Archive for Spiritual Disciplines

02-16-20 Kevin Goins - the Discipline of Fasting, Conclusion

“The Discipline of Fasting” (Conclusion) Matthew 6:16-18

For the past month we have been looking at how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus first emphasizes the negatives of fasting and then he focuses our attention on the positives of fasting:

I First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as whole persons.
II Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express repentance.
III Third, fasting provides a way to share in the sufferings of Christ.
IV Fourth, fasting helps our prayer.

V Fifth, fasting helps us overcome __________________.
A. Practicing the discipline needed to say “No” to our appetite for _______ gives us practice in saying “No” to __________ appetites.
B. If we cannot say “No” to our appetite for food, what makes us think we can say “No” to _______ other appetite?

VI Sixth, fasting helps us express our _____________.
____________ of the first _________ times fasting is mentioned in the Bible, it is an expression of grief for someone’s death.
What do we typically do when someone is grieving? We bring them ___________.

VII Seventh, fasting provides a way to respond to the ________ of others.
A. Since fasting is a blessing that comes from God, we can expect that it will benefit more than just _________________.
B. The early church practiced fasting in the light of __________ ____.

VIII Lastly, fasting provides a means to experience God in a ______ ______.
A. If our appetite for physical food, comfort, or pleasure is not under control, it will _______________ our spiritual appetite.
B. Occasional fasting from ___________ can enable us to hear _______ things from God.

02-09-20 The Discipline of Fasting, Part 3

“The Discipline of Fasting” (Pt. 3) Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus first emphasizes the negatives of fasting [see message on 1/19] and then he
focuses our attention on the positives of fasting:

I First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as whole persons.
II Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express repentance.
III Third, fasting provides a way to share in the sufferings of Christ.

IV Fourth, fasting helps our ______________.
A. This is why we emphasize fasting at the beginning of the New Year, because we need to pray for God’s d______________ and p_____________ for 2020.
B. How can fasting assist our prayers?

1. First, we need to talk about how it _____________ help our prayers: It cannot help our prayers by _____________ God to answer us.
2. How then, does fasting help our prayers?

a. First, fasting _____________ us to pray.
b. Second, fasting removes ___________________.
c. Third, fasting shows us when our ___________ is really in our prayer.

C. What kind of prayer calls for fasting?
1. First we ought to fast when we pray for our _______________.
2. Second, we ought to fast when we pray for the ____________.

a. The Bible describes sickness as ________________.
b. By fasting we can pray for the sick, not as s______________, but as i______________.

3. Third, we ought to fast as we pray for ____________________.
4. Lastly, we ought to fast as we pray for the _______ of God to be done in this _______________.

02-02-20 Kevin Goins - The Discipline of Fasting, Part 2

“The Discipline of Fasting, Part 2” Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. In Matthew 6 Jesus emphasizes the positives of fasting, but he first begins with three potential negatives.

I The first negative of fasting is the NO evangelicals have typically said to fasting (6:16a).
II The second negative of fasting is the No Jesus says to the abuse of fasting (6:16).
III The third negative of fasting is the No our physical bodies sometimes say to fasting.

IV There are two clues in Matthew 6 that fasting is not a ____________, but something decidedly _____________.

A. First, Jesus says when you fast don’t look ___________ (6:16a).

B. Second, Jesus says the focus of our fasting is not ____________ (6:18).

V The rewards of fasting:

A. First, fasting allows us to reach up to God as _________ persons.

1. Fasting puts the body front and center in our relationship with God so that we are not just a _______ or ___________ worshiping God.

2. Not only this, but when worship ignores the body, it not only deprives the body, it _________ the ________ of our spirit.

B. Second, fasting gives us a concrete way to express _________________.

1. Repentance is a change of __________ which produces a change in the way we _________.

2. The practice of repentance went all the way back to God’s command to the people of Israel when they __________ became a __________.

3. The biblical pattern is that repentance and fasting go ________ in _________.

C. Third, fasting provides a way to share in the ____________ of Christ.

1. We cannot share in the __________________ of Christ unless we are first willing to share in his sufferings.

2. The great thing about fasting is that it gives us a simple way to _________ ourselves.

01-26-20 Kevin Goins - The Discipline of Fasting

“The Discipline of Fasting” Matthew 6:16-18

This January we are focusing on how we can grow in our relationship with God by using the spiritual discipline of fasting. Fasting has many advantages, but one advantage which is often overlooked is that this discipline can open our eyes to who we really are better than just about anything else we can do. In our text today Jesus emphasizes the positives of fasting, but he first begins with three potential negatives.

I The first negative of fasting is the NO A__________ e_____________ have said to fasting (6:16a).

A. One reason evangelicals have said no to fasting is because our culture has led us to the unbiblical view that the __________ is the enemy of the ___________.

B. But there are other reasons why we American evangelicals have a bias against fasting:

1. First, we associate fasting with what __________ _____________ do.

2. Second, we see it as a __________.

3. Third, fasting contradicts our _______________ mind-set.

II The second negative of fasting is the No __________ says to the ___________ of fasting (6:16).

A. The Pharisees took fasting, which was given by God, and used it as a way to _______________ themselves.

B. Jesus says people who fast to get noticed will be noticed, but that is all the _______________ they will get.

C. And we not only see this abuse of fasting in the Pharisees, we also see it throughout ___________ ___________.

III The third negative of fasting is the No our ___________ __________ sometimes say to fasting.

A. There are times when fasting is not advised, such as fasting during an _______________.

B. Some ____________ conditions make fasting dangerous.

11-10-19 Paul Gieschen - Living Water vs. Broken Cisterns

Truths from Jeremiah, Chapter 2
“Living Water vs. Broken Cisterns”
Chapter one of Jeremiah describes his call as an individual to serve the Lord.  Then, in chapter 2, we see a clear call to repentance of a people, the people of Israel.   It is a touching chapter of God’s love, and the consequences of the self-centeredness of a people.  It is also a profound check list of warnings that we must take to heart as individuals, as the church, and as a nation.

In verses 1-3, God is talking about our first l_____ .

Verses 5-8 tells us they became s_________ and found f____ with God.

The crux of the whole chapter and even most of the book of Jeremiah, is in verse 13. “My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of l , and have dug their own c_________, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

God, as the H_______ S__________, is the Living Water.

Sins, decisions to do what we want in the way we want instead of God’s way, are like a h__________ that breaks the cistern.

Hosea 9:10b says we become v________ as the things we love. I______ are the things we love more than God. What is it that we l_________ ?

With relatively few exceptions, problems and their consequences are o____ f_________ .

Here is a check list for how well we are doing in keeping our cisterns full and flowing with the living water.

1. Are you still in awe of God?
2. Are you still fully yoked with Jesus?
3. Are you honest with God or making excuses for your actions?
4. Are you forgetting or ignoring the lessons God has taught through past punishments or consequences?
5. Do you feel free to roam, to dabble, to sample the world’s offerings?

What is your choice today?

03-17-19 Kevin Goins - Attitude of Prayer pt 2

03-10-19 Kevin Goins - The Attitude of Prayer

“The Attitude of Prayer”   Luke 18:9-14

We have talked about the “How” of prayer and the “Wow” of prayer, but there is something that is often overlooked and that is the attitude we bring to our prayer. Jesus tells a parable in Luke chapter eighteen which shows us the kind of attitude we need to have when we pray.

I Luke chapter 18 is about __________ and it begins with two parables.

A. The first parable is about how d___________ we should be when we pray. The second parable is about the a___________ we should have when we pray.

B. The parable is composed of _____ parts:

1. We hear a p________ r___________ man talk to God.
2. We hear a tax-collector talk to God in a very d__________ way.
3. We hear Jesus, who knows more about God than anyone, tell us w________ prayer makes it to the throne of God.

II The usual approach to this parable is to do a h_________ job on the Pharisee and his prayer.

A. The crowd who first heard this parable did not have a b______ against the Pharisees like we do.

B. In Jesus’ day there were _______ major religious groups in Judaism:

1. First, there were the E___________.
2. Second, there were the S___________.
3. Third, there were the P_____________.

C. The Pharisees were respected by the people, so when Jesus mentions the Pharisee the crowd would assume he is the _______ example.

III To hear this parable the way the first audience heard it, we must see the Pharisees as they did, as h_________. But then Jesus shocks us by showing us _______ problems this Pharisee had in his relationship with God:

A. First, the Pharisee had a problem with c____________ - his confidence was in __________ (18:11a).

B. Second, the Pharisee had a problem with _____________ - he was _____ of it (18:11b).

C. Third, the Pharisee had a problem with ___________ - there wasn’t _______ in his life (18:12).

03-03-19 Kevin Goins - The Desire to Pray, conclusion

“The Desire to Pray” (conclusion)
Matthew 6:5-13

It takes more to pray than simply knowing how to do it. Something else is required and what is required is desire. Why should we desire to pray? Our text tells us. We should love to pray:
I ... because prayer grows our relationship with God (6:5-6).
II ...because it’s is the most natural thing we can do (6:7-8).
III ... because prayer reminds us of our true significance (6:9)
IV ... because prayer puts us in touch with the power than can bring
honor to God’s name (6:9b).
V ... because prayer advances God’s Kingdom (6:10a).
VI ... because real prayer has a terrific safety mechanism (6:10b).

VII We should love to pray because prayer puts us in touch with the one who can meet all our p__________ needs (6:11).
We don’t think in terms of daily needs because we are so wealthy we do not have to live from _____ to _____.
B. Jesus emphasized “daily bread” because he got his
understanding of prayer from the _____ __________.
1. First, there is the teaching of P_________ ____.
Second, there is the teaching of E__________ ___.
C. Money ____ provide security and money ____ buy
happiness and that is the p___________.

VIII We should love to pray because prayer puts us in touch with the one who can meet all our r_______________ needs (6:12).
Before Adam sinned, Eve was his wife, but after he sinned, she
became “t_____ w_________.”
B. Sin doesn’t just separate us from ______, it hurts _____ our
relationships.

IX We should love to pray because prayer puts us in touch with the one who can meet all our s____________ needs (6:13).
A. This request is not about temptation, it’s about the ________ of temptation and how we can a________ that place.
B. Prayer brings us to the best place we can possible be when it comes to temptation, and that is in ________ _____________.

02-17-19 Kevin Goins - The Desire to Pray, part 3

“The Desire to Pray” (pt 3)
Matthew 6:5-13

It takes more to pray than simply knowing how to do it. Something else is required and what is required is desire. Why should we desire to pray? Our text tells us.

I First, we should love to pray because prayer rewards us with a growing relationship with God (6:5-6).
II Second, we should love to pray because prayer is the most natural thing we could ever do (6:7-8).
III Third, we should love to pray because when we pray we are reminded of our true significance (6:9)

IV Fourth, we should love to pray because prayer puts us in touch with the power than can bring ________ to God’s name (6:9b).

A., The Bible teaches that it is _____, not ________, who sees to it that his name is honored.

B. We can use prayer to ask God to _______ the way this world treats his _______.

V Fifth, we should love to pray because prayer can a_________ God’s Kingdom in this world (6:10a).

A. When God first created human beings, he was _______ over all life.

B. Then God called a special nation through whom he could once again establish his kingship on earth – that nation was ________.

C. Then God told the prophets he would establish his kingdom through a perfect King - _________ is that perfect King.

D. Jesus not only called us to p________ the Gospel of the Kingdom – he taught us to pray that the Kingdom would ________.

VI Sixth, we should love to pray because real prayer has a terrific s_________ m__________ (6:10b).

A., Can you imagine how horrible it would be to the human race if God ____________ every prayer we ever prayed?

B. Prayer ought to wow us because prayer doesn’t depend on ____ understanding of what is best – it depends on the _____ of ______.

01-13-19 Kevin Goins - Praying the Lord’s Prayer

“Praying the Lord’s Prayer”  Matthew 6:9-13

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he gave them the prayer we know as the Lord’s Prayer. Many people have committed this prayer to memory, but it also works well as a pattern or framework upon which we can build our own daily prayers. Each of the five petitions of the Lord’s Prayer gives us a piece of the structure which we can use to fashion an effective and powerful prayer

I The first part of the prayer structure is what we call w________ or a__________ (6:9).

II The second part of the prayer structure is s__________ or s___________ (6:10).

A. When we pray God’s will to be done in our life, we are surrendering our right to be the o____ who is in c__________.

B. But this request is not just about ____, it is about _____ people everywhere on earth.

III The third part of the prayer structure is p___________ (6:11).

IV The fourth part of the prayer structure is c______________(6:12).

. This petition makes our forgiveness by God depend on our w_____________ to forgive those who have _______ us.

B. This prayer is hard to pray because we so enjoy being _________ at those who wrong us.

V The fifth part of the prayer structure is the prayer for d______________ (6:13).

A. The best way for evil to hurt the progress of God’s Kingdom is to show that the work Jesus did on the cross is i______________.

B. E_______ is behind every sorrow and pain this world experiences, and so looking to Jesus to help us with t___________ will accomplish more than any political party ever could.


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