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21-Day Fast: “Fasting for Cultural Revolution”

Join fellow Christians across America in a 21-day fast. As we fast, we will be praying that God will transform seven important sectors of our society for His glory: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Education, Family, Government, Media, and The Church. Let’s seek God for nothing less than a Great Awakening throughout our country.

 

A Good Student is Hard To Find

Sunday, August 19, 2018  -  Devotional for Day 7
Sector of Society We Are Fasting and Praying For: Education

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. … Remind them of these things, and charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:1-7; 14-15 (ESV)

In this classic passage on discipleship (especially vv. 1-2), what immediately catches the eye is the nature of a sincere follower of Christ (“faithful”) and the principle of multiplication (“entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also”). Regarding the latter, we may even find ourselves—if you’re old school like me—dusting off a rudimentary graphic of pencil-thin stick figures in pyramid-like formations; an image that captured the wonderful vision of a wise disciple-maker’s investment in a few good men, that in due time would reach a multitude.

This is all well and good, but lest we miss the forest for a handful of noteworthy trees, this passage actually centers on one of Paul’s primary themes: the vocation and activity of a serious disciple. In fact, the grizzled old apostle sews this particular thread throughout his entire epistle to Timothy. If you have a moment, reread the copied passage above and check out these additional portions in all four chapters of 2 Timothy (1:13; 2:23-26; 3:6-17; 4:1-5).

What did you see? Let’s compare observations:

  • “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth...”  A disciple is first a student who applies him or herself as she would for a final exam. Our mastery of the material matters, and the Word of God not only brings understanding, but it is our life, our spiritual sustenance.
  • “…the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil” Our skillful “handling” of God’s Word includes the manner in which we discuss issues and teach. This form of loving others is as compelling as our grasp of the material and ability to effectively teach.
  • “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” True disciples revere and submit to the Scriptures and are thereby qualified for ministry.
  • “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded…” Cultural trends are often insidious and corrosive. Jesus said we are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) and unafraid (Matthew 10:26-39).

At Harvard, everyone is bright and most are driven. To survive and thrive in this high-stakes environment, students must aim high and apply themselves. Shoddy work is unacceptable, shameful. Short cuts and cheating anathema and akin to betrayal. The coveted reward? Respect (reputation) and opportunities (e.g. a financially lucrative job).

In the Kingdom of God, the student of Jesus is endowed with wisdom and with spiritual “sight,” and we are able to comprehend that our lives are infused with meaning. To survive in the high stakes battle of ideas—warring, if you will, for people’s souls—we must apply ourselves in life’s classroom and master God’s Word. Laziness will sideline us, and there are no shortcuts to growing in our knowledge (relationship) with God. Our reward? Incalculable.

Please pray that students would hunger for truth and that their quest would lead them to God; that many will apply themselves wholeheartedly to applying their biblical prowess in the church and in academia.

Don Weiss
Ministry Director, Christian Union at Harvard

To get the full flavor of an herb, it must be pressed between the fingers, so it is the same with the Scriptures; the more familiar they become, the more they reveal their hidden treasures and yield their indescribable riches. — John Chrysostom, A.D. 347-407

 

Selected Resources to Explore for a Cultural Revolution in Business

ARTICLE (33 pages): “I Believe in Nature: An Exploration of Naturalism and the Biblical Worldview” by Kirsten Birkett
Birkett challenges the widely held belief that natural forces and laws are the only means by which human existence and the universe itself can be understood. Appealing to the Bible’s own response to such notions, Birkett shows the limitations of materialistic constructions and formulates an integrated framework of faith and science in its place.

BOOK (180 pages) The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers
Sayers observed that although we often succeed in teaching our pupil’s subjects, we fail in teaching them how to think - that they learn everything but the art of thinking. She recognized that a culture’s disinterest in learning had profound implications. In this short book (often combined with another short book, The Mind of the Maker) Sayers argues for a return to developing a “passionate intellect” in ourselves and our children.

BOOK (384 pages): Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach by Vern Poythress
This book attempts to kindle our appreciation for science as it ought to be - science that could serve as a path for praising God and serving fellow human beings. Through examining the wonderfully complex and immutable laws of nature, author Vern Poythress explains, we ought to recognize the wisdom, care, and beauty of God.

 

Join the Fast

21 Day Fast - Day 7: A Good Student is Hard to Find

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and...

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21 Day Fast - Day 5: Our Father’s Business: Human Flourishing

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2,116 People Fasting

Join with thousands of believers who have committed themselves to fasting for 21 days.

Why Fast?

Fasting was practiced in the Old Testament, New Testament and in church history to entreat God for Him to move in extraordinary ways. We need God in the U.S. now more than ever.

Moses fasted 40 days, Nehemiah fasted 120 days, and large numbers of Jews in Esther's time fasted for 70 days in their time of need.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says that when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, God intervenes in history to heal our land. In Psalm 35:13 King David humbled himself through fasting and many others in the Scriptures have done the same to gain favor from God. Moses fasted 40 days, Nehemiah fasted 120 days, and large numbers of Jews in Esther’s time fasted for 70 days in their time of need. Jesus fasted 40 days, Christians in the book of Acts fasted regularly, and believers for 2000 years have sought God through fasting and prayer. Thousands of American Christians humbling themselves through an extended fast will be very meaningful to God and will help move Him, according to His word, to bring change to the U.S.

How to Fast

The fast lasts for 21 days, beginning Monday, August 13th, 2018 through Sunday, September 2nd. As a signed-up participant, you will receive an email each morning of the fast, featuring a devotional on the theme “Fasting for Cultural Revolution” to encourage and motivate you as you fast.

You may choose to fast from foods for the entire 21 days—drinking only liquids—or you may choose to fast one or two meals each day. However God leads you, we are thrilled to have you be a part.

Don't be afraid to take on this biblical challenge to draw closer to God and see Him exalt those who humble themselves through fasting.

If you don’t have a lot of experience fasting, this may be a challenging endeavor to face. Christians throughout the centuries have sought God through fasting and have found Him in wonderful ways as a result. Don’t be afraid to take on this biblical challenge to draw closer to God and see Him exalt those who humble themselves through fasting.

Fasting Resources

Fasting helps the Christian draw close to God, although American Christians are often unfamiliar with the practice. For more information check out this FAQ for Fasting and this curated list of resources.

God's Next Move in America

America’s Christian heritage is among the greatest of all the nations in the world. God’s Kingdom has thrived here through the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, largely due to nationwide moves of God’s Spirit. We need another history-making move of God. By His sovereign grace, God ensures that we play a part in Heaven’s work. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must ask, seek, and knock for an outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13).

“Whenever God is about to do something truly great,
He first sets His people praying!” Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God." William Carey, 1751-1834

Join Others in Prayer for Revival in America

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Upcoming Events

  • Video Prayer Call for the 21 Day Fast, Sunday, August 19 at 9:00 PM ET.
  • Video Prayer Call for the 21 Day Fast, Sunday, August 26 at 9:00 PM ET.
  • Video Prayer Call to conclude the 21 Day Fast, Sunday, September 2 at 9:00 PM ET.
  • The Great Experiment is coming back! October 2018. Details to be announced.

God's Next Move in America

America’s Christian heritage is among the greatest of all the nations in the world. God’s Kingdom has thrived here through the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, largely due to nationwide moves of God’s Spirit. We need another history-making move of God. By His sovereign grace, God ensures that we play a part in Heaven’s work. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must ask, seek, and knock for an outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13).

“Whenever God is about to do something truly great,
He first sets His people praying!” Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

Over the last three centuries, revivals have had a great impact. Between 1730 and 1830 successive movements of the Holy Spirit brought a large proportion of the population into the churches. These awakenings are not ultimately the result of marketing or organization. They come, by God’s grace and in his time, in response to extraordinary prayer. Christian Union Day and Night is making a serious attempt to spark this kind of prayer and devotion. I welcome it, and I’m very encouraged by it.

  • Tim Keller
  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • New York City