Fasting -Preparing To Do God's Work

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Fasting -Preparing To Do God's Work

Acts 13:1–3 NKJV
1 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.

Confession of Faith

I am not moved by what I see or by what I feel. I am moved by what I believe. I believe the WORD of God! The victory is mine! I have it now! I can see it through the eyes of my faith! In Jesus Name

Looking at the text we see members of a church that had a responsibility to reach out to all people!
The Church at Antioch was God’s church to become the mission and evangelistic church of the world
God was now read to send his Word to the World!
Sounds Familiar - United Christian Fellowship - Where God’s Word Meets your World”!
It was now time for the church to go out into all the world and reach people where they are at!
Acts 1:8 NKJV
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 NLT
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Now there was a church at Jerusalem that God could have chose to do the work! But here’s was the problem with that church
The Jerusalem Church was too narrow and traditional to do the job
Too many members of the church were prejudice and held to many feelings against other people in the world!
That church refused to freely and wholeheartedly commit themselves to reaching out to the world
That church had a spirit of exclusiveness and tradition about how to approach God!
Acts 15:1–3 NLT
1 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 Paul and Barnabas disagreed with them, arguing vehemently. Finally, the church decided to send Paul and Barnabas to Jerusalem, accompanied by some local believers, to talk to the apostles and elders about this question. 3 The church sent the delegates to Jerusalem, and they stopped along the way in Phoenicia and Samaria to visit the believers. They told them—much to everyone’s joy—that the Gentiles, too, were being converted.
They were arguing over salvation verses a ritual
So God had to bypass the Jerusalem church and raise up another church to go out and do the work of reaching the world for the kingdom of God!
This is a warning too us today
We cannot be too narrow and traditional to do the work of the Lord!
We must not wait too long to repent of our sins!
God is ready to move out into the world in a new way and he will raise up people and leaders who will commit their lives fully to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and carry the Gospel into the whole world!
God is looking for a church that will reach out to everyone!
So he chose Barnabas - A Wealth Man
He Chose Simeon - a black man
He chose Lucius - he was probably one of the poorest believers who fled to Antioch for safety
He Chose Manaen - a man of high society and foster brother of Herod who put Jesus on trial and murdered John the Baptist
He chose Saul - a religious person in society, considered least important at the time of the church leaders! But someone who had a deep love for Jesus and a commitment that God would use in Saul in a way beyond imagination!
Diversity in these men in so many ways - to reach out to all people, all races of people, all nationalities of people, all needs of people!
No one was excluded! Everyone was invited to Jesus Christ and welcomed to fellowship and to ministry in the church!
Matthew 22:9 NKJV
9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
Matthew 28:19 NKJV
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Romans 10:12–13 NKJV
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
So We Fast
Romans 12:5–8 NKJV
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Tell Your Neighbor Use Your Gift
Acts 13:1 NCV
1 In the church at Antioch there were these prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon (also called Niger), Lucius (from the city of Cyrene), Manaen (who had grown up with Herod, the ruler), and Saul.
There were folks in the church with some very special gifts from the Holy Spirit
Here is what you must understand
1. Prophecy is “the Word of the Lord.” It is not the word of men. The future is revealed by God, not by men.
2. Prophets are messengers—not people speaking for God
3. All Prophecy must be fulfilled. It will always come to pass.
The spiritual gift of teaching involves understanding and communicating the Word of God! It involves edifying believers in the truth of God’s word!
It involves understanding, interpreting, arranging God’s word in a way that believers understand!
2 Timothy 2:15 KJV 1900
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Acts 17:11 NLT
11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.
Tell Your Neighbor - Use your Gift
Acts 13:2 NCV
2 They were all worshiping the Lord and fasting for a certain time. During this time the Holy Spirit said to them, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul to do a special work for which I have chosen them.”
When God chooses you to do a work - he will choose those who are faithful in doing the work right were they are!
He is not going to choose you to work if you’re waiting to serve!
I’m waiting for the church to come back and then I’ll serve
You must be serving right now, right were you are!
Matthew 20:28 NKJV
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Serve Now
Colossians 3:23–24 NKJV
23 And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
Romans 14:18 NKJV
18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
God calls those who are faithful where they are
1 Corinthians 4:2 NKJV
2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
He choose those who were men of prayer and fasting!
God will use you when you sense a need and sense it so deeply that you are willing to put everything else aside to seek God’s face!
We need men and women who will fill the gap! The world has still not been reached!
God is looking for those who will be faithful right where they are
God is looking for those who will set aside convenience of life - food and everything else and pray
Luke 18:1 KJV 1900
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
The Call
Acts 13:3 NCV
3 So after they fasted and prayed, they laid their hands on Barnabas and Saul and sent them out.
Here's what you must know -
It is the Holy Spirit that calls a believer to serve God!
It is not the church, it is not the other leaders in the community, it is not based on someone’s determination
John 15:16 NKJV
16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Every believer is called to be a witness for God!
Some are called to a lifetime commitment to ministry!
When you are called you are separated to the Holy Spirit!
You are called to be infilled and guided by the Holy Spirit
You are called to surrender to the Holy Spirit's will and use!
It’s time to do the work
To do the work you must be separated to do the work
You must be separated for the edifying of the Body
Ephesians 4:12 NLT
12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.
So We Fast To Do God’s Work today
We fast - to seek the face of God
We fast - for the direction of his will in our lives
We fast to give God praise
The face of God must be sought out!
The goal and existence of United Christian Fellowship is to put God’s word in peoples world!
Everything you do should be to glorify God
Use this time of fasting to glorify God!
Use this time of fasting to rededicated yourself
Use this time of fasting to implement the gifts given right were you’re at!
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