Archive for the Daniel Fast 2010 Category

Daniel Fast – Day 20 Devotion-“under the blood”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 30, 2010 by mikekeaton

“But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying.  When I see the blood, I will ‘pass over’ you.  This plague of death will not touch you…” – Ex. 12:13

Today and tomorrow and the Daniel Fast is over.  In some ways it seems like it’s been a long road and in some ways it seems like it went by too quick.  I pray that this time has been special to you and in your life and experience and personal spiritual journey with the Lord.  I hope you are closer to Him and He has worked in your life in big ways.  Please let us know how God has worked in your life, what He has told you, how He is directing you.  I am sure it will be a great encouragement to us all.

In the book of Hebrews chapter 10 it tells us that the ceremonies of the Old Testament were shadows of what was to come.  Today’s passage shadows the cross of Christ.  Jesus is our passover lamb.  The blood on the sides of the doors and on the top of the door picture a cross for us.  Over the top is where the crown of thorns was, the side posts is where the hands of Jesus were nailed, the bottom (not in the Exodus text) is where the feet of Jesus were nailed…now, connect the dots so to speak.  what shape is formed?  a cross of course.

Do you think it is by chance that God told them specifically what day to have this passover feast?  Not at all!  It is all part of God’s great plan.  Jesus died at the time of Passover.  He was without sin, picturing the yearling lambs that had to be chosen without spot or blemish.   The Israelites were not saved from doing some religious ceremony.  They were saved b/c they trusted in the blood.  Only as they trusted and stood under the blood so to speak, were they saved.  What a picture for all!

One day the Angel of the Lord will come again and judge all mankind.  If He does not see us standing under the blood of Jesus Christ, trusting in what He has done for us, then, well, let’s just say they won’t be saved.  Only if men and women, boys and girls would trust, not in there ability to perform some religious duty or be religious, but if they would just trust in the blood of Jesus they would be saved.  What about you?  What are you trusting in?  Who are you trusting in?

Jesus is our Passover Lamb!!  What a blessed thought.  I am so grateful!  Such sacrifice demands the offering of my whole life for Him and His Kingdom and to help others get there as well.  I pray that we would all be so grateful!  blessings.

Mike

Advertisements

Daniel Fast -Day 19 Devotion-“Sell Outs”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 29, 2010 by mikekeaton

“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. ” -Matt 19:29

One of my favorite rides at 6 Flags has always been one of the oldies, the “Scream Machine”.  My favorite part was always right there on the back stretch where it goes up and down like 3 or 4 times really fast only to freak out at the last minute when it looks like you are going to get your head cut off as the cars come under the awning to unload.

But then, I rode it last summer and I suddenly didn’t like it anymore.  It was too fast, too bumpy, in fact, it actually hurt.  Every time we came off one of those hills I thought my head was coming off and my back was breaking.  I just wanted off, please make it stop.  So, I decided I wouldn’t ride it anymore, I know, I know, wimp!  I guess it’s true.

I couldn’t help it but as I read about Pharoah today, “no, I am not going to let your people go”, yes, I will let your people go, just make it stop”, “no, I will not let your people go”, “yes, I will let your people go, just make it stop”.  Time and time again he said this and honestly, I thought of my experience on the roller coaster.  Weird huh?  Oh well, lets work with it…

Do you ever feel wishy-washy and up and down in your spiritual journey at times?  I know I do.  We have had an incredible spiritual journey these past 19 days, and in some ways at times, for me at least, it’s been a little up and down.  There have been some great spiritual moments and lessons, and there have been some challenging temptations to give in to appetite and instead of praying and seeking God, I grumbled and complained.

I don’t want to be wishy- washy do you?  I want to be rock solid on Him.  Totally abandoned, every day, sold out for Him and His Kingdom.  I dont want to give in to my flesh.  I want to be a sell out for God and His Kingdom.  Jesus talked about this today.  He told the guy, “give up everything for my sake.  And if you will do that, I will give you 100x more”.  Wow!  what a trade off for a sell out!  But, I often don’t see the eternal reward b/c I want the temporal thing right now, kind of like Pharoah.

Seek His Kingdom First!!!  As we approach these final days of this fast I want to encourage you to keep on seeking His Kingdom.  Just b/c the fast ends, doesn’t mean we have to end in our pursuit of Him.  Let’s give our lives every day for His Kingdom.  Try thinking at the beginning of the day and even throughout the day, what can I do for God’s Kingdom today?  How can I use my normal work day to build His Kingdom?  How can I be more focused on eternal rewards instead of the temporary rewards that will only come in this life?  It’s really the greatest ride of all!!

Mike

Daniel Fast – Day 18 Devotion – “for mercy sake”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 28, 2010 by mikekeaton

“Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, even as I had mercy on you”? – Matt. 18:33

Just a few years ago I had a conversation with somebody who was a part of our church that was rather unpleasant.   Apparently, I was not measuring up to what they thought I should be and they were disappointed in me.  Well, the things said were hurtful and of course b/c I am such a spiritual giant (yeah right) I allowed those hurts to grow into bitterness.

Time went on and that bitterness began to grow and fester into this nasty ugly oozing resentment.  Basically, I was miserable.  I continued to focus on “my” hurt and unforgiveness settled into my heart and life resulting in this horrible period of my life where my whole outlook was damaged.  Then as a result of a time of fasting and study through David Nassar’s book “A Call to Die”, God convicted me of my unforgiving spirit.  I didn’t repent right away.  I didn’t forgive right away, but God (I love those words) wouldn’t leave me alone.

So, I acted out forgiveness, but I did not forgive like Jesus said to in our reading today, He said, “So shall my heavenly Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.  After a while of continuing to be miserable b/c I hadn’t truly forgiven, I went to meet with my brother in Christ.  It was a very humbling experience, but so, freeing, confessing is truly cleansing.  Our reading in Proverbs today captures it so well, “His own iniquities will capture the wicked, and he will be held with the cords of his sin.”

Why do I think or any of us think that withholding forgiveness is some sort of offensive strategy against another?  We think we are the ones hurting them, but in reality, and just like our reading today said, it is torture to us.  My sin of unforgiveness would have been my ruin, I was being held with the cords of my sin of holding a grudge.  The issue is not even with the other person, the issue is with me, and maybe you.  So, for mercy’s sake, let go!!

By the way, me and my brother in Christ, all is good, and we are “on mission” together continuing to build God’s Kingdom.  Forgiveness is that sweet spot for restoration to take place and to Honor the Name of our Great God!  For His Name and His Renown!!!

If you have something in your heart that you are holding against another, for mercy’s sake, the mercy by which you have been forgiven, let it go!  You’ll be glad you did!!  Love ya!

Mike

Daniel Fast – Day 17 Devotion – “He hears”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 27, 2010 by mikekeaton

“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help”. – Ps 22:24 -NLT

Sorry for the late post today gang.  I got busy working on our next message series and then it just hit me, “O snap, I didn’t do the post”, so, my B.  I hope it didn’t mess your schedules up too bad.  5 days left…are you disciplining yourself for spiritual breakthrough?  I hope you don’t give up, we all have come so far…

I think it is interesting how sometimes the various passages in the daily prayer calendar readings and the prayer items just seem to line up.  I know on our end we did not try to coordinate that but for today’s readings and prayer, they kind of go together.  Pretty cool man!

How does it make you feel to know that the Lord is watching you?  Fearful? Worried?  Thankful?  Humbled?  The last one is how I see the Israelites responded when they realized that God had heard their cries to Him from their slavery bondage in Egypt .  In our readings today we see them bowing low and worshipping when they realized that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their affliction.  Man, what a response!  Then in Psalms we see the passion to praise the name of God for who He is in front of others, “for He has not ignored or belittled the sufferings of the needy.  He has not turned His back on them, but has listened to their cries for help”.

What affliction are you experiencing right now?  For me its financial and a lack of faith like I wrote about yesterday and like so many others’ experience, but to be honest, its hard for me to focus on my affliction when I continue to think about the hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti who are sleeping  in the streets, hungry, and fighting each other for food and water and their lives.  Either way though, the Lord HEARS, our cries and their cries.   Just like the Israelites’ experience, at first it may seem like things get worse (remember, Pharoah made it harder on them and they wondered what’s up).  Well, the Lord hears, He knows, He is aware.  And when the time comes for Him to get the most glory, He will move, and it will be awesome!!  So, cry out to God!  He hears and responds.  Praise Him, Worship Him not because of what He will do for you and me, but simply because of who He is!  And as the Psalm writer said…”the afflicted will eat and be satisfied, those who seek Him will praise the Lord”!

Have a blessed day praising our Lord and enjoy Him!!

Mike

Daniel Fast -Day 16 Devotion – “faith crisis”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 26, 2010 by mikekeaton

“…nothing shall be impossible to you” – Matt. 17:20

Matthew 17 is one of my favorite chapters.  The revelation of Jesus as the Son of God, the emphasis on faith and the provision of the tax in the fish’s mouth, all 3 are powerful passages.  I often wonder that I find myself  identifying with those in the reading today of little faith.  I must admit that of late, I have been experiencing a bit of a crisis of faith.

Man, I want to have BIG faith!  I get so inspired by those who have BIG faith that I want to be like them.  I think of many examples in the Bible of people who trusted so simply and I think, I want to be like them.  Jesus was often impressed by the faith of certain people, but like in today’s passage, He was also frustrated a little I think.  I wonder if He gets frustrated with me and my little faith.  Does He say to me, “How long shall I be with you”?, “how long shall I put up with you”?

Jesus doesnt say BIG faith is the key.  He says a little is good enough, even as much as a mustard seed.  Wow!  does this mean I don’t even have that much?  I think so.  I am so uninspiring.  But this very well might be the issue for my own crisis of faith.  Is my faith in Him or for the inspiration of others?  I soooo want it to be in Him, but if I am honest, I must admit that my faith is often not in Him.  Often, my faith is in my faith!!  Does that make sense?  In other words, instead of my focus being on the person of Jesus, and who He is, my focus is more on me, my abilities, my theology, my obedience, the perceptions of me by others, etc, etc.

Did you notice in the reading today that when Jesus speaks things happen?  He told the demon where to go and it did so, such power, He told the fish to come up to be caught and miraculously it became a first century ATM, such power.  There is a lot going on in your life and mine that causes us to come (like the disciples) whining to Jesus and say, “why couldn’t I do it”, the answer is, simply, trust, believe, have faith, not BIG faith, just as much as a mustard seed.  Trust in ME, He says!  In so doing, “nothing shall be impossible to, who?, YOU”  that’s me and you.

I know the right answer.  To overcome a crisis in Faith, I must trust in Jesus, in Him.  My prayer is that I will trust in Him for the “thing that I cannot do” and for what “I am able to do through Him Who works mightily within me”!  I want to feel that nothing is impossible!  I pray you want the same.  Have a blessed day full of faith!

Mike

Daniel Fast – Day 15 Devotion -“Eternal Perspective”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 25, 2010 by mikekeaton

“Jesus turned to Peter and said, Get away from me Satan!  You are a dangerous trap to me.  You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” -Matt. 16:23

Obviously, yesterday there was no post because it was our gathering day.  I trust you are remaining faithful with the fasting and prayer calendar requests and readings!!

Have you ever felt like your time is not your time?  Don’t we all look forward to the weekend or our day off to do whatever it is we want to do,  projects around the house, just putting some comfy clothes on and just lounging around being lazy, going somewhere, doing something fun, etc., etc.

But, it seems when we have something in our minds that we want to do or we think we would like to do, we start to look forward to it even if it is just a little bit and then something comes up and we don’t get to do that one thing we wanted to do, and we end up using “our time” for others.  If you are like me, self-centered, that can be upsetting and actually make you ill.

truthfully, “our” time is not “our time”.  Most of us would agree that when it comes to stewardship, money issues, that God owns it all.  Everything belongs to Him, so, why wouldnt we ‘give’ of “our money” to Him?  But, sometimes we don’t think that way about “our” time, when we should because time belongs to God also.  We must be good managers of His time and I am a big proponent of everyone observing a Sabbath, for spiritual reasons though, not selfish reasons!

In our reading today, Jesus told Peter that He was viewing things from an earthly perpective and not a eternal perspective.  If we could all just see that when things ‘come up’ and “get in the way” of what we had in mind of how we were going to spend “our time” as God’s working in our lives, then we might lean into what God is wanting for us or leading us into.

It really is hard to see life from an eternal perspective, but to do so truly is the way we should try to see life.  Today, if I could just see that my schedule is messed up because of something God is trying to do requiring me to miss a meeting, and work from home this morning, by giving my wife the opportunity to do a favor for a neighbor spend time with her and get to know her and initiate a relationship that might develop into a discipling opportunity, then I “wouldn’t be seeing things from a human point of view”.  Wow, I am so much like Peter!

I pray that I can look at things differently today.  I pray that I can see life through eternal lenses.  I pray the same for you.  try today to consider, “how might God be using this to redirect me and accomplish something He is leading me to?”

I pray you have a blessed day… Mike

Daniel Fast-Day 13 Devotional – “I need a Heart Cath”

Posted in Daniel Fast 2010 on January 23, 2010 by mikekeaton

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer”

– Ps 19: 14

Recently I have had several family members dealing with various health issues as it relates to their hearts.  Not long ago I found myself visiting with one of my family members waiting to have a “heart cath” in a holding area at a hospital known for being one of the best hospitals for cardiology in America.  this was a room probably 20×40 in size and had beds lined up on both sides all the way down.  I am not sure how many patients were in there but I guess it is safe to say probably around 20 or so and as they wheeled patients out for their procedure, they wheeled another one in their place all day long.

I had several thoughts.  One was I wish I was the doctor getting all that insurance money from all those procedures.  (sorry, I wish my first thought was spiritual, but, yes, I am very carnal at times, most of the time actually), anyway, another thought was to tell my daughter who is in college to focus her nursing on cardiology, b/c it seems like that is some good job security these days especially with the American diet and stressful culture,  pretty much guarantees that holding area will always be full, another thought was, God, I hope and pray I never have to come here as a patient (I am dreadfully fearful of heart surgery) and (ok, now the spiritual) that heart caths physically are not that much different than heart caths spiritually.

Jesus said in our reading today, “dont you understand yet?  what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart” And O what darkness lies beneath! Evil things, bad thoughts, murder, sexual sins, stealing, lying, gossip and slander, and all come from our nice clean hearts…annnnhhhhh…WRONG, our dirty, vile, clogged with sin hearts.  Well, I guess I should say “my, dirty, vile, clogged with sin heart”, I can’t speak for you, but I know the things I think about, and I know the profanity that comes from my mouth, (well, from under my breath, b/c God forbid that anyone hear me, the preacher cuss), and even more, and none of it is very God honoring and to be honest, it is quite ugly.  I am pretty sure that I need a heart cath.

Catheterization is in the Bible.  It is the greek word Katheridzo and found in numerous places, one of which is 1 John 1:9, its the word cleanse.  I can be cleansed inside if I go to the hospital of confession.  If I will confess, He will cleanse.  this is why David wrote for us today…

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.  Keep your servant from deliberate sins, Don’t let them control me, then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer”

I prayed these verses today.  I really like the “free of guilt” part, don’t you?  I am so thankful He is forgiving and patient with me.  Let these verses be your prayer as well…then enjoy living with a fresh, pumping, guilt free, cleansed heart.  Blessings to you today, enjoy your Saturday, see you tomorrow at Worship.

Mike