PURPOSE:  To cleans ourselves, both Spiritually and physically in order that we might be effective in performing the work that the Lord would have us do for Him and His Kingdom in the upcoming year!  We cleanse ourselves sacrificially so that we might have a closer contact with the source of all our Spiritual strength, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; keep ourselves ever mindful of our relationship to, and dependence on, Him as we are called upon to deal in the coming year with the ungodly forces that plague us, our loved ones, and those with whom we find ourselves coming into contact.  In short, in 2017 we’ve got to be prepared and equipped to represent our Lord when we find ourselves confronted by Spiritually hostile forces that are intent on destroying lives of those who would dare to be obedient to God’s Holy Word and seek to make this world in which we presently live a more loving and hospitable place.

THE PERIOD: We are asking those of the Body of Christ who will, to make a personal sacrifice of fasting for the period of January 2nd through 11th, 2017.  When our celebration of the New Year ceases (on January 2nd), we will then begin our fast, and end it on the evening of our first Mid-week Service (Wednesday, January 11th ).  Prayerfully, at that occasion we’ll enjoy a light repast at the conclusion of that evening’s service.

THE PROCESS:  During our fasting period, each believer is asked to give up something (not everything) that they enjoy.  This is not a total fast, meaning we’ll not consume anything but water during that period of time.  Too many of us are required to take medicines each day, and those medicines require that we likewise consume some foods in order for those medicines not to have an adverse affect on us.  What we are asking is that you be willing to give up something that you normally consume, or even indulge in, as a Spiritual and conscientious sacrifice while taking that time to focus more on our individual relationship with the Lord.  You might consider eliminating a particular food or beverage during that period of time. For example, you may choose to give up your usual consumption of coffee, sodas, breads, deserts, or smoking during those days, or, if not totally denying yourself of whatever it is that you have chosen to eliminate from your daily consumption, you may restrict yourself from consuming those things during the first half of the day.  Others may choose not to give up consuming something, but to give up some physical activity during this period of cleansing.  The process is to choose for yourself what item, and during what period of the day, you’ll make your sacrifice.

(Matthew 17:14-21)
“And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffering severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.  So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.’  The Jesus answered and said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I bear with you?  Bring him here to Me.’    And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’  So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.’”
(Matthew 6:16-18)
“Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance.  For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
PUTTING SOMETHING IN ITS PLACE:  To merely give up something is not enough!  Matthew 12:43-45 teaches us, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.  Then he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.’ Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.  So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”
So each day we will be sharing with those participating in this fast a Word from the Scriptures for us to feed on that day in order to fill the void created from whatever it is that we will be giving up.



Mt Zion

Baptist Church