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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Experience a Breakthrough


Image Credit:  Joshua Earle - Public Domain Image via Pixabay
The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled "Experience a Breakthrough."

You are invited to watch and listen to the entire sermon here.

Passages in Matthew 6 from the Sermon on the Mount
So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. - Matthew 6:2-4

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. - Matthew 6:5-6

Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. - Matthew 6:16-18
 What is a breakthrough?  A breakthrough is a sudden and significant advance.

What is the opposite of a breakthrough?  The opposite of a breakthrough is a sudden setback.

Don't be like everyone else.  Do the opposite of what the world, culture, and sometimes social media says to do.

Do what Jesus says to do:

when you give as in Matthew 6:2-4 above.

when you pray as in Matthew 6:5-6 above.

when you fast as in Matthew 6:16-18 above.  

We cannot be lazy disciples.  We must be disciplined.  Some areas of discipline include giving, praying, and fasting.

If you want God to do something new, you can't keep doing the same things you are doing now.

1.  Get serious about prayer. (Matthew 6:5-6 above)

Prayer is about drawing near to God:  Listening, talking, and drawing close to Him - like a conversation with your best friend.  


Prayer is the answer to every problem.
For if the bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? - 1 Corinthians 14:8

Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim. - 1 Chronicles 14:9
David asked God what he should do.

So they came up to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there; and David said, “God has broken through my enemies by my hand, like the breakthrough of waters.” Therefore they named that place Baal-perazim.- 1 Chronicles 14:11
David named the place "The Lord Broke Through."
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted. - Psalm 77:2
Here is a good way to enhance your prayer life using your hands as you pray.  Each of your fingers represents a different area of prayer.

For example:

Your left hand represents WHO to pray for.

Your thumb is the closest to your heart when your hands are in a prayer position.  Your thumb will remind you to pray for your family and friends.
For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously. - Colossians 1:9-11
Your index or pointer finger will remind you to pray for your leaders and teachers.

Your tallest finger will remind you to pray for your influencers (the "tall" and prominent in your life).

Your ring finger (your weakest finger) will remind you to pray for the weak - the elderly, sick, special needs, children, etc.)

Your smallest finger will remind you to pray for yourself.

Start your prayer focus on others.

Now, for the right hand.  Your right hand will remind you of WHAT to pray for. 

Your thumb will remind you to pray for your heart.  Pray for a right and clean heart.  Pray for your heart and the hearts of others.

Your index finger will remind you to pray about your priorities.  

Your tallest finger will remind you to pray for your own influences in the lives of others.  Pray about the example you are to others.  Someone is always watching.

Your ring finger will remind you to pray for your relationships with others.

Your smallest finger will remind you to pray for material blessings.

There are a few ways to enhance and improve your prayer life.  One way is the The 7 UP:  Spend the first 7 minutes of your day in prayer - every day.

 2.  Fasting shows God we are serious.  (Matthew 6:15-16 above)

Fasting is not as much about skipping meals as it is about seeking God.  Fast with the right motive.

Fasting is not about a public show.

Fasting has nothing to do with losing weight.  If your fasting is about your "bod" and not about "God," it is not right.

Every Bible character used by God made fasting a practice.

It is not comfortable to fast, but fasting allows us more time to pray.

There are several way or methods of fasting.

A Full Fast = only water for an extended period of time, sometimes 40 days.

The Daniel Fast = a 21 Day Fast

A Partial Fast = skipping one or two meals.

Soul Fast = no social media, etc., for example.

Fasting results in a breakthrough. Our focus changes.

Get ready to fight.  The devil will come against you.  The first sin had something to do with eating the wrong thing.  (Wow, I never thought about that until now.)

 

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