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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

Moses-Directs-IsraelitesAnd the Lord said to Moses, “Pass on before the people, taking with you some of the elders of Israel, and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb, and you shall strike the rock, and water shall come out of it, and the people will drink.” - Exodus 17:5-6

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

HeartsAs we continue our season of fasting together, I want to remind us of God’s purpose for us through fasting. Listen to Jesus’ words in Mark 7:15: “Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him. If anyone has an ear to hear, he should listen!” In verses 20-23, Jesus continues to explain this mystery to His disciples by saying: “…What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.
- Psalm 131  

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

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Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
Eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. – Psalm 127:1-2

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

ThinkstockPhotos-463116677Yesterday we looked at the three examples of patience that James uses to illustrate patience through suffering. Through these illustrations, we saw that patience is possible with the right perspective of who God is. The farmer waits expectantly for the rain, resting in God’s process. The prophets endured great suffering and humiliation, but did not seek to retaliate, looking to God as their defender and vindicator. And Job, an example of steadfastness through trial, had everything taken away, but remained true to God in His greatness. This is all well and good, you might be thinking, but how do I practically live this out when things get really hard? Let’s look carefully at the rest of the passage in James for our answer.

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

ThinkstockPhotos-76750278Back in 2013, the Red Sox and the Cardinals faced off in the World Series for the second time in 10 years. I remember being shocked to read that tickets to these final games at Fenway were selling for upwards of $1,700 a piece! A few hours before each game, however, the box office sold a limited number of tickets at just a fraction of the price. As you can imagine, die-hard fans were lined up around the Green Monster for hours, hoping for the possibility of buying a coveted World Series ticket at face value. What struck me about this article is that people are capable of incredible patience when it comes to receiving something of great value. These Red Sox fans were willing to bear the cold and miss work because the reward far exceeded the price. They were able to be patient because they had the right perspective.

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

ThinkstockPhotos-479441577Probably some of us, at one point or another, have tended toward one of two extreme attitudes toward confession.  The first extreme says: “Why should I confess?  My sin is paid for on the cross.  I’m forgiven.  I don’t need to be forgiven again!”  In other words, a reliance on the finished work [1]  of Jesus Christ actually becomes the basis for a belief that regular confession in the life of the Christian is not necessary.  Why is this wrong?  Well, it’s wrong because, simply put, we still sin:

 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”[1]

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

ThinkstockPhotos-124818220“For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” - I Corinthians 4:17

Modern academic communities place a great deal of emphasis upon cultivation of the mind—often at the expense of interest in cultivation of the heart and the accompanying character formation that an older generation of educators believed went hand-in-hand with growth in learning.

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

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Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” – Matthew 9:14-15

A Prayer and Fasting Devotional

KennedyInauguralOn January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy inspired the nation during his inaugural address when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” It was a rallying cry that provoked patriotism and public service in cities across America. The words spoken by JFK on that day can be echoed with a different focus today, that is, “Ask not what God can do for you but what you can do for God.”