“When You Fast…”

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

(Matthew 6:16, NLT)

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get.”

The Didache, is a first or second century document that relates to us outside the New Testament the teaching of the early church. This document “prescribed two fast days a week: Wednesday and Friday.” For early Christians; this was seen as a regular part of daily discipleship. John Wesley sought to revive the teaching of the Didache and urged early Methodists to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. He felt so strongly about this matter that he refused to ordain anyone to the Methodist ministry who did not fast on those two days. Matthew Henry said, “Fasting is a laudable practice and we have reason to lament that it is generally neglected among Christians.” Hudson Taylor the great missionary and founder of China Inland Mission, said, “In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are-dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.” D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: “I wonder whether we have ever fasted? I wonder whether it has even occurred to us that we ought to be considering the question of fasting? The fact is, that this whole subject seems to have dropped right out of our lives and right out of our whole Christian thinking.”

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

 

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True Meaning Of Christmas

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

Luke 2:8-11 (NLT)

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 

We’ve all read and heard these Bible verses about the shepherds before, taught by pastors and Sunday School teachers at Christmas time. We can even hear these verses on TV each year if we watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Charlie Brown spends the show as so many people do today, looking in all the wrong places for the true meaning of Christmas. He thinks that maybe it’s putting on a Christmas play, or finding just the right tree to decorate. But the other kids all argue over the details of the play, and call him “stupid” for the scrawny little tree he buys. In the end, his friend Linus tells Charlie brown the true meaning of Christmas by reciting the Bible verses about the shepherds, and about Jesus’ birth.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark

My Faith Is Based On Jesus

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Greetings In The Name Of The Lord:

James 5:15 (NLT)
15  Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.

In the movie called the Matrix there is one of the best encouragements to share our Faith with others that I have ever seen. The Spiritual leader of that rag tag bunch goes by the name of Morpheus and the young deliverer who he believes is the promised one goes by the name of Neo. Needless to say not everyone, actually most everybody doesn’t share his enthusiasm concerning Neo and the prophesies of his coming to the rescue. In one scene as Morpheus is standing before the council and asked to defend his actions, he is confronted by the military antagonist in the movie who says to Morpheus “”Not everyone believes what you believe Morpheus”. Very calmly and boldly Morpheus replies, “My Faith doesn’t require that they do”. Wow, what a statement, I totally agree with that. My Faith isn’t built upon the notion that I have to convince others. My Faith isn’t weakened when someone else says they don’t believe. My Faith doesn’t change to suit the climate of the current culture. You see My Faith is built upon my relationship with Jesus Christ. My Faith is demonstrated when I share with others who Jesus Christ is to me, what he is doing in my life and how I trust him with my future. Don’t allow the world to define your Faith. God Bless you all as you become the Hands and Feet of Jesus.

In Christ,

Pastor Mark