Welcome to the 1-day fast track, beginning at sundown on Thursday, April 1st and finishing with our meal together on Friday, April 2nd. We hope that the following devotionals are helpful as we grow in our dependance of God together.
You cannot bear fruit by yourself, you need the vine. — Rephrasing of John 15:4
I love that Jesus’ assumption was that the disciples would want to bear fruit. We want a life of significance and contribution. For those of us that have given our lives to Jesus, we love the idea of being a part of his big story of reconciling the world to himself. So Jesus gives the direct answer to an indirect question. Nobody asked him, “How do we change the world?” But he decided to give the answer nonetheless. If you want to live a life that blesses others, that brings the kingdom of God and all of God’s goodness into a hurting world... well, if you want that you must first realize that you can’t do it.
I AM THE VINE; YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. WHOEVER ABIDES IN ME AND I IN HIM, HE IT IS THAT BEARS MUCH FRUIT, FOR APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. — JOHN 15:5
The access point to living a life of significance in the Kingdom of God is a simple invitation to be with Jesus. We are fasting with the intentional focus on seeking God’s presence because we do want to be a people, a church that bears much fruit, but we don’t want to bypass the process. We know that if we want to be a part of God’s plan to change the world, we need to grow as an abiding people. Today’s meditation is to ask yourself Do I want to see God’s presence fill the earth? Do I want to see the world reconciled to God through Jesus? While those are yes/no questions, my encouragement is that you use them as prayer prompts with God. Ask him to show you if your life reflects your answer to those questions.
Take some time to journal
— Do I want to see God's presence fill the earth? Where are those places in my everyday life?
— Do I want to see the world reconciled to God through Jesus? Who is He putting on my heart specifically?
— Does your life reflect your answer to those questions?
Join the all church prayer gathering under the tent tonight at 6pm.
Preparation for Good Friday / Breaking the fast
The incarnation of Jesus has to be considered the most surreal moment in the history of creation. God the creator who exists without the limitations of his own creation determined to enter his creation, taking on the limitations that he himself initiated. Those limitations included the need for food and water as well as the opportunity for his body to cease functioning… God entered a world in which he could die.
AND BEING FOUND IN HUMAN FORM, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF BY BECOMING OBEDIENT TO THE POINT OF DEATH, EVEN DEATH ON A CROSS.
— PHILIPPIANS 2:8
Part of our fasting is experiencing physical limitations in order to focus our attention on seeking God’s presence as our sustaining force. Jesus himself experienced this and was in full knowledge when he said that “man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” —Matthew 4:4
As we prepare to break the fast tonight and resume our participation in physical food, the hope would be that over the course of the fast you have developed an increased dependence on God for his presence, his love and his power. We can’t live in a perpetual state of fasting, but we can take the things that we learn from fasting and carry them into our everyday lives.
Tonight, we celebrate Jesus taking on the limitations of human form for our sake, even death on a cross. Take some time to consider the sacrifice of Jesus’ eternality, his life, death and resurrection. How has Jesus reshaped your life?
Join us for worship and breaking of fast tonight under the tent at 6pm.