21 DAYS OF PRAYER

HOW TO FAST
 
Everyone of importance in the Bible practiced fasting: Moses, David, Elijah, Esther, Daniel, Anna, Paul, Jesus, just to name a few. When Jesus taught on fasting, He would say “when you fast,” not “if you fast.” He assumed that we would fast. We were created with fasting, think about it, if you sleep 8 hours a day, then you are sleeping 1/3 of your life. If you live, say, 75 years, that’s 25 years asleep, or 9,125 days. When you sleep, you are fasting, that’s why morning meal is called breakfast – its when you break your fast.
 
BENEFITS OF FASTING:
  1. Helps us overcome the calamities of life.Fasting is the Biblical way to humble ourselves (Psalm 35:13; 69:10). Esther fasted when faced with danger (Esther 4:16). Ezra fasted for protection (Ezra 8:21-28). Jehoshaphat fasted in the time of the invasion of the confederated armies of Canaanites and Syrians (2 Chronicles 20:3).
  2. Renews our connection with God.Jesus said that His disciples will fast when He is gone (Mark 2:20). When we fast, we get our hunger back for the presence of God.
  3. Empowers us to fulfill God’s calling in our life. Most of the people in the OT fasted in a crisis; Jesus fasted for His calling. We should not fast only during problems, but also for our purpose. Anna was fasting for the coming of the redemption of Israel. (Luke 2:37).
  4. Defeats the devil. Once, the disciples of Jesus could not cast out a demon. Jesus said, “This kind does not leave, but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21). Fasting helps to break the bonds of wickedness, undo heavy burdens, and empower us to break every yoke (Isaiah 58:6).
 
FASTING TYPES:
  1. Full Fast.  Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days)
  2. Partial Fast. A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food. (Chocolate?)
  3. The Daniel Fast. Eat no meat, no sweets, and no bread. Drink water and juice. Eat fruits and vegetables.
 
HOW TO BEGIN:
  1. Start With a Clear Goal. Be specific. Why are you fasting? Do you need direction, healing, restoration of your marriage or family issues? Are you facing financial difficulties? Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance.
  2. Preparing Spiritually. Confess your sins to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal areas of weakness. Forgive all who have offended you and ask forgiveness from those you may have offended. Surrender your life fully to Jesus Christ and reject the worldly desires that try to hinder you (Romans 12:1-2).
  3. Deciding What to Fast. The type of fasting you choose is up to you. You could go on a full fast in which you only drink liquids, or you may desire to fast like Daniel, who abstained from sweets and meats, and the only liquid he drank was water. Remember to replace that time with prayer and Bible study.
  4. Deciding How Long. You may fast as long as you like. Most can easily fast from one to three days, but you may feel the grace to go longer, even as much as 21 to 40 days. Use wisdom and pray for guidance. Beginners are advised to start slow.
  5. What to Expect. When you fast, your body detoxifies and eliminates toxins from your system. This can cause mild discomfort such as headaches and irritability during withdrawal from caffeine and sugars. And naturally, you will have hunger pains. Limit your activity and exercise moderately. Take time to rest. Fasting brings about miraculous results. You are following Jesus’ example when you fast. Spend time listening to praise and worship. Pray as often as you can throughout the day. Get away from the normal distractions as much as possible and keep your heart and mind set on seeking God’s face.
  6. How to End. Don’t overeat when the time comes to end your fast. Begin eating solid food gradually; eat small portions or snacks.
 
 

Read more...

New Year’s Resolution: What God Requires

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (ESV)

Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Are you looking for one (or two…or three)? I think I’ve found mine.  I am proud to say that on Tuesday I went to an actual gym (although a few of the “dudes” in our church don’t consider Planet Fitness an ACTUAL gym, but I digress). It felt good to get some exercise, but for me it was more about creating better habits – see, I do actual practice what I preach (or at least try to…again, I digress).  But, going to the gym IS NOT my New Year’s resolution. And having better habits isn’t either.  As many of you know by now, I’m not big on making New Year’s resolutions. Too often, we set off to make changes out of some feeling of disgust or dissatisfaction with our lives – I don’t like how I look, I eat too much, I’m a bad parent because I don’t spend enough time with my kids or I’m a bad Christian because I don’t read the Bible enough. Making changes because of guilt or self-doubt is NOT a good place to start (see my sermon series on “Eat the Carrot”).  We are the chosen, the redeemed. Our guilt is gone and we’ve been made righteous through Christ and we are His righteousness (Romans 5:9, 2 Corinthians 5:21). We don’t do things out of guilt or condemnation. We do them because it is what God requires – or, what is “right”. So, if I HAD a New Year’s resolution (insert sermon joke here) it would be these three things from Micah 6:8:

  • To do justice
  • To love kindness
  • To walk humbly with God

It’s important to note that these three themes – Justice, Kindness, Humility – all have to do with our relationships with EACH OTHER. So, in essence, God is saying “What is right – what I require of MY people who I’ve redeemed (justice), loved (kindness) and made joint-heirs in My Kingdom (humility) – is for them to do justice, seek kindness (or mercy in other translations) and be humble – or put others ahead of yourself.”  I’ll be touching on each of these three themes in coming weeks, but for now, I wanted to leave you with the same questions I’m asking myself: How are you treating others? Are you seeking justice for those without a voice – the ones others seek to take advantage of? Are you doing everything you can to be kind and loving to others (Ephesians 4:32)? Are you walking in humility, putting others ahead of yourself? Let’s start 2018 off right by doing what is pleasing to God – what He requires. Let’s be the example of Jesus Christ to the world by walking the way He did – in justice, kindness and humility. BE THE NEW!  Pastor Eric

P.S. Here’s an AWESOME video explaining Biblical Justice from the fine folks at The Bible Project:


Read more...

Change Your Mind

Proverbs 23:7 KJV says, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

You’ve probably heard it said before, “You are what you eat.” But, as the passage above from Proverbs 23:7 tells us – You are what you THINK! Your thoughts dictate your actions. And if you want to change your life – you can only do it by changing your mind.

Romans 12:2 says:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

We are transformed by changing our mind – the way we think, what we believe and how we feel. And this transformation of the mind can only happen through the grace of God. 

Have you ever thought about how your brain was created by God? How God created us to think? If not, you’ll love this sermon series “Change Your Mind.” I go into our brain structure and chemistry to help you understand God’s plan for your mind. If you struggle with your thoughts, addictions, bad habits or poor self-esteem, you NEED to give this series a listen. 

It just might – change your mind.

Sermons Online

Be Blessed,
Pastor Eric

Read more...

Welcome to the Family Christian Church Blog


Read more...

Rejoice in the Lord, Always

Paul’s reminder to the Philippians – his parting thought – was to Rejoice in the Lord…Always. And just in case they didn’t understand exactly what he was saying and the importance of this exhortation he repeated himself “And again I say, Rejoice”! Why was Paul so adamant in his instruction to the Philippians?

Philippi was a prosperous Roman colony and as such the Philippians were thought to take great pride in their Roman citizenship. They weren’t Jews, or Romans but caught right in between. Paul’s reminder to the Phillipians that they must Rejoice in the Lord and his early exhortations that their true citizenship is in Heaven (Phil. 3:20) is a good reminder to us Americans the day after the 9/11 memorials and the marking of the 10th anniversary of that fateful day.

Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say Rejoice Phil. 4:4

Yesterday (9/11/11) millions of people waved American flags with pride and we, as a nation, stood strong and united – a reminder to all that terrorists will have no impact on our resolve to remain free. We take great pride in our military might or our ability to hunt down those that would attack us and bring due justice – but more importantly in who we are as a people, those brave men and women who risk their lives every day to keep us free. It’s truly inspiring and I for one am proud to be an American. But Paul’s reminder is so very true today – our rejoicing should be in Christ alone.

“Now the Lord is that spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty” 2 Cor. 317

Our nation remains free today because the Church of God remains strong. You CANNOT have one without the other. We will choose to rejoice in the Lord…Always. And when we start to take pride in ourselves, in our prosperity, in our military, in our resolve, and lose sight of where our help truly comes from – let Paul’s second reminder hold even more true “And again I say, Rejoice”.


Read more...

A Blessed Place

What a tremendous word of the Lord given to Family Christian Church by Pastor Hilton. “Detroit is a Blessed Place”. If you missed a service I highly recommend getting the CD because the promise is for you, your family, and your city.

In my morning devotions today I read Philippians 4:12. One secret to living in a blessed place is to realize that where ever God has you…it IS a blessed place. Paul, the epitome of a content man, instructs us to be content in what ever place we find ourselves in. “I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:12 KJV)”.

What stood out for me in reading this passage today, probably for the first time in the dozens if not hundreds of times I’ve read this passage, was the instruction to “be hungry” in every situation and not just full. Wow.
 
If you are in a blessed place can you choose to also stay hungry? Many of us, especially in Detroit have learned to be “full” with little at our disposal, but will we stay hungry in our abundance? We are experiencing a tremendous outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Family Christian Church – people getting saved, families restored, the Glory of God visiting our services in a powerful way. But, the secret to living in this blessed place is to remain hungry in contentment as well as full.

My prayer for today is “Lord, allow me to be hungry as you are continuing to fill me to overflowing. Not hungry for the things of this world, but hungry for You, for your Glory, for people in Detroit to come to know you as I do.”

I’m so glad I live in Metro Detroit…such a Blessed Place.

Pastor Eric Cedo


Read more...