Daniel Fast Day 21

Day 21 | Daniel Fast Devotional

So here we are, the final day of our 21-day Daniel Fast Devotional! I pray that it has been meaningful and insightful. Thank you for being a part of what the Lord desires to do in and through The Rock! May His love and light be made evident through all of us in the Temecula Valley and beyond! 

Philippians 4:15-23 (NLT) As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this. 16 Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. 17 I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness. 18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. 20 Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. 21 Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings. 22 And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household. 23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

What a statement to be uttered by one of the most influential leaders of all times: “You Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help...” It is hard to fathom that Paul the Apostle, who wrote so much of the New Testament, had so few that would financially support him. Yet, when we talk about finances even in our day, people start to get uptight. I want you to take a deep breath before you read any further. OK...

I do find it interesting and very applicable that the very last day of our fast we address one of the most seemingly challenging areas of our Christian walk. I have always wondered why giving and serving seem to be the two areas that have the greatest resistance. We can talk about studying the Bible, prayer, loving your neighbor, etc., and nobody questions the motive of the speaker or gets upset. But talk about money and talk about serving, suddenly people get very defensive! Why?

Because both money and serving are two things you can’t fake. You can’t pretend to give or pretend to serve. Money addresses what you love the most and serving addresses what you value the most. You can tell people you pray, but no one really knows if you pray or not. You can tell people you read and study the Word, but no one will really know but you! With giving, people will know whether you are generous or not, whether you tithe or not. You can’t fake what you spend your money on, and obviously, anybody can see if you serve. Therefore, we get defensive because what we love and what we prioritize is clearly on display!

Jesus said: “You cannot serve God and Money...” Jesus also made it clear that His kingdom is built on service and serving. Greatness in His Kingdom can only come by serving others! This is where we become experts in making excuses. “I don’t tithe because I don’t make enough.” “I don’t tithe because it’s Old Testament...” “God knows my heart...” or “ I am too busy to serve.” “ I will pray so you can find people to help serve.” “I do my serving at home.” “When things slow down, I will help.” If you truly don’t want to do something, any excuse will suffice.

That’s why Paul tells the church in Philippi that their gift is like a sweet smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God! I want to please my Father even if it means that I have to sacrifice; being prayerful about how I spend my money or what I give my time and attention to. Giving and serving is not something I have to do; it is something I get to do. All we have, God gave us. Even the talents and skills we use to make money are a gift from our Father! The fact that God allows us to be alive should spur us on to use our time for His glory.

Throughout the Book of Philippians, joy is evident. Two other things are evident as well. People helped Paul. They served with him in preaching the good news. He mentions several of them, including Euodia and Syntyche, the two girls that were fighting; Clement and Epaphroditus, who served to the point of exhaustion and almost death. Throughout these last 21 days as we have read Philippians, we have seen that Paul writes about us having the same mind or attitude as Jesus. Jesus is our greatest example of serving. He took the lowest position and gave the greatest gift, His life, the ultimate sacrifice. 

If you truly want to experience God’s amazing, unending, overflowing joy, then generosity and service is not optional. You cannot grow your faith without becoming a giver and a server. Philippians 3:19 only applies to those who are willing to be generous like the Philippian church:  “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” 

When will you make Jesus Lord of your bank account? When will you make Jesus Lord of your calendar? The day you do, you will find He is more than able to multiply your seed and provide for all you need and more than able to redeem the time...What are you waiting for? 

  • Pray for a heart of generosity and service. Ask for forgiveness where you lacked generosity and made excuses for not serving.
  • Ask the Lord to help you be the answer to someone else’s prayer by responding to a need so that He might be glorified.
  • Pray for a spirit of generosity to be unleashed at The Rock and that we will be known for our generosity and service.
  • Prayer:  “Heavenly Father, I thank You for the privilege of serving You. Thank You for a generosity mindset. I believe that as I sow, I will reap a generous harvest that will result in thanksgiving. Lord, I want to use my resources and my time to build Your kingdom, reveal the right opportunities to me. Father, everything I have I received from You and can only give to You what is already Yours! Help me to faithfully manage all that passes through my hands. Let Your kingdom purposes be my primary concern. I trust You to establish my family in faith as I build Your House. Help my fellow believers. Give us a heart to serve, even when there is no temporary reward. Remind all of us that we serve You when we serve others. Jesus, help me to follow the example You set, both in giving and in serving! Remind me when I get tired and weary, that You give grace to the humble and strength to the weak. Lord, thank You that what You started in me You will finish! Let revival flood this city, this state, this nation and our world! All the glory, all the honor and all the praise belongs to You. I pray all of this in the Name above every other name, the Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!”

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