Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. —Isaiah 58:8
As creations of God have sought to live in the ways of the Creator, to be in His presence, to follow in His righteous way of life, the concept of fasting—usually closely connected with prayer—has been proscribed to lead to these ends, especially in a way where fasting allows us to re-harmonize with the living Lord. For it is through fasting, that our souls are exposed more closely to the reality of God and less to the reality of this world.
3Jesus answered them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." 5Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath." —Luke 6:3-5
When Jesus came to this earth, He came with a triumphant message about the kingdom of God, about the eternal life possible by choosing to follow Him.
7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” —1 Peter 5:7
Letting go is not easy to do, especially when emotions are involved. As humans, we tend to carry around a substantial amount of heavy baggage, and eventually that wears us down physically, mentally, and spiritually. There is a way to let go: cast your worries on Jesus Christ.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. —Isaiah 49:16
He’s got the whole world in His hands…literally! The wise prophet, Isaiah, reminds us that God sees us exactly as we are. He sees everything and knows everything about us. There is no wiggle room, no hiding place. We are who we are, and we are continuously in God’s sight.
God has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” —Hebrews 13:5
Living on this earth, with death and decay all around, brokenness continually prevails. We have all had a relationship with another person that turned sour or abruptly ended. As a collective society we have seen divorce and other circumstances splinter families; we have lost touch with old friends, sometimes due to a dispute; or for some of us, had a loved one die suddenly. Despite all these hurts that can cripple our soul, we have God - the only solid rock upon which we have to stand. We can be absolutely sure of this: He will never fail nor leave us.
9And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. —Philippians 1:9-11
Paul, as he writes to the various churches of the world throughout his missionary journeys, was an encourager, consistently giving his full heart, consistently uplifting Christ so that others may be uplifted. Here, in writing to the people at Philippi, he captures this essence with a prayer that includes elements of love, knowledge (of God), purity, and righteous. It speaks to the idea of readying ourselves for Jesus Christ, being sanctified through Him, in order that we may give glory to God.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. —Ephesians 5:25-27
Paul, writing from personal connection with God though not from personal experience (because he remained single throughout his life), lays out the tenants of marriage. For woman, submit to their husbands. For men, to give love in a sacrificial way as Christ did the same.
22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” —Matthew 15:22
There are number of people that come to Jesus looking for help, seeking His divine hand to heal and drive out unclean spirits. In this particular instance, referred to in the passage above, the woman is coming to Jesus on behalf of her daughter, who is demon-possessed. She exclaims to Him, “Have mercy on me.”
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. —Galatians 5:22-23
Jesus told His followers that He would leave them a helper, the Holy Spirit. Those that come to have faith in Jesus Christ are aware that it is this Spirit that works in them to overcome the flesh and be obedient to the will of God.
So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. —John 19:30
He was unjustly accused and sent to death after being declared innocent. He was brutally beaten, made to wear a crown of thorns and mocked, “…save Yourself and come down from the cross,” the people yelled. All the way up until His last moments on this earth, He was treated inhumanely, told to carry his own cross (though someone else did it for Him), being nailed to the cross, and then hearing voracious snickers from the crowd and even from one of the men that was next to Him on the cross…all of it falling way short of the reverence that God deserves.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:21
In so many ways, we are called to a higher life. We are called to serve God, to worship Him, and secondly to love thy neighbor as thyself.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, "The LORD be exalted!" —Psalm 40:16:
God wants what can only be described as ‘our everything.’ We lift our hands up in worship, when we praise the holy and awesome Lord, we must do it in a posture of giving our absolute all, to leave nothing behind in terms of our love and affection for Him We often proclaim ‘I adore you Lord’ but sometimes say and do it almost half-heartedly, consumed in our minds about the things that we have to do, the bills that we have to pay, the worries of a shattered world.