hear, and unable to stay in the presence of God that was being revealed to Daniel.  Daniel himself could not stand; but he saw, he heard, and he stayed!

Daniel 10:10-12 Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

Not only did Daniel see heavenly vision and hear heavenly words, Daniel was literally touched by heaven.  As he was touched, he was encouraged, strengthened, and given understanding that would not have come any other way.  That is what I want!  Daniel humbled himself in prayer and fasting and received exponentially more than what he had given up for the 21 days. 

This is where we are today on day 21. If you go on reading in chapter 10, Daniel’s persistent prayer and fasting empowered the heavenly warriors to break past the demonic entities over the region that he might receive the revelation he was seeking.  My what power came about from three weeks of praying and fasting.  

Jesus, I want to see You in the heavenly realm in the fullness of Your glory. I want to hear You speak in the complete revelation of Your voice. I want You to touch me with Your hand of encouragement, strength, and understanding that I may continue to seek You in greater and deeper ways than ever before! Help me to go beyond what others have done and seen. Give me the hunger and desire to search for You in increasing measures for all of my days. 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit for eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart to fully understand Him
  • Study Daniel 10
  • Ask for the hunger and ability to go to the deeper places with Him
  • Obey whatever He speaks to you

Be blessed with revelation and strength to continue on and receive the fullness of the spiritual blessings in store for you, the one who is seeking The Lord. May this propel you into new levels with Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

The Memorial 20/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

Well, here we are at day 20, the halfway point.  At the beginning of the fast, it may have seemed impossible to fast The 40, but here we are halfway to completing our commitment.  If you have been here from day 1, congratulations. If you jumped in some time along the way, good job. If you fell and messed up, no problem.  Let’s get up and continue on together in God’s great grace and mercy.  We have the eternal reward of seeing Jesus in a special way today.  Let’s run this race to receive the prize!

Today, is a special day that we remember and mark as a memorial.  We see it as an encouragement to continue, but it is an important spiritual marker as well. God looks on and remembers all the special times we give to seek Him in a special way.  If God is truly “a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”, then special times of seeking Him will receive a special reward.  I am sure we would all like to see some scripture backing up this encouragement.  For this, let us look at Acts 10.

This chapter is pivotal for Acts and especially for us as Gentiles.  Until this point, we have seen the apostles going out and ministering to God’s children in Israel only.  At this moment, God changes the mind of the apostles to include all people everywhere in the preaching of the good news.  God was opening the door for them to go out and preach the gospel to the uttermost part of the earth. To do this, God needed someone that was seeking Him.  Someone who was doing something special in The Kingdom. He needed Cornelius.

Acts 10:1-2 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.

Cornelius was a well-respected Roman leader who was known for fearing God, giving and praying always.  Here was a Gentile seeking God.  He had built a reputation as one who would seek God in a special way, so apparently, he had been doing this for years.  We find out later in the chapter, that not only was he seeking God, giving generously, and praying continually, he was also fasting.

Acts 10:30 So Cornelius said, “Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,

Cornelius, a non-Jewish person, had built a lifestyle of seeking God in a special way.  Here was a man that God could use to bring about the most radical change in The Kingdom since Holy Spirit fell in Acts 2.

Acts 10:3-4 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!” And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.

What does this verse say? Cornelius’ fasting, prayer, and giving went up as a memorial before The Lord. The eyes of The Lord were looking for someone who was seeking Him to change the very course of history for the rest of eternity.  Unknowingly, Cornelius had built a huge neon sign in the spiritual realm that said, “Here I am, use me!” God did not have to look far or hard to see the great memorial that had been built up for years by this man that had no real guarantee of receiving anything for any of these things he did.  His desire and intention was to seek God and bless His people.  God sees the memorial and says, “Here is a man I can use.”

Cornelius obeys the instructions above and beyond what the angel speaks, it seems even better than Peter.  A reluctant Peter comes and cannot even finish a proper sermon before the hunger and expectation in the people that Cornelius had gathered together was rewarded with the outpouring of The Spirit.

How long did Cornelius cry out, “Here I am use me”? 

How many years of continuous prayer, fasting, and giving were being built up before the time was right for God to move in a mighty way? 

How much time did he spend in the secret place not seeming to receive anything?  

Was Cornelius fasting and praying somewhere while the Holy Spirit was poured out on the apostles in the upper room? 

How big was the memorial that was built up before God?

On that day, when Holy Spirit fell on him and all the people he had gathered together in obedience to the word, it was all worth it.  He would not have traded one shekel, one meal, one hour that went into the building of this memorial in The Kingdom.  At this point, his spirit was crying out more than ever, “Here I am use me!”

This is my encouragement for you. No matter how you may have struggled during the first 20 days, Jesus is worth it.  The memorial being built in your life is greater than you could imagine. How many have been willing to go The 40 that God might look on the earth and see these memorials all over the earth saying, “Here I am use me!”?  This is who I want to be. I want to be used for The Kingdom. I want to be a laborer in the harvest. I want to be the most useful instrument in The Kingdom. If there is no one else willing to do the dirty work, may my sign continue to say, “Here I am, use me!!!” I know this is your heart as well.

What can God do with a community of people who say “Here I am use me” with their lips and their lifestyle?

Jesus, give me the strength of spirit and resolve to continue throughout the rest of The 40 and beyond in a memorial building lifestyle.  I desire to be the one whose lips and lifestyle loudly proclaim, “Here I am use me!” 

Practical –

  • Ask Holy Spirit to strengthen you to continue in your daily commitment
  • Continue to pray “Here I am use me” with your lips
  • Become increasingly obedient in your day to day life in all Holy Spirit reveals

Be blessed to receive revelation of the memorial you have created by recognizing the answered prayers and receiving the promises of God in an increasing measure.  May you be used mightily for The Kingdom as your heart and character line up with The King’s!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Treasuring The Word 13/40

You are invited to join us for The Propel Fast! Please review Propelled To The Next Level and other words for the reasons behind the fast as well as daily encouragement!

As we near the end of the second week, I want to encourage you to continue to return to The Lord for strength and life.  Some may have incredible will power, but the point of fasting and prayer is to humble yourself and say, “God, I need You!”  I would not have been able to make it this far without supernatural strength.

Here is another encouragement from Jesus’ words:

Matthew 5:3 Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are the poor in spirit [those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. 

Those of us who realize our need for God are blessed and will be spiritually prosperous because we know it is His work in us and not the work of our hands.  Continue to trust in the grace and mercy of a loving God, and look to Him for all that you need.

As we continue to press in to The Lord and seek Him, we come to a realization.  Most of the time, food becomes built up in our lives as an idol, in the very least as a great treasure.  It is what we think about.  It is what we talk about.  It is what we build our gatherings around.  “Which restaurant do you want to go to?”, “What is for dinner?“,  and “What are we going to do for food?” are common questions, especially in the American society.

Our culture is built around the value of food, and often our waistlines reflect it.  You probably find this out more when you are fasting than any other time.  It is almost necessary to become a recluse because family time, hospitality, and all social gatherings are food-centered.  When this comfort is taken away, it can be hard to figure out what to do, for the one fasting and for those around them.  If you are not eating, for whatever reason, often your own family does not even know how to treat you.

In Matthew 4, Jesus elects to go The 40 to strengthen Himself spiritually to stand up against the temptation of the enemy.  What does the enemy tempt Jesus with first?  Food!  Here is Jesus’ answer quoting from the scriptures:

Matthew 4:4, Deuteronomy 8:3 “It is written,‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Food is necessary and important for the body to live, but Jesus puts His focus on what really matters, treasuring the Word of God.  Even though your body may be sustained physically, you can still become sick and even die of a broken heart or spirit.  However, The Word of God brings life to you that you cannot get any other way.  Your value has to be on what really matters.

As we are fasting, I pray that even though the comfort of food has been taken away, you replace it with the life giving Word of God.  When we read The Bible and seek Him in prayer for a personal word, this is what will sustain us through every situation in our lives.  If you have not already, I encourage you to set aside some extra time to read The Bible and pray, especially while you fast.  This will help you not only grow spiritually, but sustain you during The 40.

Someone else who knew the importance of the word is someone we know for going through some of the most difficult trials anyone has ever had to face, Job.  In the middle of his difficult situation where everything is taken away and even his wife and friends are turning against him, this is what He says:

Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.

Everything that God has to say is vitally important.  Job says it should be treasured more than the food that is necessary to survive.  In his situation, he did not need food.  Food could not help him out of his grief and loss.  It could do nothing for Him.  However, he was hoping, clinging, and longing for The word from the mouth of God.  Life comes from Him!  Hope comes from Him!  Strength comes from Him!  As we seek The Lord, we must have ears to hear His word.  When we hear His word, we must be obedient to receive the true blessings He wants to pour out upon us.

Jesus, help me to truly treasure the words of your mouth more than anything in my life.  Open my ears to hear You.  Open my heart to obey You.  I want to base my life upon Your life-giving, life-sustaining word spoken to Me.

Practical – 

  • Commit 15 – 30 mins extra time to spend seeking The Lord each day.
  • Read The Bible, 1-5 chapters a day
  • Ask Holy Spirit to open your ears and help you to truly value The Word

Be blessed with eyes to see the face of God, ears to hear new revelations of His glory, and a heart to be truly transformed by His presence!  May this propel you to the next level in Him!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!