Day 17, 21-days of Prayer & Fasting

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This is the text of today’s Facebook Live devotional from our Blue Island Worship Pastor, Alan Franklin:

While reading in Genesis a few days ago, I came across “The Descendants of Adam” in Genesis 5.  My first thought was, “this is gonna be boring.” But I read anyway. Verse 3: Adam became the father of Seth. Seth became the father of Enosh.  Enosh became the father of Kenan.  Kenan became the father of Mahalalel. Mahalalel became the father of Jared.  Jared became the father of Enoch. Enoch became the father of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters.  23) Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.  Methuselah became the father of Lamech. Lamech became the father of Noah…

Wait a minute! Stop reading! Right in the middle of this boredom, the writer thought it was worth noticing that Enoch lived in close fellowship with God.  Now this chapter just got juicy!  Enoch must have been different than his forefathers and his posterity. Have you ever been to a family reunion? Think about your parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents.  Some of us had parents and grandparents that loved the Lord. However, some of you,  you are the first person in your family to give your life to Christ. You’re different.   

It’s okay to be different. When I was a child, I didn’t want to be different. You want to blend in with the other kids. You want to wear what they’re wearing, do what they’re doing and say what they’re saying.  But I must admit, it felt good when a teacher would say “there’s something different about that Franklin boy”.  The Bible says that we are peculiar.

Then we read about Noah in Genesis 6. Gen. 6:5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing – all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I every made them.”  But Noah found favor with the Lord. (verse 9) This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God.

Let me ask you a question. If I asked your friends at work “who’s different”

Not only should we be different in the world? We should also be different in the church.  Have you ever visited a church where you were the only one to lift your hands in worship? Religious people will look at you in a weird way.  Or remember when you first came to Christ and you wanted everyone to know? You were on fire for God. Then you hung around “church people” and became “normal”.  In the book of Acts, Peter and John went to a 3:00 prayer meeting at the Temple. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the temple gate (called Beautiful), so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.  Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money (something Normal) But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!” Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up.

How many normal people saw the lame man and gave him a few coins and kept going. Perhaps thousands.  Peter & John were “different”. They possessed something that could change the entire destiny of a person.

Pastor Brent talked recently about being ALL IN this year. I’ve heard others this year at work and other places say “This year I’m ALL IN. We admire people that can lose the weight, be disciplined with their finances, have an incredible prayer life. Why? Because it’s different than what we’re used to seeing.  And who wants Common anyway?  Common is divorce. Common is fear. Common is faithlessness. Common is , depression.  Normal is lying & cheating. Normal is also, “let’s go to this concert! or let’s go hear this guest speaker! There’s a packed house.  Different is “Let’s go to a prayer service) You may see under 20 people there.

Different is “I may be going through a rough season, but the Joy of the Lord is my strength.”

consider these verses in Matthew 5

Different is “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.”   (39)

“And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”(40)

But I say, love your enemies! (43)

Pray for those who persecute you! (44)

If you love only those who love you, what rewards is there for that?  Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else?  Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (46-48)

Jesus makes us Different. One of the most fascinating scriptures that I’ve been meditating on, for about a year now is Revelation 21:5 And he that sat upon the throne and said, Behold, I make all things new. Not better, but “NEW” “Different”

One Point:  Know whose you are. When you realize who your Father is, you know that you are a citizen of a different kingdom.  You know that this world is not your home.  When I went to Croatia last year, I had a great time.  I met some great people. The country was beautiful. The food was great. But… Croatia was not my home. As much as I enjoyed my time there, I knew I was not staying. It would be weird for me to meet with a realtor and talk about buying a home there…or for me to put in job applications over there. Why? Because I’m not planning to stay there.  Some of us live our lives as if this earth is our home. They way we spend our time, talents and treasure. We have to know who we belong to.

I just heard a true story of a guy who robbed a bank in Canada. He stole 6K. He had a gun, a 1918 semi-automatic Colt.  The gun itself, was worth 100K.  He don’t know what he had.

Knowing we have the power of God and knowing we belong to God. Power

I thought about some people who chose to be different:

Chris Rivera went through a long rigorous process to start a christian club at his high school.

Alexis prayed for her teacher because her countenance was different. She actually prayed prophetically. When the teacher saw Terrilyn, she said,  “I gotta tell you about your daughter. She changed my life”

Rodney Young refused to accept a job because it required him to travel (a couple hours car ride) to various places with another female worker.

Eric Williams served as bass player last Sunday. Then he went down and served the children after praise and worship. 

Have you ever heard of people that plan a get-away to spend alone time with God. No family, no work, no cell phone, no computer. Just you and God.

Cesar drove 8 hours to Kansas City, MO to spend time with God. Of course he could have stayed in Chicago. But he felt led to spend time with God.

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