2018: The Year of Transformation: Returning to true Christian Character
“Redefining our lifestyle to be more than church goers or members. To engage in ministry, resist conflict, learn forgiveness, show love, and strengthen unity by transforming our character to be more Christ-like and Christ-centered.”
The scriptures for our 2018 Affirmation: Colossians 3:12-15
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”
This year’s Consecration Fast will be an 8 day fast starting January 7th through the 14th, 2018. We want to start the New Year as a New Person. While you’re on this consecration, I want you to also look at making a sacrificial offering of giving up something that might hinder you or cause a distraction in your life thus impeding or impacting your ability to remain Christ-centered and Christ-focused. Look at this as something that you can back away from as you go forward into the new year therefore rendering you a new creature just by releasing yourself from it. It is your choice what you choose to give up. But look carefully at that thing to see if it keeps you from focusing your attention on God. I encourage you to
also remain prayerful as we go forth into this New Year.
What is fasting?
Biblical fasting is simply “denying oneself food for the sleeping and honoring God.” Pastor Stovall Weems says that "prayer is connecting with God; fasting is disconnecting ourselves from the World." That's a great way to describe the feeling. You can fast from other things that keep you connected to the world, too. Things like TV, video games, social networking, partying and more.......
Over time, it's very easy for our souls to get "gunked up". Fasting is a way to give our bodies and our souls a deep cleaning. When we do, we find that not only do we feel better, but as we draw closer to God, we are more in tune with His Voice!!!!
About your health when you fast.
To be clear, do not give up your medical necessities or anything that is vital to your health sustainment. We highly recommend you talk to your medical professional before starting this fast if you have health concerns. In parts of this fast, we’re talking about things you are to abstain from such as certain foods, but the focal points lean more towards your habits, games, social media, tv shows, and other distractions.
Sunday, January 5, 2018 - Sunday, January 14, 2018
DAY #1: Sunday, January 7th
Bible Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:58; Psalm 86:15
FASTING ITEM: Abstain from sweets, chips, and candy (all "junk" foods)
Thought: Choose to live as God’s beloved.
Receive the complete and unconditional love God is offering you. You don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love or worry that anything you do will cause you to lose his love. So, secure in that knowledge, focus on being a loving person rather than on doing certain things to try to influence how God feels about you. Whenever your actions are formed out of your inner critic’s voice, you’re moving away from God and his love. But whenever you respond to God’s love by letting it inspire your actions, you’re moving closer to your identity as God’s beloved. Know that you are worthy in God’s eyes and safe in God’s presence.
DAY #2: Monday, January 8th
Bible Reading: 1 Peter 4:9, Titus 1:8
FASTING ITEM: No Television or video games, DVD/VCR movies or music that promote drugs, lust, violence, fornication, adultery, horror, or any other ideas that attacks the flesh and distract from God.
Thought: Receive other people through compassionate hospitality.
As you build loving relationships with other people, you’ll encounter the Holy Spirit working between you, drawing you all closer to God as you grow closer to each other. Focus on listening to people well, by creating an atmosphere of safety and mutual respect without judging or making assumptions, and listening for understanding rather than debating topics. Be intentional about reaching out to people who are different from you (economically, racially, generationally, etc.) and those who are often marginalized in society (such as disabled people, immigrants, and the elderly). Seek to simply be with others even more than trying to do something for them. Enjoy their company and get to know them well.
DAY #3, Tuesday, January 9th
Bible Reading: Matthew 18:21-22, Romans 12:9-13
FASTING ITEM: Texting (you can only talk to people on your cell phone)
Thought: Forgive as you are forgiven and learn to love the unlovable.
Let your gratitude for how God has forgiven you for your sins inspire you to obey his command to forgive other people who sin against you. Ask God to teach you whatever he wants you to learn from the pain you experience when others hurt you, and then offer that pain to God as an act of worship, trusting him to guide you through the healing process. Remind yourself regularly that you’re just as prone as anyone else to make mistakes in this fallen world, so you must rely on God’s grace just as much as others do. Let that reality humble you and motivate you to renew your relationships with loving words and actions. Do all you can each day to reconcile yourself with God and the other people whom he has made, pursuing peaceful and loving relationships as far as it depends on you to do so.
DAY #4, Wednesday, January 10th
Bible Reading: 1 Peter 1:14-16, John 15:16-17
FASTING ITEM: Daniel Fast (Eat Fruits and Vegetables Only and drink only water)
Thought: Follow Jesus rather than your own desires.
Jesus invites you to follow him on a journey of faith in which he leads you to leave your known experiences, security, and expectations behind for the adventures he has for you. Consider what specific ways you’re longing for more in your life with God right now. Then ask God to show you how you can respond to those longings by pursuing God in new ways. Be willing to take whatever risks God leads you to take and make whatever sacrifices God leads you to make to live and grow to the fullest. Come to know, love, and follow Jesus as your friend, learning to see people and situations from his perspective. Then, over time, your desires will reflect God’s desires for you.
DAY #5, Thursday, January 11th
Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:29-31; I John 4:7-10
FASTING ITEM: No social media activity or posting, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... etc., (you can periodically check the GSL website for any ministry updates.)
Thought: Find strength in weakness by embracing vulnerability
and Live with integrity and sustain a life of commitment.
Be willing to say “yes” to whatever God wants you to experience in life – even the most challenging circumstances – so you can be transformed into the kind of person he wants you to become. Let go of anything that is interfering with your ability to be vulnerable, such as your desires for security, esteem, affection, power, and control. Then choose to trust God to give you whatever is best for you. Aim to live with integrity between your beliefs and practices, so your faith is fully reflected in what you say and do. Ask God to show you where he is inviting you to participate in his ongoing redemptive work in the world; then join him there. Practice abiding prayer, in which you connect with Jesus and invite His Spirit to flow throughout your life. Pray for the ability to go through your daily routines with a sense of God’s purposes for your life, giving your best effort to everything you do to fulfill those purposes. Respond with obedience to what you read in the Bible, seeking God’s guidance through his Word and putting your faith into action when you sense God leading you to do something.
DAY #6, Friday, January 12th
Bible Reading: Matthew 6:34; Psalm 85:8
FASTING ITEM: No internet access, unless for work, school, biblical study, or to listen to/watch sermons, gospel songs or Christian programing, or pay your bills.
Thought: Pay attention to what God is doing in your life.
God is always with you, yet in this busy world it’s easy to become so distracted that you aren’t aware of it. You can count on God’s presence always and in all situations, since He pays close attention to you. However, God doesn’t force His attentions upon you. He waits patiently, reaching out to you with love, eager for you to discover Him. To find Him, you must learn how to pay attention. Build regular breaks into your busy schedule of daily responsibilities so you won’t miss what God is currently doing in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom to discern what matters most, and then base your priorities and decisions on that every day so you can focus on what God wants you to focus on. Pray for the ability to break free whatever distracts you from God. Whenever you notice a sign of God’s work in your life, express your gratitude to him, and you’ll start to notice even more of what he is doing.
DAY #7, Saturday, January 13th
Bible Reading: Luke 18:27; Mark 11:24; Ephesians 2:10
FASTING ITEM: No Meat of any form, no breads of any form and no sweets
Thought: See the blessing of God-given possibilities.
Live in hope by looking for the potential for good in each person and situation you encounter. Fight the fear of scarcity by believing in the abundance that Jesus promises and freely using your resources (such as time, money, and energy) to serve him. A person may reach the pinnacle of a profession or be lauded as the best in the world at a particular sport, skill, or craft. He may rank at the top of any number of the world's scales or criteria of evaluation. But unless he factors God into his life and seeks to love and serve Him wholeheartedly, he has not reached his full potential. He has maximized only his outward abilities and not his inward attributes. Only God provides those genuine opportunities for service and then rewards them with His presence. Skills or abilities that are used in real-world situations for true service to the Lord gives an added dimension to the word purpose. At this point, a person truly experiences fulfillment and joy. Yes, God has placed within you the attitudes that will drive you to develop the right attributes that bring Him glory. Yes, the Father has placed within you the aptitudes that can be trained and molded into the right abilities that bring Him glory. And yes, God works throughout your entire life to bring you to the fullness of both your attributes and your abilities. You cannot do it on your own strength. You can do it only on God's strength and supply. Only God knows your potential, and only God can help you fulfill it. If you have never asked God, "What do you want me to be?" ask Him that question today. If you have never asked God, "What do you want me to do with my life?" ask Him right now.
DAY #8, Sunday, January 14th
Bible Reading: Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 37:23
FASTING ITEM: Television, caffeine, salt, and sugars
Thought: Trust Jesus as you improvise in life.
Jesus will often work in unexpected ways in your life. So always be willing to set aside your plans to respond to Jesus if he surprises you. Be open and available to play your unique role in the great story of God’s work in the world by trusting Jesus to lead you forward constantly – even when he leads you beyond your own understanding. When you make this full surrender with God, it is now His job to take full and complete care of you in every detail of your life. There is not an area or detail in your life that God will not be willing to help you out with – no matter how small or trivial you think it may be. God now has a perfect divine plan and destiny set up for your life – and He will now be the One to guide you every step of the way into the fulfillment of that divine plan! Practice spiritual disciplines (like prayer and Bible reading) regularly to strengthen your ability to trust Jesus no matter what.
CORPORATE PRAYER FOCUS:
- PRAY for church revival.
- PRAY for church growth in all dimensions: Saving of souls; Corporate worship and praise; Operation of spiritual gifts; Membership; Ministries and auxiliaries; Evangelism and community influence.
- PRAY against every satanic attack against the church.
- PRAY for the spirit of excellence and unity.
- PRAY for a supernatural financial release upon the church.
- PRAY for the Pastor.
And when you Fast…
- Focus on the Word of God
- Sing songs of worship and praise
- Increase your prayer time, and pray specifically
- Be committed and determined to finish
- Keep a journal during prayer and meditation times
- Use WISDOM!