Lent Week 5 Day 29

Today’s reading is about fasting again! One more day after today on fasting! The writer is referring that Jesus talked at the Sermon on the Mount about giving, praying and fasting. He didn’t say “if” we do it but “when” we do it. When we give, when we pray, when we fast. He believes fasting is not an elective but part of the core teaching. This is something I know everyone has their own opinion on so I’m still saying what I’ve said before. Fasting is a personal decision. Jesus also said not to flaunt your giving, praying and fasting like the hypocrites do. It all should be done in secret. If we just listen to the Holy Spirit specifically for our own life and carry out what we hear I think God will be pleased. I just read something on Bible Gateway about living in the light. I think this applies here. We are to be living in the light which is following Jesus and listening to the Holy Spirit. When we disobey or quench the Spirit then it’s rebellion against God and He isn’t pleased. We shouldn’t get into comparing ourselves or our walk with what other people are doing. The writer mentions purpose comes first before fasting. I agree that there should be a purpose for fasting and if there is a specific purpose and you are being led because of it, then do it.

 

Lent to Repent

Day 29

Scripture reading for today is Psalm 118:1-9 and it’s dealing with fear. It’s saying not to fear because we know God is good and God is with us. No man can hurt us when God is for us.

Ann says: Today I will hold onto 4 words: God. Is. With. Us. Fast from fear because all fear is fraud.

 

My study with Ann today is something I needed TODAY! I had an extreme nightmare last night and woke up very afraid. I don’t know how I dreamt something so scary and evil. All I know is, is I was reminded of how evil really is. I refused to let it in my mind. I immediately prayed when I woke up and asked God to reveal to me what I could have done to crack the door that let evil in. I cast evil and fear out in Jesus’ name.

 

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

Day 26- Believe Jesus, deny self, walk in the Kingdom

Day 27- Follow the Holy Spirit, return to God

Day 28- True worship connects you to God’s grace

Day 29- You have to follow the Holy Spirit continually to keep fear out

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Lent Week 5 Day 28

There are 2 interpretations of fasting in today’s reading. I like the second one which was written by Ole Hallesby ( 1879-1961) because I think he more closely explains what it really means. The other one by Donald Whitney comes from more of a now-a-days interpretation, I know this because it says (USA Contemporary) beside his name. Could it be possible that our interpretation of fasting could be all wrong? Considering what it says in Isaiah 58:1-14 the church and people have made it into something about themselves. In the Mosaic Bible before chapter 58, it is titled: True and False Worship. I learned worship is how your heart is toward God. Worship is a state of being, not singing. Praise and song come from worship. So to be a true worshiper my heart has to be pure and sincere toward God. In this scripture God is talking about their fasting, which is what we see today as false worship. Here is Isaiah 58:1-14, NLT version from Bible Gateway,

True and False Worship

58 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
    Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel[a] of their sins!
    Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
    and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
    that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
    pretending they want to be near me.
‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
    ‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
    and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond.
    “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
    you keep oppressing your workers.
What good is fasting
    when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
    will never get you anywhere with me.
You humble yourselves
    by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
    like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
    and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
    Do you really think this will please the Lord?

“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
    lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
    and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry,
    and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
    and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
    and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
    and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
    ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.

“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
    Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
    and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
    and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
    giving you water when you are dry
    and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
    Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
    and a restorer of homes.

13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
    Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
    and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
    and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
    I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!”

 We should take great notice of what God considers fasting.
Lent to Repent
Day 28
Scripture reading today is Romans 5:1-11 and it’s talking about how we are made right with God through believing and having faith in Jesus Christ. By His blood we are redeemed and we are now made friends with God.
Ann says: “Today I will feel the weightlessness of Your Grace. I will fast from carrying my regrets instead of carrying Your Cross.”
Carrying our cross is dying to self everyday. Forget about the past, it’s gone, when you look back you die in this moment. God is now. Life is now. We are forgiven of our sins if our faith is in Jesus, so we live by grace. So I take regret of sins past off and put on grace now and grace future. I will choose to live in His Grace, His Gifts because that is where the life with Jesus is. Veer off into regret and leave Jesus and the path. He never leaves us, we leave Him. Today I choose to stay on the path with Jesus and be showered in Grace.

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

Day 26- Believe Jesus, deny self, walk in the Kingdom

Day 27- Follow the Holy Spirit, return to God

Day 28- True worship connects you to God’s grace

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Lent Week 5 Day 27

My readings today are more about fasting so I decided to look up the word fasting and here is what I came up with along with my own understanding. Fasting is defined  as maintaining a firm self control. Fasting is referred  to as going without food for a certain length of time. Jesus did this during His forty days in the desert. This is where we get Lent and fasting from. The forty days of Lent before Easter represent Jesus’ forty days in the desert. The Bible says He was led by the Holy Spirit to do this. He was led to undergo the temptations we all face and to show us we can overcome them too , just like He did. When Satan told Jesus he could turn the stone into bread if He wanted to, Jesus rebuked him saying, man doesn’t live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from God. Matthew 4:4, Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Jesus is saying God’s Word is more important than food. Spiritual guidance and direction comes first before anything else can exist. Even though He could have CHOSEN to make the stone bread, He CHOSE the better thing. Just like Mary, sister of Martha. Instead of cleaning she was at the feet of Jesus to hear Him speak. Luke 10:38-42, As they went on their way, they came to a town where a woman named Martha lived. She cared for Jesus in her home. 39 Martha had a sister named Mary. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and listened to all He said. 40 Martha was working hard getting the supper ready. She came to Jesus and said, “Do You see that my sister is not helping me? Tell her to help me.” 41 Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 Only a few things are important, even just one. Mary has chosen the good thing. It will not be taken away from her.”

So fasting could be a way or example of this. By fasting I’m choosing God’s Word over food. I choose to feed my soul and spirit rather than my body. It has to be an individual choice. Just like Jesus was led to do this, so we should be led also. If I don’t feel led by God’s Spirit then I shouldn’t do it. In my case I can’t fast. I am too small and have a sugar problem. I would pass out. So God doesn’t want us to endanger ourselves by fasting. I won’t feel guilty because I don’t fast because I can’t do it physically. But I can do something that would show that I’m maintaining a firm self control. This is what came to me this year for Lent. That I wouldn’t give something up but add something. That something is this study and doing it every morning, every day. I have maintained self control in this hence overriding my fleshly desires and God has met me here. It’s the state of the heart towards Him that matters.

Lent to Repent

Day 27

The scripture is Revelations 2:1-5 and it’s talking to the churches. This church is doing right but they don’t love God and others like they did in the beginning. They are being called to return to their love and what they did in the beginning of their belief.

Ann says: Today I will come to You before I do anything at all because waiting on You is wisest of all.

 

Many times in these five and half years since I was saved I have fallen away just like the church in Revelations. When I prayed about what to do, God always directed me: Go back to what you did when you first encountered Jesus. Remember how elated you were and how you hungered for My Word. You couldn’t get enough of singing praise and thanking Jesus. You couldn’t believe Jesus died for you and couldn’t stop thanking Him.

If you find yourself lost and have veered off the path just go back to what you were doing when it first started happening. God will take it where you left off. Time might have been lost but God makes up for it. Don’t feel guilty, trust that it’s happening the way it’s suppose to. God is always with us and He understands our attention span is small. He loves us so much that He doesn’t leave us alone. He will pursue us again and again until we see that life with Him is peace, love, joy, security. I never want to go away from Him again.

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

Day 26- Believe Jesus, deny self, walk in the Kingdom

Day 27- Follow the Holy Spirit, return to God

first-love

Lent Week 5 Day 26

My reading today is talking about fasting. From what I learned in scripture yesterday, fasting has a whole new meaning for me. It isn’t about going without food or giving up something I like to do. Anyone can do those things for a short period of Lent, forty days. It’s not about the act itself that matters. Most people who do these practices are really miserable doing it or they are prideful thinking they are doing something spiritual and it makes them look good. This isn’t what God is looking for. He wants us to be humble, which means don’t think highly of ourselves. He wants us to be happy serving Him and not miserable. If we don’t have the joy of the Lord then don’t do it. One day this came to me when I was emptying the washer. I felt God saying if you don’t have joy in your work it doesn’t mean anything. When we deny our fleshly desires, which most of the time translates to ” I don’t feel like it”, when we choose to do it anyway it does entail a type of suffering for us. It goes against our nature and it can be painful. So every time we deny our thoughts, our words, our actions, we are fasting from our sinful nature. This is what God wants for us, to break away from the world of “self”. To set ourselves apart from the main stream of today’s society driven by “self”. The challenge of Lent shouldn’t be what food will I give up or T.V. show but how can I deny “self” today to benefit someone else. What difference can I make for someone today. Can I give my time away? This is a hard thing to do when you aren’t thinking of what’s in it for me. When we reach heaven God isn’t going to be looking at what food I gave up in His name or what show I didn’t watch for Him, He is looking at what I did with my time that has eternal value. What it boils down to is what did I do that was through the Holy Spirit. This should be practiced everyday and not just during Lent. It’s actually the daily walk with Jesus that I’m  talking about. Jesus said there will be people He will say, flee from Me, I never knew you. These people are the ones who didn’t walk out their daily lives with Him. Matthew 7:21-23, Not every one who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 

Lent to Repent

Day 26

Scripture reading for today is John 3:16-21. It’s all about God’s love for us. How Jesus came to die for our sins and if we will choose to  believe we can have eternal life. Jesus came to save, not to judge. If you just believe in Him there is no judgement for you.

Ann says: Today we will keep close to Jesus: we already are loved. We repent of not walking with You, Jesus, every moment which to often leaves us driven hard by pride and fear everyday.

 

When we really believe Jesus is the Son of God and believe Him when He said, ” I am with you always”, we have nothing to fear. Matthew 28:20, Isaiah 41:10 and John 16:33. When we let pride get in the way and forget we are “children” of God, fear sets in and our peace is gone. We have to continuously remind ourselves who we are in Christ. Satan can try to scare us, but when we know we belong to God, Satan can’t touch us. Mostly when I say this I mean in our minds. His negative thought darts can’t penetrate our thinking anymore. As we know everything that comes into being comes from thoughts first. When I start to feel fear about life or doubt I start saying out loud, “I trust You, Jesus”, as many times as it takes to get back into peace. I will also listen to my favorite worship songs and sing it to God. I feel His presence and fear has to flee. Romans 8:31, What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us? Just like in the song You Make Me Brave, it says: No fear can hinder now the love that made a way. That love is the person Jesus. He made the way for us to enter heaven.

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

Day 26- Believe Jesus, deny self, walk in the Kingdom

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Lent Week 5 Fasting Day 25

In Isaiah 58:1-14, God talks of the people’s idea of fasting which isn’t His idea. He then gives examples of what fasting looks like to Him. He doesn’t say to “give something up” but to give to other people. To make burdens light on others, feed them, clothe them, help them. Then He will be with you and help you and your light will shine among the darkness. Keep the Sabbath holy and delight in the Lord and don’t pursue your own interests on that day.

When we help people with the right motives God blesses us. If we don’t particularly want to do these things but override the flesh and do them knowing we are doing them for God then it becomes fasting. Romans 8:6-11,  The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you.

Lent to Repent

Day 25

The scripture reading today is Romans 8:12-17. It’s talking about our sinful nature and if we have the Spirit of God living inside us we will be able to overcome the sinful nature. We are no longer slaves to it. With God’s Spirit joined to ours we become children of God.

Ann says: Today we will practice our faith- because we will practice joy. Practice thankfulness. Practice smiling, practice Counting Gifts. We will repent of forgetting we are the Resurrection People.

The scripture reading sheds new light on what God calls fasting. I see that what He considers fasting is “giving up” our way and living His way. Living His way goes against our nature but if His Spirit is truly living in us and guiding us we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. We can live holy as He is holy. This is how we do it.  1 Peter 1:16, For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” Giving up our sinful nature ( doing it our way) and doing life His way is what makes Him glad.

Day 21- Go about doing good as Jesus did.

Day 22- It’s the sin God hates!

Day 23- True beauty comes from a clean heart that sees God

Day 24- Have faith Jesus is the Truth

Day 25- Fast from your sinful nature

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