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Christian Union

Devotionals

For several years, Christian Union called on Christians to join us two times per year in seeking God through fasting. These sorts of fasting initiatives are now part of Christian Union Day & Night, but the devotionals that were written for those fasts have continued to strengthen and encourage believers, so we have made them available here.

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
- James  5:14-15

If the foundation of our faith is based upon the imitation of the Suffering and Triumphant Servant, Jesus Christ, and the tenor of the Scriptures is repeatedly one of grace in suffering for the people of God, what does seeking God look like in the midst of tremendous pain?

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“And the king said, ‘Hang him on that.’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated. “ - Esther 7:10

He was blindfolded; he couldn’t see anything.  But what he heard and felt terrified him. His head was spinning with what had overtaken him. The plan had seemed to come together better than he had ever dreamt.  He had planned things out meticulously. 

Please enjoy this devotional video, or stream/download an audio version below, or scroll down to continue reading.



https://soundcloud.com/christianunion/a-the-fall-of-evil-jim-black

Things had fallen into place beautifully.  Not only was King Xerxes going to exterminate his enemies—the Hebrews—but there was hope that one particular Jew would get his comeuppance.  The arrogant Jew, Mordecai, was going to see that he should have been more…respectful.  

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”  - Esther 4:16

She’d been in turmoil for days.  Her stomach was in knots.  Her family and friends were in despair…they were on the verge of genocide.  An evil man had desired the annihilation of all the Hebrew people; through political cunning, he had legislated a governmental policy of ethnic cleansing.  For the time being she was safe, but none of her dearest relations were. 

Their world was about to end.

Please enjoy this devotional video, or stream/download an audio version below, or scroll down to continue reading.



https://soundcloud.com/christianunion/a-courageous-fasting-jim-black

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:7

What is the result of the last post’s description of a lifestyle encompassed by expectant, petitionary prayer and thanksgiving?  A promise!  It is a “peace” that “guards” hearts and minds as they remain fixed on Jesus Christ.  Not only “a” peace, but His peace.  And not only His peace, but His peace which transcends all understanding!

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” - Philippians 4:6

Philippians 4:6 is one of the most well-known and certainly most quoted passages in Philippians.  And no wonder since in a modern day, anxiety-prone society we find God’s very real alternative to experiencing anxiety in just a few short verses.  While there is no doubt that these verses are applicable to our lives today, it appears that they were also applicable to the Philippians as well.

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

We live in a world where many view suffering as the primary indicator you are doing something wrong.  “You made a bad decision.” “You should have tried harder or prepared more."  Even when we view suffering through the lens of Christian faith, we hear similar reverberations.  “You don’t have enough faith.” “God must be judging you.”  While those are at times absolutely true, they can discredit the oft-neglected reason we suffer—for the good purposes of God.  Are we not called to persevere?  Are we not called to fight against the affliction of this present life?

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” -Colossians 3:1-4

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

It is possible to do all the right things in all the wrong ways. You may already know this, but it is something very easy to forget. It, therefore, ought to come as no surprise that we find warnings about this very thing throughout Scripture, especially in the Prophets. It is put perhaps most poignantly in the first chapter of Isaiah:

10            “Hear the word of the LORD,

                                    you rulers of Sodom!

                   Give ear to the teaching of our God,

                                    you people of Gomorrah!

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

As I was strolling in the Gastown section of Vancouver, British Columbia, I came across a storefront with a t-shirt on display that read: “I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.” I posted a photo on both Instagram and Facebook and received quite a number of likes. I deduced two conclusions from this: 1) many of my friends know what it’s like to be “hungry;” and 2) our appetites have a lot more control over us than we care to admit.

I’ll illustrate my point with a headline I read in The New York Times in mid-July: “Amazon, a Friendly Giant as Long as It’s Fed.” You could replace “Amazon” with “Kevin” and the statement would be no less accurate. Perhaps this is true for you, too.

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

Hebrews 10:32-11:3

The Word of God is full of paradoxical statements, such as: “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35); “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:35); “….whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to all. For even the Son of Man did come to be served, but to serve, and give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45). Many of the aforementioned teachings of Jesus are commonly referred to as paradoxical teachings. According to the Merriam Webster’s dictionary, a paradox is “something that is made up of two opposite things that seem impossible but is actually possible.” In other words, a paradox is a seemingly self-contradictory statement containing truth that joins two opposites.

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