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James Merritt - What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?

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    James Merritt - What Does the Bible Say About Fasting?
TOPICS: Fasting

Today I'm gonna talk about a topic that all the years growing up in church, I never heard addressed one time, never heard it in a sermon, never heard it in a sentence, mom and dad never talked about it, never thought about it. And I frankly kind of understand why, because of all the things that I could preach on today, to be honest, I'm pretty sure this topic's not gonna get you outta your seats excited. I'm just gonna be very, very honest. I don't believe I'd even get one hallelujah or praise God today in the most charismatic Pentecostal church in America. As a matter of fact, my prayer when I got up this morning was that some of you wouldn't pull out your phone, start playing Sudoku while I'm preaching, because I'm gonna be very honest, it's just not that kind of a topic. And yet, here's the strange thing, when you see how often this topic is mentioned in Scripture, you know two things.

Number one, it's very important to God, and therefore, it oughta be very important to us. I'm gonna give you just one example. We believe that baptism is very important in our church. We believe it's very important that people obey Christ in baptism. You don't have to be baptized in order to be a Christian, but you do need to be baptized to be the Christian that God wants you to be. It's very, very important. It's the way you profess your faith in Jesus Christ. And it doesn't matter how you view baptism. Most Christians and most churches would not deny that baptism is a very, very important part of being a Christian. It's not important to becoming a Christian. It is important to being one.

And you say, well, okay, I get that. I understand and we talk about it all the time. We talk about it every single Sunday. And the greatest joy of my life is when I see people baptized and I see people's lives that were changed by the gospel. And yet, here's a very interesting thing. Baptism is mentioned in the Bible 75 times. Fasting is mentioned 77 times. So as important as we think baptism is, and I do, fasting is mentioned even more times than baptism. And if we're just gonna be honest today, it's a spiritual practice that we don't know very much about and we don't really practice it very much. I mean, look, let's just tell the truth. We know a lot more about feasting than we do about fasting. Everybody agree with that? I mean, you think about the holiday that we just celebrated. I mean, and look, I get it. If you gimme a choice between feasting or fasting, I'll choose feasting.

But even though feasting may be physically fun, fasting can be spiritually fulfilling, and fasting can deepen your relationship with God. So I went back and I thought about how fasting's kind of been really, though we don't talk about it much, it's been a very important practice in many religious traditions throughout all of history. You may know that Muslims, they have a month, they dedicate one month every year called Ramadan, and from sun up to sundown, I mean, as long as there's sunlight anywhere, they don't eat any food whatsoever. Hindus take certain days and seasons, they fast. The Jews fast on days like Yom Kippur and Purim. The Christian tradition is a history of fasting.

In the Catholic church, I didn't know this, I thought it was kind of a passe thing, but in the Catholic church, it is still Roman law. Now, not a lot of Catholics don't do it anymore, but it is still Roman law. If you're an adult, you should not eat meat on Friday 'cause you're commemorating the death, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus. The 40 days of Lent are considered a good time to fast. In the modern day Protestant church, there are all kind of fasting trends going on. There are a lot of churches that do the Daniel fast, we did the Daniel fast last year, where all you eat is fruits and vegetables. There's the 21-day breakthrough fast. There's all kinds of fasting. But let's put all of that aside. Why is fasting a big deal? Why shouldn't we even talk about it? Why should we practice it? Why should we even think about it? Because what I want you to see today is fasting comes directly from the heart of Jesus.

If you brought a copy of God's Word today, I want you to turn to the gospel of Matthew. It's the very first book in the New Testament. We're in Matthew chapter six. Jesus is preaching the greatest sermon ever preached, the Sermon on the Mount. And in the sixth chapter of Matthew, Jesus talks about three things that we all ought to do the right way and for the right reason. For example, first of all, He talks about giving. He says this in Matthew 6. "When you give to the needy, don't announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full".

Now, we just left a season where the big deal is giving. Christmas is all about giving, not getting, giving. You got gifts, but you gave gifts. And we talk more about giving, you'll talk more about giving in the month of December than you will the other 11 months put together. We all would say, "Yeah, giving is a good idea". I agree. Well, then Jesus talks about praying. He said, "And when you pray," he says, "When you give," he's assuming you're gonna give, "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they've received the reward in full".

Now, if I were to ask you the question, do you pray? Most of you would say, "Well, yeah, I pray". Do you believe prayer is something we oughta do? Well yeah, I think it's something every Christian oughta do. In fact, anybody believes in God oughta pray. And you believe God hears prayer? Yeah, I believe God answers pray. Yes, I do. So when you give, we oughta give. When you pray, we oughta pray. But then Jesus says this. When you, say that word out loud, fast. "When you fast, do not look somber as hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full". If I were to say to you, do you believe we oughta give? I believe it'd be unanimous. If I said, do you believe we oughta pray? I believe everybody'd say, "Yep, we oughta pray".

Well, Jesus said fasting oughta be just as much a part of your life as a believer as giving and as praying. So today I'm going to call our church in this month called January to practice a fast. We're gonna fast. We're gonna do something different than we did last year. And I believe it can be very, very powerful. So what I wanted to do, I'm gonna do this real quick. I wanted to tell you two things we oughta do about fasting and one thing we should never do about fasting. So let's just talk about it for just a moment. Number one, we should undertake the practice of fasting. We should undertake the practice of fasting.

Now, I realize we're living in a day and an age where I'm already fighting an uphill battle, okay? I know that. I'll tell you why. Our culture is infatuated with food. We are saturated with food. I mean, look at the holiday we just celebrated. Has it ever occurred to you how much Christmas is built around food? Let me give you an example. Take any Christmas party you went to. There may not have been an exchange of gifts. You may not have sung Christmas carols. You may not have read the Bible story. You take any Christmas party you went to, I'll tell you one thing you did. What? You ate. There's gonna be food at every single party.

It may be a meal, it may be hors d'oeuvres, it may be snacks, but there's going to be food. Food is everywhere. Go to Instagram. You've got food photos. You've got food television channels. 24-hour a day cooking. Go to YouTube. There are channels, you can go to YouTube, where you can just watch people teach you how to cook and how to cook the kind of food that will give you a heart attack and we love that stuff. We just literally eat it up. We've got supermarkets today. Have you ever thought about this? We've got supermarkets in this country that have more food in one building than some countries had in the whole country 2,000 years ago. I mean, food is absolutely everywhere. In New York, there's an entire street called Restaurant Row in Hell's Kitchen. It's dedicated to one thing.

What do you think it's dedicated to? Food, eating. We've talked about certain cities in the USA. Where you going for vacation? I'm going to such and such. Oh, man, they got some of the best restaurants in the world. Well, it's just, we think about food all the time. And then Jesus comes along, party pooping Jesus comes along and says, "When you fast". He did not say, "If you fast". He said, "When you fast". So Jesus just assumed that 2,000 years since He's been gone, we would fast. So before we go any further, what do we mean by fasting? Well, the Hebrew word, you don't need to remember that, it means to close the mouth. The Greek word simply means, don't eat.

Now, a lot of people today, they love to kind of fast about from things other than food. So some people say, "Well, I'm gonna fast from social media". Some people say, "I'm gonna fast from watching television. I'm gonna fast from getting on my cell phone. I'm gonna fast from the internet. I'm gonna fast from my computer". Let me just make this very plain. That's a good thing. That's helpful. I think all of us oughta take a break from time to time from some of those things, if not all of those things. And I think they are good in and of themselves. However, let me be very plain, that is not the biblical concept of fasting. You can do all those fasts, but you're not fasting the way Jesus called us to fast.

Let me give you one definition of fasting that kind of pretty much covers all of it, okay? And I like this definition. Fasting in the biblical sense is choosing not to partake of food because your spiritual hunger is so deep, your determination and intercession is so intense, or your spiritual warfare is so demanding that you have temporarily set aside even fleshly needs to give yourself to prayer and meditation. Now, you'll notice something in that definition. Fasting is rarely ever practiced alone. As a matter of fact, anybody that knows anything about fasting, I'll give you a little quiz. Somebody can answer out loud. There's one thing in the Bible that always goes with fasting. What is that? Prayer. Prayer and fasting always go together. They are joined at the hip. Why is that? Because when you pray, you wanna talk to God. When you pray, you wanna know you're praying in a way that God hears you.

And fasting is an absolutely unbelievable, perfect tool for people that say, you know what? I wanna seek God at a deeper level. I wanna go deeper with God. I wanna go stronger with God. I really wanna get on God's channel. I want God on my wavelength and I wanna be on His wavelength. And fasting is a perfect tool to do that. If you don't still think it's a big deal, let's go back to Jesus. Jesus starts his ministry. He knows He's only got three years. Three and done, three and done. At three years, He's gone. So He gets baptized by John the Baptist, and now the ministry, now the clock is running. What could He have done? You ever thought about all the things He could have done but He didn't do? He didn't throw a party. He didn't call a press conference. He didn't give a great speech before thousands of people. He didn't do a great miracle. He didn't form a parade.

Does anybody know how Jesus began His ministry? With a 40-day fast. Of all the things Jesus had to do, think about it, you only got three years, Lord. What do you do? You go off to a desert all by yourself and you pray and you fast. Now, think about this. What's He gonna spend the next three years of His life? What's the main thing he's gonna do for three years in His life? He's gonna disciple 12 men. He's gonna take 12 men and pour his life into 12 men and reproduce in Him in them so they can do what He wants them to do for three solid years. Well, before He chose those 12 men, what do you think Jesus did? Anybody can guess? Tell me what you think He did. He prayed and what? Fasted. Before He chose those 12 men, He fasted and He prayed.

Now, there are three kinds of fasts that you can undertake. Let me just give this to you very quickly, all right? The first is what we would call a total fast. Now, what is a total fast? That's where you give up all water and all food absolutely completely. You don't drink anything. You don't eat anything for a short period of time. Now, you see this occasionally in Scripture, but most of the time when you see it, they do it day after day after day after day, and they're supernaturally guided and supernaturally guarded. That's not something that anybody would do today for any extended period of time because if you did that, you'd kill yourself. You'd need medical intervention. But there is such a thing called the total fast. And if you undertake it, you do it for a short period of time.

Then there's what's called the normal fast. What is the normal fast? That's what most of us think of, that's what I'm thinking about when I talk about fasting. A normal fast is when you drink water, or you'll drink liquids, or maybe you'll drink fruit juices or something of that nature. But a normal fast is you just don't eat solid food. In other words, the energy that you would normally use to eat that burger, eat those fries, I better stop that. The energy you would normally use to eat solid food, you say, "No, I'm gonna take that same energy. I'm not gonna eat solid food. I'm going to pray and intercede and focus on God".

That's the normal fast. Then there's what we call the partial fast. What is a partial fast? Great example. The Daniel fast, we did that last year. The Daniel fast, that's a partial fast. You eat fruit and you eat vegetables and that's all you eat. But you still eat. There are churches that do that kind of fast. Well, we're not gonna do a total fast. I'm not even calling us to a partial fast. What I want us to do is a normal fast. I'm gonna give you the details on that for a moment. That leads to the second thing I wanna say about fasting. Not only should we undertake the practice of fasting, we see that, yeah, Jesus said, "When you fast". He expects us to fast. There's something wrong with believers who go all their lives and never fast. Not only to undertake the practice, but then we oughta understand the purpose of fasting.

What is the purpose? Why do we fast? Well, Jesus begins by saying something very interesting. He says, now, listen, when you fast, this is not something you do publicly. This is something you do privately. So He says this, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they're fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full". In other words, Jesus said, now look, if you're gonna fast, you're not trying to show off your spirituality. You're not trying to magnify your maturity. You're not trying to tell people what a great Christian you are. It's to be done privately. So He says this, "When you fast, put oil on your head, wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you're fasting". Because the purpose of fasting is not to call attention to yourself.

The purpose of fasting is to force you to turn your attention to God. Because here's the truth, this is so important for you to hear. Do not fast at all this month if you're doing it for the wrong reason. Here's a good example. Some of you say, "You know what? I've been needing to lose weight". Yeah, some of us do need to lose weight. That is not the purpose of fasting. If you're not gonna fast for the right reason, you may as well feast. Because the goal of fasting is to contemplate God and to concentrate on a spiritual matter. So to put it very simply, fasting forces focus on the Father. That's not a tongue twister. Fasting forces focus on the Father, because the purpose of fasting is always spiritual. It's not to lose weight. It's not to kick a sugar habit. It's not to make yourself feel better or to get healthier.

The purpose of fasting is very simple. It is a reminder to all of us that we need to always remember how dependent we are on God, how much we need God, how much we want God to work in our lives. Okay, so what happens? Let me just ask this, this is a real easy question. What happens when you fast? Somebody tell me, what happens? What happens? You get hungry, right? By the way, if you don't get hungry, you're not fasting. You get hungry. Well, normally when you get hungry, what do you do? You go eat, right? You go to the pantry, you go to the restaurant, you go pick up fast food or whatever. What do you do when you get hungry? You eat. Not when you're fasting. When you get hungry, you don't eat. You leave it alone. Why? Because it's kinda like tying a rubber band around your wrist. It's kinda like tying a ribbon around your finger. Because every time that hunger pain hits, you say, "Oh yeah, I'm hungry, but I'm not hungry to eat. I'm hungry to pray".

And oh, by the way, lemme just kinda warn you, if you'll join us in this fast, you will hear more about food and see more about food, you'll smell more food and you'll see more food that day than any other day of the week. It's amazing how that works out, I'm just letting you know. But it's God's way of reminding us, this is why you're fasting. Okay, so when do you fast? Well, almost all the time when you read the Word of God, fasting is born out of a burden. It's not that some people just say, "I just think it'd be a good thing to do to fast once a week. Or I think it'd be a good. Or you know what? I just think today I'm gonna go without food". It always comes with a burden. For example, maybe you're facing a great work that you need to start or you're facing a big job that you need to finish.

I'll give you a great biblical example. There's an entire book in the Old Testament called Nehemiah, and it's all written about a man named Nehemiah who lived in a foreign country. He was Jewish, but he lived in a foreign country because his people had been taken into captivity. And Nehemiah worked in the king's court. But Nehemiah, the word got back to Nehemiah that Jerusalem had been totally destroyed, the gates had been burned down, the walls had absolutely collapsed, and it broke his heart. And the Bible says in the book of Nehemiah that when Nehemiah realized that his beloved city of Jerusalem was in total ruins and the walls needed to be rebuilt and the gates needed to be put back together, he began to weep, he began to fast, and he began to pray, because at that moment, he didn't have any workers, he didn't have any money, he didn't have any resources. He didn't even know if he'd be allowed to leave and go back to his country to rebuild those walls.

And see, right now, it may be that you're, maybe you're where Nehemiah is. Maybe you're facing the challenge this year of rebuilding your marriage, or maybe you're facing the challenge of restoring a broken relationship. Maybe you need to repair a wall that you tore down, that it was your fault that it came down. And you know you're facing something you can't do in your own strength. You know you can't do it by yourself, because to be very honest, I'll tell you, when you fast, you fast in desperation. Someone as well said, "Desperate times call for desperate measures".

So I wanna make a statement here. And if this does not motivate you to fast, then you don't need to fast. If you don't believe our nation is in desperate times, if you don't believe our culture is in desperate times, if you don't believe the family is in desperate times, if you don't believe marriage is in desperate times, if you don't believe our educational systems are in desperate times, you just need to wake up and smell the coffee. Because we need a great awakening in America. We need a revival in the church. And fasting is a way of reminding ourselves and letting God know, God, we are desperate. We are desperate for you. But that leads to something we should not do with fasting. Yes, we ought to undertake the practice of fasting. And yes, we oughta understand the purpose of fasting.

Let me tell you something we should not do. We should not undervalue the power of fasting, because this is why I think a lot of people miss the boat. Because a lot of people say, "I just don't get it. I just don't understand. What if I don't fast? What am I really going to miss if I don't fast? I mean, what's really gonna be different about me if I don't"? Well, when people read this passage on fasting, they miss a word that Jesus actually uses twice in this passage. I want you to listen to it and see if you catch it. Jesus said, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do for they disfigure their faces to show others they're fasting. Truly I tell you, they've received their reward in full".

Jesus said, there are people gonna fast just to show off their spirituality. The lay people go, "Oh, what a great Christian you are. What a great follower of Jesus you are. How spiritually mature you are. Man, I wish I was just like you". That's what they're doing. They want you to applaud them. They want you to clap for them. But then He said, "So that it will not be obvious that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen, and your Father, who sees what it's done in secret, He will reward you". He used the word twice in that passage. Who picked it up? Anybody? He used the word reward twice in that passage. Here's the interesting thing, it's the same word, but it's not the same word. Jesus said, when you fast the right way for the right reason, with the right motive, you will get a reward. It's the same word in English. It's not the same word in Greek.

This is what's beautiful about Greek. It's two different words. When He talks about the reward for the hypocrite, the word reward that He used there literally means a reward that's immediate, a reward that's paid in full. Jesus said, look, if you're gonna fast and you're gonna tell everybody you're fasting 'cause you want everybody to think you're a great Christian, you want everybody to think about how spiritually wonderful and how spiritually mature you are. He said, that's all the rewards you're gonna get. If you're doing it just for the applause of people, for people to brag on you, that's all the reward you're going to get. That's not the word He uses the second time. He says, when you fast, but you don't make a big deal out of it, you don't trumpet it, you don't even try to make it look like you're fasting, you're doing it just between you and God. He said, there is a reward. And that word refers for dividends, like investing in a blue chip stock and you get the reward later. It's a word that means you get a reward later on.

You say, okay, wait a minute. So what are the rewards of fasting? Jesus said, "If you fast, I will reward you". He doesn't lie. He said, "There's something you'll get if you do fast, you will not get if you don't". So the question I would be asking if I were you is I'd say, okay, can you tell me what will I experience when I fast in special ways that I won't experience if I don't fast? So I thought about it and I went back to the Word of God. Let me tell you four things, four rewards, four things that will happen to you that will not happen if you don't fast. Four things will happen if you do. You might wanna write these down real quick. Fasting fortifies faith. Fasting fortifies faith. You know what fasting does? It forces you to forget food. It forces you to forget all the things of the world that the world's trying to give you. And it forces you, it brings your faith into focus and it focuses your faith on the Father.

So here's a good way to remember it. When you're fasting, you're reminded, the real source of my strength is not the food on my table. The real source of my strength is the Father that puts that food on my table. Can I get an amen to that? That's the real source of my strength. It's not the food, it's the God that gave me the food. It's not my bank account, it's the God that put the money in my bank account. It's not because I'm so healthy, it's the God that gave me my health. That is the source of my strength. Fasting fortifies faith. It gives a power boost to your faith. But let me tell you something else it does. Fasting intensifies prayer. It intensifies prayer. It's one thing to pray on a full belly, but it's one thing to pray on an empty stomach. It really is.

Look, I can't explain it. It's one thing to pray when you're hungry and you need to eat and you go eat. It's another thing to pray when you are hungry and you need to eat but you don't. There's just something about that that just, I mean, it just, it takes your prayer to another dimension because when you fast, God bends His ear even more. Because when you fast, here's what you're telling God when you fast. I mean business, I'm desperate, I'm praying for this, I'm praying for that, I'm fasting this, listen, God, I need you to rebuild my marriage. I need you to restore that relationship. I need you to bring that prodigal child back home. I need you to humble me. I need you to teach me to be dependent on you. I need you to teach me to quit gossiping and being bitter and being angry. God, I need you to do a work in my life because if you don't, I will never change.

And there's something that just bends God's ear to you when you say, "I mean business". Somebody put it this way. Fasting is a desperate measure for desperate times among those who know themselves desperate for God. I got a question for all of us beginning with me. Are you really desperate for God this year? I mean, really desperate? Not for money, not for a bigger bank account, not for a nicer job, not for a promotion, not for a new home somewhere else. I mean, are you really desperate for God? Desperate times call for desperate measures. And God knows that when you're fasting, you're fasting to Him and you're fasting for Him.

So what does fasting do? Well, number one, it fortifies faith. Number two, it intensifies prayer. Let me tell you something else fasting does. I've seen this in my own life. Fasting clarifies direction. It clarifies direction. If you're seeking the will of God right now, do you really want God to guide? You got a big decision you oughta make. Lemme tell you what you oughta do, you oughta fast. You oughta fast. Fasting is a way of clearing your mind. I'm just absolutely getting everything off the airway but just the one voice that you need to hear. I'll give you a great example. You go to the book of Acts and you read Acts chapter 13, and the early church at Antioch knew, we gotta get mission minded. The early church, they got a burden. They said, "You know what? We've been taking the gospel to the Jews. We need to take the gospel to the Gentiles. We gotta get out of the four walls of this country and four walls of our church. We've got to reach the world for Christ. We've got to do that".

Because they knew, we can't just go to the Jews anymore. We have got to go to Gentiles. But they also knew this, somebody's gotta lead the way. There's gotta be an anointed appointed people to go. And there were a lot of people in that church that could go. But here's what the church did. They prayed and they fasted. And who did they choose? Paul and Barnabas, the dynamic duo, the Batman and Robin of missions. And what happened? The church exploded. Christianity spread like wildfire. And today we've got missions all over the world. You know why? Because the church said, "We're not gonna do this our way. We're gonna do it God's way. We don't know what God's way is. We don't know who God's people are, but we're gonna pray and we're gonna fast and we're gonna believe God's gonna show us". And God came through.

There's something about prayer, there's something about fasting that clarifies direction. And then here's the last thing. Fasting purifies the heart. It purifies the heart. You see, when you fast, this is important. Listen to me real carefully. You're not just fasting for yourself, you're fasting for others. So lemme give you an example. Do you know anybody in this coming year, do you know anybody in your family, out of your family, next door, next state, next country, do you know anybody that needs Jesus? Anybody? Yeah, sure. Do you know anybody that's in bondage to sin? Who do you know right now that's captive to pornography, or alcohol, or bitterness, or racism, or jealousy, strife? I know a lot of people.

You know what Isaiah said about this kind of fasting? Isaiah said this, if we'd get it up there, "Is not this the kind of fasting I've chosen"? What kind of fast, Isaiah? "To loose the change of injustice, untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to break every single yoke". I wonder, how many of you are like me, would say, "I so want to see racial strife and division in this country come to an end. I so want that to happen". How many of you would say, "I wanna see families freed from sibling rivalry and bickering spouses and harmful division"? I wonder how many of you would say, "I wanna see our country free from political strife and anger".

I don't care whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, I just wanna see people get along and be civil. Now, here's my last question and you gotta answer it. You believe one of two things is true and there's no in between. You can't straddle the fence. Either God honors prayer and fasting, or He doesn't. Either God honors prayer and fasting, or He doesn't. I believe He does. I believe He's seen it. I believe you go to the Old Testament, you'll see time after time, after time, after time, after time, after time, after time that in the most desperate times, God came through when the people prayed and the people fasted. And I pray you'll join me this year, and let's believe God to do great things in our church, outside of our church, for our church, with our church, and through our church.

Would you pray with me right now? I'm praying and fasting also for people, more people to be saved than we've ever seen. Normally at this time, I lead us in a prayer and I'm gonna do something a little different. Been reading a book and I've been kind of convicted. Either you know Jesus or you don't. You can say you know Him, doesn't mean you know Him. Jesus said, "By their fruit, you will know them".

So here's the question I want you to ask yourself. If people looked at the fruit of my life, would they know I'm a Christian tree? If people looked at the fruit of my life, would they know I'm a Christian tree? Jesus Christ died on the cross. He was buried and three days later, He came back from the grave, and He did that so we could be saved. But to be saved, you have to do three things.

Number one, you gotta realize you are a sinner and need a savior. And I just wanna say to some of you today, if you've prayed some kind of a prayer, even with me, but you've never been really convicted of your sin, you didn't get saved. You need to realize you're a sinner. You need God. You'll never be good enough for God without Jesus, ever.

Number two, you gotta repent. You gotta turn away from your sin. You may have prayed a prayer years ago, you may have signed a card, maybe got baptized, but if there's not been a change in your life, you didn't get saved. You need to repent. And then the third thing you need to do, you need to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord, your master, your king, and surrender your life to Him. And all I will say to those of you who are watching right now, and those of you in this room, if you've never done that, you need to do it right now. And you don't even need me to tell you how to do it. Just in your own words, anybody can go to God and say:

Lord, I need a savior you and you're that savior, and I want you to change my life. I want you to save me. I want you to forgive me. And I'm repenting of my sins. And I'm giving my life to you today. And I'm trusting you and you alone to save me.

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