Impact Church

Passionately serving God and His people

Category: January 2018

Fasting 2018

I would like to extend an invitation to our church for a 21 day period of intentional devotion and refreshed commitment to God. It is common to hear about the importance of prayer in personal and corporate revival. However, the Bible includes an additional element of consecration that if done purely, can enhance and intensify our pursuit of God. That element is fasting. Although, fasting is prevalent in the pages of scripture, it is possibly the most overlooked admonition to the New Testament church. Many heroes of our faith were known for their exercise of this practice. Moses, David, Esther, Jehoshaphat, and Jesus himself all had recorded periods of fasting. Jesus instructed his followers to fast and the book of Acts accounts the fasting of the first century church. Lastly, Paul speaks of his time of fasting in a letter to the Corinthian church.

The posture of fasting in its simplest form is about putting God first in our lives. Prayer is the pursuit of God while fasting is the disconnection from things of the world, namely food, to intensify that pursuit more fervently.   In our fast-paced, ever-evolving world, it’s important to take time to remind ourselves of our true priority. Closeness with God is the one and only thing that can bring us true peace, fulfillment, joy, and assurance.

Fasting is not always a comfortable journey for your physical body, but if you commit yourself to prioritizing God for the next 21 days, you’ll find there’s nothing better for the health of your spirit and your relationship with God than to intentionally put Him first.

We are all at different places in our relationship with God. Likewise, our jobs, daily schedules, and health conditions are all different and place various levels of demands on our energy. So, most importantly, whether you have fasted before or this is your first time, start where you are. Your personal fast should present a level of challenge to it, but it’s very important to know your own body, know your options, and most importantly, seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.  Remember, the goal of fasting is not just to go without food. The goal is to draw nearer to God.

We will be using the Daniel Fast as our basic guideline. However, we encourage you to adapt and modify it according to your schedule, health, and leading of the Holy Spirit. Please consult a physician before determining your personal direction.

The following is a reading plan for you and your family for the next 21 days. We will meet every Wednesday night beginning on January 17th to pray together corporately and encourage one another in this endeavor. The fast will be complete on February 6th and we will all come together for a Night of Worship on February 9th.  I encourage you to make a short list of 2-4 specific prayer requests that you would like to emphasize. Pray over those needs daily with faith and patience. I can not wait to see how God moves in our life and church!

 Reading Schedule:

 1/17 – John 1                     1/24 – John 8                      1/31 – John 15

1/18 – John 2                     1/25 – John 9                      2/1 – John 16

1/19 – John 3                     1/26 – John 10                   2/2 – John 17

1/20 – John 4                     1/27 – John 11                   2/3 – John 18

1/21 – John 5                     1/28 – John 12                   2/4 – John 19

1/22 – John 6                     1/29 – John 13                   2/5 – John 20

1/23 – John 7                     1/30 – John 14                   2/6 – John 21

Night of Worship – Friday, February 9th

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The Good News

 “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”” Luke 2:10

I’m a rule breaker when it comes to traditional Christmas décor etiquette. I don’t wait until Thanksgiving is over before I begin transforming our home into a winter wonderland. Therefore, in our home, we’ve spent six weeks decorating the house, counting down days, reading scripture as a family, and doing advent activities with our toddlers. We orchestrated family gatherings, purchased gifts, and prepared the honey roasted ham.

Christmas Day arrived, in all its glorious splendor, and we spent the entire day celebrating the transformative truth that our King has come. We rejoiced over the miracle found in John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” Christmas Day is gone and, along with it, all the decorations I love. They have been carefully placed in boxes that will remain in storage until they are opened again in November. While the beautiful decorations are gone, He is not; nor is the miracle of Christmas. His name is still Immanuel; God with us. It’s a relief to relish the truth that He was here on Christmas morning as we celebrated His birth and He’s still here on New Year’s Day as we rejoice over new beginnings. He’s here on every ordinary Monday morning and typical Tuesday night. We don’t have to be sad that Christmas is over and longingly look forward to December 25th, 2018. The Christmas story is just as relevant this morning as it was one week ago.

On this first day of the New Year the good news is still good. Jesus Christ came and changed the course of history for mankind forevermore. He came to demolish our chains, restore relationship, and set things right. Personal revelation of His coming and all that His arrival means yields great joy!

This morning we continue the joyful celebration of a Savior, so wildly in love with us, He willingly laid down His life to purchase our freedom. His extravagant love compelled Him to step into the confines of time and take on our frame just so we could know Him better. He demolished our limited understanding of love with a clear depiction of what love looks like. Love is Jesus outstretched on a cross intent on redeeming and being with His sons and daughters. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17) The Christmas story is ultimately about His relentless pursuit for you and me.

The Word says that after thousands of years of silence all of heaven rejoiced and announced His arrival on that beautiful night. They knew, full well, the weight of that moment. We are now presented with the opportunity to do the same. We can accept the spectacular gift of Him, the good news that changes everything, and join them in proclaiming “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill towards men!”