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A Journey to the Cross: Prayer & Fasting

A Journey to the Cross - Part 1 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
A Journey to the Cross:

Prayer & Fasting

Fasting: “A Christian’s voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes” – Donald Whitney

Preparing for Ministry: The Temptation of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11)

Why fast? from Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

  • To Strengthen Prayer
  • To Seek God’s Guidance
  • To Express Grief
  • To Seek Deliverance or Protection
  • To Express Repentance or Return to God
  • To Humble Oneself Before God
  • To Express Concern for the Work of God
  • To Minister to the Needs of Others\
  • To Overcome Temptation & Dedicate Yourself to God
  • To Express Love and Worship to God

How do I fast?

  • Normal Fast – fasting from all food, not from water
  • Partial Fast – limitation of your diet
  • Absolute Fast – fasting from all food and all water
  • Supernatural Fast – requires God’s supernatural intervention to survive
  • Private Fast - in a way not to be noticed
  • Congregational Fast – united focus
  • Other than food - “a voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity” - Richard Foster


“Those who know God the best are the richest and most powerful in prayer. Little acquaintance with God, and strangeness and coldness to Him, make prayer a rare and feeble thing.” - E. M. Bounds

Preparing for the Cross: The Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46)

Why pray?

  • Communication with the God you love!
  • Interceding for one another
  • Dependence on God
  • Thanking God for His work and provision
  • Prayer makes a difference
  • Loving obedience
“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication…” (Ephesians 6:18a)

How can I pray?

  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • A - Adoration
  • C - Confession
  • T - Thanksgiving
  • S - Supplication
  • The Psalms
  • Scripture
  • Prayer lists
  • Operation World
  • Facebook
  • News
  • 3” x 5” Card in your bulletin – The Lost by name
“The life, power, and glory of the church is prayer…without it, the church is lifeless and powerless” – E.M. Bounds

The Purpose of Life - Part 2

The Purpose of Life - Part 2 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
The Purpose of Life – Part 2

Part 1 Recap: The Purpose of Life is to be Connected to Jesus in SALVATION

1) Be connected to the TRUE vine
2) Know that God is in CONTROL
3) Do ABIDE in Christ & prove to be His disciple

The Purpose of Life is to be Connected to Jesus in SANCTIFICATION

What is Sanctification?
“A progressive (increasing) work of God and man that makes us more and more free from sin and more like Christ in our actual lives” – Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology

What is FRUIT?
• CHRIST-LIKE CHARACTER - (Galatians 5:22-24) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23 ] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24 ] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
• CHRIST-DIRECTED PRAISE - (Hebrews 13:15)

A fruit-bearing believer (John 15:1-17)
• IS HUMBLE – v.16
• IS LOVING - v.17

A fruit-bearing church (Acts 2:42-47)
(Acts 2:42-47 ESV) “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. [43 ] And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. [44 ] And all who believed were together and had all things in common. [45 ] And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. [46 ] And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, [47 ] praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

• I – Individual responsibility of believers
• F – Fellowship – building relationships
• S – Service – demonstrating Christ’s love in practical ways
• W – Worship – glorifying God with our voices and hearts
• E – Evangelism & Missions – speaking the Good News
• P – Prayer – communicating with God
• T – Teaching – learning and sharing the wisdom of God

Physical Suffering

"To eliminate a fear object in your life, all you have to do is remove one of its attributes.  For instance, physical death is no longer a legitimate fear object for us, because God has removed one of the attributes.  Although death is still imminent, it is no longer potent because 'death is swallowed up in victory' (1 Corinthians 15:54)" - Dr. Neil T. Anderson in Discipleship Counseling:  The Complete Guide to Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ (p.51)

"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

"And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 ESV)

Mental Illness - Secular vs. Spiritual Approaches

“”Ma’am, do you believe in evolution?’  Startled, she said, ‘Of course not.’  I continued, ‘You mean to tell me that you don’t accept the scientific explanation for the origin of species?’  Again she assured me that she did not.  Then I asked her, ‘Do you accept without question the psychiatric explanation of mental illness?’  ‘Yes, I do,’ she answered.  …Although she did not buy into the scientific theory of evolution, she was willing to place her trust in secular psychiatry and psychology and dismiss the possibility that he son could have a spiritual problem. Secular psychiatry can alleviate some suffering related to the natural realm, but without the aid of divine revelation, how can secular psychiatry and psychologists give us an adequate understanding  of who we are and why we are here, explain the nature of our problems and describe a wholistic answer?”  Dr. Neil T. Anderson in Discipleship Counseling: The Complete Guide to Helping Others Walk in Freedom and Grow in Christ (p.43)

The Purpose of Life - Part 1

The Purpose of Life - Part 1 from Jonathan Carl on Vimeo.
The Purpose of Life – Part 1
Be Connected to Jesus in Salvation

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. [2 ] Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. [3 ] Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. [4 ] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5 ] I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. [6 ] If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. [7 ] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. [8 ] By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. [9 ] As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. [10 ] If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. [11 ] These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:1-11 ESV)

The Vine - BE connected to the __________ vine
  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
  • And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The Vinedresser - KNOW that God is __________

  • Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. (John 15:2)
  • The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them. (Psalm 89:11)
The Branches – DO __________ in Christ & prove to be his disciple

  • for apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5b)
  • Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. (Matthew 3:8)
  • For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:26)
  • The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:11-12)
  • Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-20) - Join us at 11:00am for Worship on Sundays in Hodgenville, KY!

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