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- Ps Felix & Lou
Let’s be honest, we can all get distracted and put seeking God at the bottom of our to do list. This devotional provides a space to focus and set your heart on God as you are putting aside luxuries, food & distractions to seek Him First! Enter this time knowing this; God is excited to spend time with you! He wants to meet you where you are at now and He is far greater and kinder than your heart can comprehend!
As we step into this fast, I know many of you are believing for some pretty big breakthroughs. Know this: we are with you! Don’t be afraid to pray bold prayers and don’t be surprised when He does more than you expect.
We love you and are so greatful that you have chosen to…
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Matthew 6:33 (AMP)
But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
It is interesting what we seek first. What do you seek first as you start your day? As soon as you arrive home, when you are on a lunch break or have a moment to yourself what does your heart and mind seek? This February fast is all about adjusting our focus. Where we would normally seek escape and distraction to self-medicate the needs of the soul, we are actually bringing a sacrifice of praise. As we lay down things we love, food, TV, social media etc, we are saying “God, I want to seek you first”.
Prayer Time -
Commit your heart to God afresh this year. Humble yourself before Him, meet with Him about the fast. Make a list of bold prayers of faith you want to specifically pray about while fasting.
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An altar is a raised area in a house of worship where people can honour God with offerings. It is prominent in the Bible as “God’s table;” a sacred place for sacrifices and gifts offered up to God.
The word altar comes from the Latin altārium, meaning “high,” and also the Latin adolere, which means “to ritually burn or sacrifice.” This points to its early purpose as
detailed in the Bible as the place to offer burnt sacrifices. For us today, the altar is a space in our lives, where we are choosing to sacrifice in order to praise and worship Him. This is the altar we are building during this time of fasting. This February, we encourage you to build an altar of praise and sacrifice before you see your breakthrough.
Read the lyrics in this song. Have a listen online and allow God to speak to you about the power of praising before your breakthrough. He desires that we love Him and not just His promises.
Praise Before my Breakthrough Katie & Bryan Torwalt
I know the tension of the now.I don’t always understand. I don’t always get to see.
When I’m holding up my hands. When I’m counting every breath. Lord, all I need to know is
You choose me. You choose me
I’ll praise before my breakthrough
‘Til my song becomes my triumph
I will sing because I trust You
I will bring my heart, I will lift my song
When I’m listening for Your voice. And I’m shutting out the noise. I know that You will speak
When I’m living out my faith. When I’m stepping on the sea. I know You take my hand and
Walk with me. Walk with me.
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Faith leaks on a daily basis. We cannot rely on the faith we had yesterday to carry us through today. We build our faith through the reading, believing and receiving of God’s word. Meditate on the above verse and ask God to increase your faith. What does it look like for you to take Jesus at his word?
Worship Time -
Find a quiet moment to worship God today. One song or ten songs it doesn’t matter. Still your heart and pray this prayer “Give me the faith to take you at your word”!
John 14:12-14 (NLT)
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!
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Think about the person you can talk to the easiest. The person who just gets you and when you chat it is on a heart level. Now think about Jesus. Think about your prayer life. It is easy for us to fall into a formal religious head space when we pray. Jesus desires a friendship with you and not a surface level friendship. He desires a close, authentic and vulnerable friendship with you.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Revelation 3:20
Be yourself with him in prayer. Have a real conversation about where you are at and remove the mask.
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a Godly Nation
As Spirit filled believers, it is upon us to stand in the gap for our nation. In a generation where the culture is to pass blame and respond in anger to the challenges our nation faces; let us have the righteous resolve to call down and loose the Kingdom of Heaven. Let us be the light of World in the Nation we are so blessed to call our home. Let us declare over Australia that this is the great South Land of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer Time -
Pray for the leaders of our country. Pray for our government. Pray that our land would be healed with rain in the physical and in supernatural.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
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What we build our lives on matters. In both of these examples, these men encounter great storms. The difference was the foundation. How deep is your foundation in Jesus? Are there any unstable surfaces you have built your life on? Are there any false structures you have built that you need to tear down? Is there something in your life you have placed greater faith and trust in than Jesus?
Reflection and Prayer -
Search your heart with God. Ask Him to identify areas of unstable foundations. Dig deeper and lay the foundation that will stand the test of any storm.
Luke 6:46-49 (ESV)
Build Your House on the Rock
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
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Hebrews 12:10-14 (NLT)
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way. So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Have you been on this journey a while? Does your heart need encouragement to strengthen your grip? We can often feel like letting go when things are weighing so heavy on our shoulders. Do not give up! Do not doubt! You are seven days into the fast and God is right there with you. May He strengthen you as you strengthen your grip and determine to see the fast through as an act of faith!
Act of Encouragement -
Think of someone in your life that you want to encourage. Pray for them today! Plan something practical to bless them this week.
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The amount of scripture and instruction that is focussed on the way we treat each other is astounding. Yet often we find our greatest challenges are around the relationships in our lives. At Eastcoast we desire to be a Church that is genuinely eager to strengthen and encourage each other and the community around us. We don’t want to just talk about the kindness of God, we want to be the kindness of God.
Romans 14:19 (TPT)
So then, make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships, eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another.
Prayer Time -
Where do you struggle to encourage and strengthen others? Pray that in your weakness God would be strong and that He will give you His heart for all people.
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As Christians, building community is our greatest gift and greatest challenge. Jesus’ desire and prayer for us as believers is the same community that He experiences with the Father and the Holy Spirit; ‘perfect Unity’.
Personal Reflection -
What has been holding you back when it comes to being
a part of a C-group, or building deeper relationships in Church? Confess your fears and past pain to Jesus and ask him to heal you. Plan to build authentic relationships this year.
John 17:21-22 (NLT)
I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.
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2019 will look completely different if you ‘live by faith’ ‘embrace God’s miracle power’ and ‘tap into his faithfulness’.
Spend time in a quiet place with God and ask for heaven’s perspective. Ask Him for eyes to see what He sees over your year.
Pray for Miracle Babies to be born in 2019.
Hebrews 11:8-11 (TPT)
Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith. He lived by faith as an immigrant in his promised land as though it belonged to someone else. He journeyed through the land living in tents with Isaac and Jacob who were persuaded that they were also co-heirs of the same promise. His eyes of faith were set on the city with unshakable foundations, whose architect and builder is God himself. Sarah’s faith embraced the miracle power to conceive even though she was barren and was past the age of childbearing, for the authority of her faith rested in the One who made the promise, and she tapped into his faithfulness.
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At the outset of a new year, we all desire a healthier version of ourselves. If we were to measure the health of a tree we always look to the fruit and the flower of the tree. The Bible will often compare our spiritual health and growth to fruit in our lives. The above promise is not a result of our own human effort, but a result of His Spirit living in us.
Worship Time -
Make space to worship & pray for the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Ask for more of Him and more of the fruit that He produces in your life.
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP)
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
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James 1:5-8 (TPT)
And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and he will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with his generous grace. Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. When you are half-hearted and wavering it leaves you unstable. Can you really expect to receive anything from the Lord when you’re in that condition?
Can you relate to the above scripture? Are you up one minute and tossed down the next? God wants to meet you with His generous Grace and fill you with His heavenly wisdom.
Heart Search -
Character is who we consistently are when no one is looking. Where can you grow in consistency or character this year? Do you feel you can be yourself around others? If you desire more wisdom this year, ask God to fill you with heavenly wisdom and the confident faith that you will receive what you asked for.
“It’s not what you do occasionally that inspires others, it’s what you do consistently”
– Craig Groeschel
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a culture of love
1 Corinthians 13:2 (TPT)
And if I were to have the gift of prophecy with a profound understanding of God’s hidden secrets, and if I possessed unending supernatural knowledge, and if I had the greatest gift of faith that could move mountains, but have never learned to love, then I am nothing.
Pray that God would help you bring His culture of Love into all areas of your life. Loving when it’s not easy or natural is what sets us apart as Christians. The way we love each other will show the world that Jesus is real! That is how powerful a culture of Love is!!!
God is Love! When we focus on our own journey with Jesus we can become very focused on gifts. This scripture says it very straight; all of those things are great and life giving, but if our foundation and culture is not one of Love, are we really building the Church God has called us to?
In our Church/family/friends/work, may we aim to build a culture of Love. The enemy subtly tempts us and draws us in to gossip and complaining in all our relationships and contexts. These behaviours can feel good in the moment, but the consequences always tear down and destroy. Whereas Love always builds.
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to God's standards
1 Corinthians 3:8-15
Now, the one who plants and the one who waters are equally important and on the same team, but each will be rewarded for his own work. We are coworkers with God and you are God’s cultivated garden, the house he is building. God has given me unique gifts as a skilled master builder who lays a good foundation. Afterward another craftsman comes and builds on it. So builders beware! Let every builder do his work carefully, according to God’s standards. For no one is empowered to lay an alternative foundation other than the good foundation that exists, which is Jesus Christ!
The quality of materials used by anyone building on this foundation will soon be made apparent, whether it has been built with gold, silver, and costly stones, or wood, hay, and straw. Their work will soon become evident, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by blazing fire! And the fire will test and prove the workmanship of each builder. If his work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded. If his work is consumed by the fire, he will suffer great loss. Yet he himself will barely escape destruction, like one being rescued out of a burning house.
In Australia we are blessed to have high building standards. This gives us confidence and safety in our daily lives. This is not the case all over the world. There are many countries that do not have the same standards. This might seem cheaper and easier in the short term but can have fatal consequences. When it comes to the standards that we build our lives on, Paul is saying we should be careful to build by God’s standards not the world’s. How and what we build in our lives matters and has an eternal impact. It is actually very easy to get caught up in the world’s standards of success and building. However, as Christians, Christ is our only foundation. There is no alternative.
Heart Search -
You are more than half way through the fast and you may feel like giving up! Don’t give up! Lean in! May you clearly hear God’s voice and be blessed. Is there anything that needs to go on the fire and be burned up by the Holy Spirit? Are there any standards God is calling you to line up with His higher calling for your life?
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Breathe in and rest in Him. Jesus wants to give you His peace; not the peace that the world offers. It’s not about performance or striving. It’s about resting in who He is and who He has created you to be.
Spend time in worship. Take a walk outside. Find a quiet moment today to breathe in His Holy Spirit’s peace and rest.
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
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Let’s build a table together where we consistently gather around and share in communion. If Jesus asked us to do it regularly then there is a great significance for us as believers to discover together.
Redemption by His Blood!
Do not underestimate the power of His blood. We don’t just recall his death and resurrection, but we also receive His forgiveness, redemption, salvation, healing and freedom at the table.
– May you be healed and set free as you take communion, and remember all that has been paid for by His blood.
– May you stand in the gap by faith for those who are in great need of a healing touch.
Ephesians 1:7 (TPT)
Since we are now joined to Christ, we have been given the treasures of redemption by his blood—the total cancellation of our sins—all because of the cascading richesof his grace.
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There is a great call on all of our lives as followers of Jesus – to be disciples who make disciples. Building people takes time and patience. Sometimes just like a real building site, you
can feel like the budget (or your investment) far outweighs the outcome. For God, there is no greater treasure than people. Kingdom perspective would say whatever you invest into people is never wasted. We can fill our lives with lots of busy work, but let’s not be too busy to help people get closer to Jesus. In the end the only thing we take with us into Eternity are the precious people who have received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
May you have great opportunities to share the gospel this year and lead people to Jesus.
Matthew 28:19-20 (TPT)
Now go in my authority and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.”
Reach One -
Jesus told a story of a shepherd who left 99 sheep in pursuit of the one who walked away. He did not stop until He found that one sheep. He is pursuing those who are away from Him in the same way. Continue to pray for a friend or family member who doesn’t know Jesus. May their hearts be soft toward Him.
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1 Peter 2:2-3 (TPT)
So abandon every form of evil, deceit, hypocrisy, feelings of jealousy and slander. In the same way that nursing infants cry for milk, you must intensely crave the pure spiritual milk of God’s Word. For this “milk” will cause you to grow into maturity, fully nourished and strong for life— especially now that you have had a taste of the goodness of the Lord Jehovah and have experienced his kindness.
During this fast you would have been feeling the natural hunger. These hunger cravings can be very strong. This scripture is encouraging us to crave the word of God, because the word of God will cause us to grow into maturity. It can be hard for us to see where we need to mature, and even harder for those who love us to tell us where we need to mature. Let the word of God speak to you and transform you from
the inside out. Plan to spend more time in the Word of God this year. Remember, it’s not about rushing through a bible plan, but allowing God speak to you through His word.
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on the living stone
1 Peter 2:4-10 (TPT)
So keep coming to him who is the Living Stone —though he was rejected and discarded by men but chosen by God and is priceless in God’s sight. 5Come and be his “living stones” who are continually being assembled into a sanctuary for God. For now you serve as holy priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices that he readily accepts through Jesus Christ. 6For it says in Scripture:
Look! I lay a cornerstone in Zion,
a chosen and priceless stone!
And whoever believes in him
will certainly not be disappointed.
7 As believers you know his great worth—indeed, his preciousness is imparted to you. But for those who do not believe: The stone that the builders rejected and discarded has now become the cornerstone
8And A stone that makes them stumble and a rock to trip over.They keep stumbling over the message because they refuse to believe it. And this they were destined to do. 9But you are God’s chosen treasure—priests who are kings, a spiritual “nation” set apart as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world. 10For at one time you were not God’s people, but now you are. At one time you knew nothing of God’s mercy, because you hadn’t received it yet, but now you are drenched with it!
In building terms, the cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. This is of vital importance since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.
We return to the truth that there is no other foundation that Jesus; and He is the first living stone set to build the Kingdom of God, which is the Church. You may need to read the above scripture a few times to take
it all in. We are also called living stones being fit together to build His Church. Do you get the picture of how closely we are placed together? This speaks to me of community. A stone on its own is not a building, but as stones are placed together side by side you start to see something so much greater come together; a place of purpose.
May you have a greater revelation of His Church, and that you have been set apart: “He called you out of darkness to experience his marvellous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would broadcast his glorious wonders throughout the world.”
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in spite of opposition
When we are building for God, the enemy will try to destroy what God is building through us. However, we need not fear his attacks. Nehemiah responded to the call of God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and came under direct and persistent opposition. He was continually threatened and mocked. However, Nehemiah and the faithful Jews rebuilding the wall didn’t stop. They continued to build whilst being being ready for any attack from the enemy. Jesus told us not to fear because he had already overcome the world. He has given us everything we need to face any opposition. Our greatest weapon is the truth of God’s word. May you have this weapon at hand in your heart and mind as we continue to follow the call to build.
Nehemiah 4:17-18 (NLT)
The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon. All the builders had a sword belted to their side.
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Isaiah 54 (MSG)
“Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby.
Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth!
You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so!
“Clear lots of ground for your tents!
Make your tents large. Spread out! Think big!
Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep.
You’re going to need lots of elbow room for your growing family.
You’re going to take over whole nations; you’re going to resettle abandoned cities.
Don’t be afraid—you’re not going to be embarrassed.
Don’t hold back—you’re not going to come up short.
From the outset, God has been preparing us as a Church for increase. We have the physical room for increase, however, do you have the room in your heart for increase? Where can you clear ground in your heart and think bigger? Where can you make more room for people in your heart and life?
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2 Corinthians 5 (TPT)
Living by Faith
We are convinced that even if these bodies we live in are folded up at death like tents, we will still have a God-built home that no human hands have built, which will last forever in the heavenly realm. We inwardly sigh as we live in these physical “tents,” longing to put on a new body for our life in heaven, in the belief that once we put on our new “clothing” we won’t find ourselves “naked.” So, while living in this “tent,” we groan under its burden, not because we want to die but because we want these new bodies. We crave for all that is mortal to be swallowed up by eternal life. And this is no empty hope, for God himself is the one who has prepared us for this wonderful destiny. And to confirm this promise, he has given us the Holy Spirit, like an engagement ring, as a guarantee.
That’s why we’re always full of courage. Even while we’re at home in the body, we’re homesick to be with the Master— for we live by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. We live with a joyful confidence, yet at the same time we take delight in the thought of leaving our bodies behind to be at home with the Lord. So whether we live or die we make it our life’s passion to live our lives pleasing to him. For one day we will all be openly revealed before Christ on his throne so that each of us will be duly recompensed for our actions done in life, whether good or worthless.
As we finish our 21 days of focused prayer and fasting, may you find a deep sense of eternal hope in building your lives daily on the foundation that is Jesus. The foundation rock that can never be destroyed or taken away. We pray that you know how loved you are by God and that you are precious to Him. We pray that you would be blessed as you build God’s Kingdom with us. May you be full of that joyful confidence that can only come from Him.