Fast Forward

 But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”…Matthew 6:33

As we approach the Easter season- a time filled with unique spiritual opportunity, as many in our community consider the Person and work of Jesus- we want to challenge you to seize this opportunity to fast forward in your life and faith, to fast from several items (even good things!) for the purpose of moving forward in both the righteousness and Kingdom of God. 

It is our hope and prayer that as you implement the ideas outlined below, God will use these challenging experiences to both draw you closer to Himself (i.e. seek His righteousness) and impact others with the Good News of Jesus (i.e. advance His Kingdom).  We challenge you to take on at least one of these concepts each week between now and Easter.  Feel free to add more ideas of your own that you feel would be beneficial to you in your personal journey of faith, and to others in your circles of influence.  Allow God to lead and direct you as He desires in this season.  The most important thing you can do is listen to Him as He speaks, and follow Him forward in obedience when He does. 

All that to say, here are some thoughts on fasting forward in this season…

        Fast from…a meal

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in Psalm 42 and by asking Him to make you more satisfied and delighted in Him than you are in physical food and drink

        to advance His Kingdom…by inviting someone who doesn’t know Jesus to go to lunch with you, and taking that opportunity to share with them the hope you have in Him

        Fast from…a TV show that you enjoy watching

        to seek His righteousness…by focusing your attention on God’s Word in Philippians 4:4-9 and by asking Him to reveal to you how your entertainment choices impact your thoughts, attitudes, and actions

        to advance His Kingdom…by taking the time that you would normally watch that show to spend intentional time with your spouse, and by deciding together to pray for and intentionally encourage a couple who you know is going through a difficult time in their marriage

        Fast from…a sporting event that you enjoy watching (March Madness, anyone?)

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in Colossians 3:1-4, 15-17 and by asking Him to set your hope in His triumphant death and resurrection rather than in your favorite team’s latest victory

        to advance His Kingdom…by taking the time that you would normally watch that event to spend intentional time with your kids, and by setting up a play date with a family that doesn’t know Jesus

        Fast from…reading your favorite book, magazine, etc

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in Ephesians 2 and by asking Him to make you more compelled by the grand story of the Gospel than your favorite earthly stories

        to advance His Kingdom…by writing down your own story of salvation and transformation, and by taking the opportunity to share it with someone who doesn’t know Jesus (note- we will provide you with a tool to help you do this during our upcoming Storylinesseries)

        Fast from…an unnecessary purchase (e.g. clothing, household item, entertainment item)

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 and by asking Him to reveal to you those areas in your life where you find your identity and security in possessions rather than Him

        to advance His Kingdom…by taking the money you would spend on that item and using it to meet a tangible need (i.e. clothing) in someone else’s life

        Fast from…using Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in 1 John 4:7-21 and by asking Him to enable you to love others selflessly and sacrificially, just as He has loved you in Jesus

        to advance His Kingdom…by taking a (primarily) online relationship with someone who doesn’t know Jesus to a deeper level by inviting them to have a face to face conversation over coffee, ice cream, etc (your choice!)

        Fast from…listening to music

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in Psalm 150 and asking Him to give you a constant spirit of worship, and by revealing to you how you can worship Him in everyday ways

        to advance His Kingdom…by purchasing a Christian music album (you choose the artist!) on iTunes for a friend who doesn’t know Jesus

        Fast from…eating out as a couple or family

        to seek His righteousness…by nourishing yourself on God’s Word in Isaiah 58 and by asking Him to give you a heart of “true fasting” toward the poor, oppressed, and forgotten, as is described in this passage

        to advance His Kingdom…by taking the money you would normally spend on that meal, movie, etc and sending a less fortunate couple or family out for an evening (note- offer to keep their kids too, if they have that need)

We pray these ideas will provide you with some helpful “food for thought” (no pun intended J) as you consider how to best “seek first” God and His Kingdom in this Easter season and beyond.  We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us individually and collectively as we seek Him in faith and obedience!

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