God’s Plan and Purpose
By: Steve M. Woods
Have you ever stop to think that time itself was created by God? In the book of Genesis we read about the creation of time when God spoke it into existence with the universe. It was not until man sinned in the Garden of Eden did mankind become aware of his mortality and the eternal stopwatch started to countdown. Since the first man Adam we have been on a countdown like a stopwatch quickly moving to its completion.
Time is like two book markers with a beginning and an end which scientist call the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Basically this law states that everything created in the universe is in a process of decay. This is why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. God is not bound by time since he is eternal and has no beginning or end. Material things are not eternal like God and are bound in the realm of time. Everything we see that was created will eventually returns to dust just as the Bible shares in Ecclesiastes 3:20. Everything created in the universe will ultimately age, wears out, decay and die.
If time is winding down, and life is ageing and fading away, where are we on God’s countdown? Jesus disciples asked the same question in Matthew 24:3, ‘As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus shares many events and signs in Matthew 24 that will transpire letting us know where we are in the completion of time. These signs and events that will occur at the end of time are like road signs letting us know where we are in this journey limited by time.
Many Christians are unaware that these events and signs described in the Bible are taking place now and continue to increase in frequency and in intensity just as Jesus said would occur in the last days. Matthew 24:8 states. “All these are the beginning of birth pains.” As a women gets closer to having a baby the birth pains become more intense and frequent before the baby is born. Earthquakes, wars, hearsay/ false flags of wars, uncontrollable disease, civil unrest and violence, Christian persecution and beheadings, starvation and an increase in food prices, financial monetary collapse, wicked people demanding their rights, and the mocking of God, his creation and Biblical end time prophecy continues to increase just as Jesus said would take place before the eternal stopwatch ends. Just watch and listen to the daily news if you are not convinced that this is true. Have you checked God’s eternal watch lately? What time is it? Are you ready for the end of time? Like Jesus said, don’t let it catch you off guard like a thief breaking into your property at night. Now is the time to get your life in order. Be prepared, get ready, Jesus is coming soon.
By: Steve M. Woods
“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting.”
Read Isaiah 58
Many will gather at homes, nightclubs, city streets, and churches to bring in the New Year. Each in their own way. But one motivation most people have in common with a New Year celebration is that this is a time of reflection, commitment and renewal. This year we plan on bringing in the New Year with a small gathering of friends at my home for a time of worship, prayer and fellowship. During a time of prayer I was led by the Lord to participate in a “Daniel Fast” as a way to usher in the New Year. My challenge to my friends and family for this evening of worship is to see who will join me in the Daniel Fast.
The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast where you eliminate certain foods and drinks for the purpose of drawing closer to God and seeking his will. Fasting is spiritual warfare for breakthrough in prayer, guidance and direction, healing, and spiritual renewal. The Daniel Fast is a time of personal consecration as we seek God while expecting in anticipation for his best in our lives. Fasting demands sacrifice, repentance, commitment, intercession for yourself and others, and it will require an adjustment to your typical diet. Remember, fasting is not about food but about faith in God. Our faith is believing in God’s promises to answer your prayer according to his will. But before you participant in any kind of fast it is recommended that you get the advice of your Physician. Are you are ready to experience God’s best for youself, and your family and friends for 2014?
If you would like to participate in the Daniel Fast there are plenty of books and websites to help you get started. The Daniel Fast limits food options to only fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, quality oils, and water. There are amply of recipes for delicious foods to eat for the Daniel Fast. The following chart below provides categories of food included on the Daniel Fast, as well as foods that are restricted. Enjoy!
Foods to Eat on Daniel Fast
Fruits This category can include fresh, frozen, juiced, dried, or canned fruits. Fruits include but are not limited to bananas, blackberries, apples, apricots, cantaloupe, boysenberries, blueberries, figs, cherries, honeydew melon, raspberries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi, lemons, limes, pears, mangoes, oranges, papayas, peaches, nectarines, pineapples, raisins, plums, prunes, watermelon, strawberries, tangelos, and tangerines.
Vegetables This category can include fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned vegetables. Vegetables include but are not limited to broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cabbage, carrots, parsley, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, mustard greens, chili peppers, ginger root, rutabagas, corn, potatoes, eggplant, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, radishes, sprouts, scallions, spinach, squashes, tomatoes, watercress, turnips, yams, and zucchini. If you are not allergic to soy, veggie burgers are also an option.
Whole Grains This can include millet, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat pasta, barley, rice cakes, grits, whole wheat tortillas, and popcorn.
Legumes This category can include canned or dried legumes. Legumes include but are not limited to split peas, dried beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, cannellini beans, black eyed peas, black beans, white beans.
Nuts and Seeds This list includes cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame, and peanuts. You can also enjoy nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter.
Quality oils This includes olive, peanut, canola, grape seed, and sesame.
Beverages Limited to only water, including spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other foods Vinegar, tofu, seasonings, soy products, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to Avoid on Daniel Fast
Meat and animal products All meant and animal products including beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and fish, as well as others.
Dairy Products All milk, butter, cheese, cream, and eggs.
Sweeteners All sugar, honey, raw sugar, molasses, syrups, and cane juice.
Leavened bread Including Ezekiel Bread because it contains yeast and honey, and baked goods.
Refined and processed food Including artificial flavorings, white flour, white rice, food additives, chemicals, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
Deep fried foods Including but not limited to French fries, potato chips, and corn chips.
Solid fats All shortening, lard, margarine, and foods high in fat.
Beverages Including but not limited to tea, coffee, herbal teas, energy drinks, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.