Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of The Church Address This Sunday

This week President Obama gave his annual state of the union address. Millions of people will watch, listen, or read it. When you are the leader of the free world, people listen. This Sunday I will be giving our annual state of the church address. It will not garner much attention outside of our church. It most likely will not even be covered by the Greer Citizen. Nevertheless, I believe it to be important because we serve the Leader of The World, Jesus Christ. We serve in the one institution He established on earth, The Church. One day every President, Prime Minister, despot and dictator will bow the knee to Christ. We are dual citizens; citizens of the United States and citizens of heaven. We must be about our Father's business and He loves His Church! I look forward to sharing with you Sunday where we are as a church, where we're going, and the process we will employ to be about the Master's orders of making disciples who make disciples.

See you Sunday!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Awakening Prayer and Fasting Week 2 Insights

I certainly hope you've made some type of commitment this week to prayer and fasting. Here are some gleanings I've gathered this week concerning prayer and fasting:

*As Jesus began His public ministry and whom He chose it came out of a time of prayer and fasting (Matthew 4:1,17)

*Esther had her people pray and fast for 3 days. She needed the favor of the king. She saw fasting as the release of favor. God opens doors and fasting paves the way for this. He's going to break through circumstances.

*Barnabas and Paul were sent out on the mission field because of a time of prayer and fasting. (Acts 13)

*Don't quit fasting when it gets tough- this is spiritual warfare.

*Through prayer and fasting you bring an extraordinary God into your ordinary circumstances. Prayer changes things. (James 5:16-17)

*D.L. Moody- "Before you see the face of men see the face of God."

*Abraham's servant fasted to find the right mate for Isaac.

*Fast about everything- it will direct your path.

*"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Have an ongoing conversation with God.

*Some things only change through prayer and fasting.

*Prayer connects us to God. Fasting disconnects us from the world.

*Prayer and fasting increase your faith and God responds to faith, not need.

*"No one is a firmer believer in the power of prayer than the Devil and the reason he believes in it is because he suffers from it."

*We must be persistent in our prayers- to ask and keep asking.

*If you pray prayers according to God's word and God's will He's ready to move on your behalf.

*"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

*The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is available to God's people. (Ephesians 1:17-20)

*There is a connection with fasting and insight. Daniel turned to the Lord with prayer and petition through fasting (Daniel 9:3). What do you need clarity on?


Pastor Tommy

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fasting for spiritual and physical health

This past Sunday I encouraged our church to embark on a 21 day time of prayer and fasting. We are joining hundreds of other churches across our land for what is a national movement known as "Awakening." That is my prayer for my life, our church, our nation; that we would see a spiritual awakening. As I shared last Sunday, fasting gets the "gunk" out. As we live out our lives, the daily grind can wear us down and we lose our passion. God wants us to live our lives for Him with passion. Romans 12:11 states, "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." I can't think of a better thing to do than to dedicate the first part of the year to God and drawing near to Him through prayer and fasting. We all need to start out 2011 fully alive and attuned to God's Spirit.

There are not only incredible spiritual benefits to fasting, but there are physical benefits as well. Obviously, losing weight is a natural benefit of fasting. Stoval Weems in his book "Awakening" states that when we fast "our bodies reset themselves." Also, Steve Meyerowitz in his book "Juice Fasting and Detoxification" states, "When you fast, you are on nature's operating table. The body changes hats. Instead of being in the business of receiving, processing, storing, analyzing, assimilating, discriminating, and discarding, it shifts to the job of house cleaning, removal, sanitizing, refurbishing and renewal. It is a big job and it is not without its inconveniences, especially when there is someone living in the house."

Just like our souls, the inside of our bodies needs a good spring cleaning from time to time. Fasting is a simple way of cleaning house. I encourage you if you didn't have a chance this week to pray and fast, to commit yourself to do this before we finish January 30. It will be a wonderful benefit for you spiritually and physically.

Pastor Tommy

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Awakening 2011

I am looking forward to our second church wide time of prayer and fasting called Awakening. We will not be alone. Awakening is an incredible event, consisting of churches and ministries all around the world, coming together in a 21 day season of prayer, fasting and personal devotion at the beginning of each year.  Two of the main goals of the national Awakening campaign are:

  • For churches and leaders to come together to pray, fast and seek God at the onset of the year .
  • To inspire pastors and leaders everywhere to establish or strengthen a culture of prayer and fasting in their church or ministry.
We will officially start our 21 day prayer and fasting time on Monday, January 10 through January 30. This Sunday I will begin a 3 part message series sharing some principles I've learned about fasting. I will also hand out a resource from awake21.org that will give much information on the basics of fasting.

This year I will be embarking on a 21 day juice fast. I did that last year as well. The point is not whether you go 21 days or not; the point is that you set aside a time to renew and refresh yourself in your walk with God. Fasting allows you to clean the gunk out and "taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). I look forward to starting the year off again with this time of renewal. I am praying for an awakening!

Pastor Tommy