Peter DeWitt

Peter is a husband to Megan, and a father to Peter (III), Andrew, and David. His background is in education, having served first as a science teacher and later as an assistant principal for his high school. Peter’s wife, Megan, led him to the Lord while they were both in college at Ohio State, a time where Peter mostly rock climbed and sometimes studied. Peter has since enjoyed freedom after freedom in the Lord as he has experienced more and more of God’s great love for him. One of Peter’s passions in life is speaking encouragement to the body of Christ. Whether with a couple in the DeWitt’s living room or from the pulpit, Peter loves to encourage, exhort, and equip his brothers and sisters in Christ! In addition to serving as an associate pastor at Agathos, Peter continues to work in education as a consultant for schools in Columbus and Ohio. Peter and Megan view their ministry as a joint effort and also enjoy woodworking together in their well-equipped home woodshop.

What Makes a Good Disciple? (part 3)

Audio Written Summary

A good discipler first of all has a vibrant connection with God - everything flows out of that. He’s the vine, we are the branches. Apart from Him, we can do noting - that includes ministering. 

A lot of people make to-do lists before they get in the Word. If we commit our work to the Lord, He will establish our thoughts … He will put them in order. Then, you operate in your to-do list out of a place of peace! The Lord says in Isaiah that He makes our task-master (the one managing our tasks … our to-do list) peace. So He establishes our thoughts early in the day and His peace leads us throughout the day. 
The other 6 characteristics of a good discipler are:
Characteristic #2 of a Good DiscipleR: Demonstrates Results
Characteristic #3 of a Good DiscipleR: Share Process & Thought Process
Characteristic #4 of a Good DiscipleR: Intentionally Relational
Characteristic #5 of a Good DiscipleR: Patient
Characteristic #6 of a Good DiscipleR: Has a Vision for the Disciple
Characteristic #7 of a Good DiscipleR: Directs the Disciple to the Lord!
When we think about being a good discipler we tend to think of #7 pretty much being it. Characteristics #1-6 are actually all the things that set the table for the meal! Without you having a vibrant relationship with the Lord, having testimonies, having patience and vision for them … all of those things set the table for the actual meal, which is being in the Word, prayer, and hearing from the Lord. 
I know many of you are probably feeling inadequate. “I can’t disciple somebody. I don’t have all of this stuff going. Consider John 6:3-12 … did they have enough food in the natural to feed all those people? Not even close! But like the 5 barley loaves, you DO HAVE SOMETHING! The Word of God is in you. It is in your mouth. And He wants you to give it away. If you bring it to Him and say “God this is all I have” He will give thanks for what you DO HAVE and give it back to you … and as you give it to others it WILL multiply!
Do you know what happens after that? After you minister you get a whole basketful back! You get more than you even had to begin with. If you feel like you have just a little bit. Give it to God. He’s going to thank the Father for it and He’s going to give it back to you. You are going to give it away and it will be multiplied back to you!

What Makes a Good Disciple? (part 2)

Audio Written Summary

Jesus said He would build His ekklesia. Jesus said He would build His ruling, legislative body who governs the Kingdom on this earth. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” Who knows how to accomplish that?!? No amount of white-boarding ideas is going to figure out how to do that! Good thing Jesus said He would be the One to build the ekklesia - to build that level of influence in every sphere of society! He did not say He would disciple nations. That part is ours. This is the thesis of the whole series. We disciple nations. He builds His ekklesia. 

One thing about “new initiatives” is that many people have learned to just “weather the storm … you know it will be gone in a year. I’m not going to let this one go by the wayside. I don’t know what we are doing exactly but I am pregnant with this vision and I believe I received it from the Lord over a period of time and it keeps getting stronger and stronger in me. So our church is going to be a church of influencers that spread Kingdom influence to their sphere of society. You are going to find out that every single one of you is an influencer and every single one of you does have a sphere. 
When Megan met me she was already 2 years into college and at that point in time she wasn’t having a thriving relationship with the Lord. She wasn’t fellowshipping with others and didn’t have the leadership roles with others that she was used to having while in High School. She wasn’t having input from the Lord (-1), she wasn’t having regular fellowship with peers in the Lord (0), and she wasn’t playing a mentoring role (+1) where she was giving out a lot and discipling people. As a result of all of these things, Megan wasn’t growing in the Lord and was kind of coasting on fumes when she met me. When she met me she could tell the Lord was drawing me. The Lord gave her a vision for me. She started praying for me. I didn’t know the Lord at that point so she started praying for me. That rejuvenated her prayer life with the Lord. She was talking to the Lord again (about someone else) and that gave her an opportunity to approach the Lord again. Additionally, I was so hungry because I was so needy (REALLY needy) that it made her hungry again.
When you’ve been in the Lord for a long time, it is harder to be hungry because you already have a foundation, you know how things go, and you can kind of coast in life. If you don’t have something new going on it can be easy to coast. Having a hungry, needy baby around changes all of that. They have needs that need met (which demands something new of you) and it helps remind you of all the Lord has done for you!
Babies don’t choose hunger, they just are hungry. The mature must choose hunger. The mature must choose progress which causes hunger. If you are seasoned in the Lord, stagnation becomes very easy - because you actually need to put yourself in positions where the Holy Spirit needs to be your comforter again in order to grow again into greater things in the Lord. You may think “why did I grow faster when I was new in the Lord?” I often say “if you think you’ve arrived, you’re right.” I’m consistently coaching myself. “Lord, help me start again. Help me start afresh. Help me take some new ground.” I thrive on having some external challenges that cause me to step in again with hunger.
When you are ministering to someone else, they will draw on you. When Megan and I felt the grace for me to step into the lead pastor role I asked Brad “how do you structure your week?” Brad said something to me that I took and ran with (remember that one of the characteristics of a good disciple is faithfulness … which LOOKS LIKE follow-through!) Brad told me that 90% of my effectiveness is going to come from my time in prayer and time in the Word. I thought to myself “I have my marching orders!” I had this thing on me “you need to make a DECISION - that you are going to hold your time in the Word and in prayer sacrosanct.” 
We were up at my Megan’s family’s lake house. The kids were taking a nap. I was on my face in the living room, praying, and reading the Word. The Lord speaks this to me: “never give up the golden goose … only give golden eggs” and He directs me to John 15:4-8. You can take this set of verses to the bank! 90% of your ministry effectiveness is right here in these verses.  John 15:4-8 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 
What’s the amount of fruit you can bear apart from Jesus? ZERO. If you would like to have fruit to disciple someone with, where should you get it? I know it sounds silly but the average pastor who quits the pastorate spends less than 30 minutes a week in the Word and in prayer TOTAL. I am NOT being critical. That is not why they got into the pastorate. Here’s the progression:
When you are a branch in the vine, you bear fruit naturally and so you show yourself to be a disciple and bring glory to God. If you get disconnected from the vine, you wither. When you wither, do you bear fruit? Nope. But if you are ministering, people still come to you for ….  FRUIT!
I had fruit they were eating and I wasn’t working for that fruit. I was just abiding in Christ and I had fruit. People come up and say “can I eat your fruit?” I am thinking “that’s fine, freely I’ve received. Freely I give. More will come where it came from because I am connected to the vine.” 
Now if I get disconnected from the vine (God-forbid) now I am on the ground sort of withered and with no fruit. Now people come up to me and say “can I have some fruit?” Out of pride I may respond “go ahead because I get my identity and value from having fruit for you so I won’t be honest and tell you that I am actually ALL OUT OF FRESH FRUIT!” Don’t do that! They think “I don’t see any fruit but I’ll eat the branch.” So now they are not eating fruit, they are eating wood! Yuck. And the wood they are eating is YOU!
That is what is called BURN-OUT scripturally. You’ve been eaten alive by those whom you were supposed to feed naturally and without any effort through a connection you happen to have. Instead, now you are in a disconnected place, you don’t have the fruit, but they will still eat you. 
If you feel like you are in a place of disconnection right now, there is no condemnation in it. Listen to this sermon (particularly the 2nd half of it) for many powerful tips to re-establishing your day-to-day connection with God!

What Makes a Good Disciple? (part 1)

Audio Written Summary

Ekklesia was the Greek and Roman legislative / democratic body that governed all the issues of society. Ekklesia implies “you are going to govern the world and you are going to pray like this ‘Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’” Ekklesia operates as Jesus said … it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. We have been given the keys of the Kingdom. What we bind on earth will be bound in Heaven and what we lose on earth will be loosed in Heaven. That’s ekklesia.

The ekklesia - the governance body of the Kingdom on earth is inherently called to disciple nations. The commission screams “disciple nations! Influence every sphere of society!” The model I am proposing for our church is that instead of church being what it is often been thought of which is “yeast in a yeast jar.” … I’m proposing taking the lid off of the yeast jar so that the yeast can be in the dough. 
How do you disciple nations? You disciple people … and you keep those people that you disciple in their sphere of influence so that once they are discipled they bring the Kingdom into that sphere that they have authority over! 
Hear that again. How do you disciple nations? You disciple people and you keep them in their sphere of influence instead stealing them for the church … so that they will exercise Kingdom authority in every sphere of influence of society until the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of our God! “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
The huge vision of discipling nations boils down to discipling people and equipping them to bring the Kingdom into their sphere of influence. That’s what this sermon series is about. 
The core of discipleship is love. If we could just get the simple things and do them, we would rock the world. We don’t need more knowledge, we just need more action. We will get more knowledge when we need it as we act more. The satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet. There are two sides of the learning process. The first side of the learning process is getting the input of information / knowledge / understanding … this is the same as eating. The second side of the learning process is doing the work … which causes you to get hungry again. Many believers are loathing the sweetest of words because they haven’t worked enough to develop their appetite again. 
Spiritual employment is key to spiritual health. It accomplishes the other half of the learning cycle. There is the input side (which is like lecture) and the output side (which is like lab where you go use the knowledge and “do the stuff”).
The breakthrough in Nehemiah happened in chapter 3 when the PEOPLE started to build! They build in 52 days (if I recall) what had not been accomplished in decades! Nehemiah gave the vision (that’s what I’m doing here). Jesus commissioned us to disciple people and promised He would build His ekklesia, His ruling body. We are not responsible for producing that governmental level impact in every sphere of society; we are responsible for discipling people and keeping them in their sphere of influence that they might bring the Kingdom THERE! The victory here will not be me having the vision, it will be you all doing the work!
You never step out of the place of being a disciple. You always want to be a disciple. This sermon is an invitation to those believers who have been orphans to experience the blessing of having a mother or father in the Lord -  to build them up. So many in the body of Christ have never experienced what it is like to have someone in their life who speaks the truth to them in love … someone they can just receive from and develop them - and who isn’t looking for anything from them. The tone and the tenor of this message is about how you can position yourself so that you can receive.
The 7 Characteristics of a Good Disciple discussed in this sermon are:
Characteristic #1: A Good Disciple is Hungry
Characteristic #2: A Good Disciple is Humble
Characteristic #3: A Good Disciple is Available
Characteristic #4: A Good Disciple is Faithful
Characteristic #5: A Good Disciple Teaches Others
Characteristic #6: A Good Disciple Is Known
Characteristic #7: A Good Disciple ALL IN
When Megan and I counsel marriages we say “you can’t work on a marriage … all you can do is work on the individual people.” I can seek the Lord and Megan can seek the Lord and as we both seek the Lord and are transformed by Him, our marriage is simply going to get better! 
Likewise people are asking “how is this discipleship going to work? How do you do discipleship?” This is why we are going through the characteristics of a good disciple - and then the characteristics of a good discipler. The disciple can work on being a disciple and the discipler can work on being a discipler … and then you have a good discipling relationship!
If you ask someone “how do you do the discipleship? How does that happen?” What happens is you try to come up with a formula. But it’s not about formula. It’s about a relationship! May we be good disciples and good disciplers!

Fostering Discipleship

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Mentorship is breaking off a piece of your life and handing it to someone else. It is pulling someone to a higher place. It is taking what we have (our knowledge, wisdom of experience, favor, etc.) and offering it to someone in need of it. We can be a +1 for someone else! When you only have +1’s and no -1’s, you become a Dead Sea. Both inputs and outputs are needed for a health body. Find your +1’s and humbly receive from them, engage with your neutrals, and have the courage to reach out to your -1’s.

All of discipleship is on the foundation of prayer for the person you are discipling. If you want to start discipling someone, start praying for them! God will show you when / how to help them in person (listen to the message for more detail) but you can always help them through prayer for them!
Shame steals discipleship. Lack of shame comes from a knowledge of the Father’s acceptance of you.  When you know the Father’s acceptance towards you, when you know that His face lights up when He sees you, then you don’t have shame.
Proverbs 11:2 is a really important verse about shame “When pride comes, then comes shame.” That’s the root of shame. This is really helpful. If you are struggling with shame, you have a problem with pride. Shame is self-imposed relational separation. 
Pride is finding identity apart from God. Humility is “identity in God.” It’s that simple. In other words, pride is identity through separation (relational separation). What’s shame? Self-imposed relational separation. 
This sabotages discipleship. We’ve learned to operate in relational hiddenness instead of relational connection. When you operate in relational connection it provides an opportunity for discipleship. 
Discipleship can only be carried out in relationship. 
We live in a culture that says “if I am afraid of connection relationally, don’t worry, I will learn it on my own and after learning it on my own I will come back to you.” The Word of God is saying, don’t do that. It’s connection; it’s relationship. It’s connection; it’s relationship. Don’t let shame sabotage that relationship!

The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Your ability to steward a blessing from God in your life is partly evidenced by how much you rejoice when someone else is blessed. There is more than enough to go around. Lack is not a kingdom value.

By way of review, “church” is not in the Bible. Jesus chose the word “ekklesia” as what He would build. That word comes on the scene in Matthew 16:18 where Jesus says “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church (ekklesia), and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”
An ekklesia was a democratic governing body. An ekklesia was a house of governance. Ekklesia inherently prays Matthew 6:10 like our Lord told us to “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s an ekklesia style prayer. 
The ekklesia serves the kingdom. The ekklesia carries much more than a message - you carry the kingdom!
Jesus walked 40 miles and made a certain declaration at Caesarea Philippi, Matthew 16:18 “you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” The Gates of Hades are believed to be an actual place of demonic worship in Caesarea Philippi. What's the point? As Robby Dawkins says, Believers are to be dangerous to the darkness!
The ekklesia is inherently legislative. Matthew 16:19 is the very verse after Jesus introduces “church”to the whole world: “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Keys are authority. You’ve been given the authority to either lock things up or to set people free! 
If you go on your concordance and you look up the word “to pray” in the Old Testament you will notice that the first definition for the word to pray in Strong’s Concordance is “to judge.” When you pray you are releasing the judgement of Heaven into every situation. Our prayers are much more legislative than we know that they are. God desires for His Kingdom to come upon this earth and He has positioned the church - the ekklesia - to bring it!
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Jesus actually BECAME SIN FOR US so that we might become the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM!

When Jesus was on the cross He became the scapegoat for all of humanity - for you, for me - for all of our sins for all time! When Jesus died, He became everything that you are that you don’t want to be. He became sin. He became sickness. His thoughts became cursed (the crown of thorns represents this) - so that we can then have the mind of Christ. Everything that He was is everything that you become when you behold Him as crucified on your behalf. It’s the great exchange. He became sin who knew no sin that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
When Jesus raised to life, He was raised BECAUSE OF our justification (see Romans 4:25). We were IN HIM when He was raised. We were in Him when He died and we were in Him when He was raised. Being that you died with Him (Col. 2:20) you were also raised with Him (Col. 3:1)!

The Kingdom Message

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Our church has a mission - the Great Commission from Mt. 28 and Mk. 16! Rick shared a testimony about being born again during worship service. We are reminded that "ask" is not to beg - but instead to demand as something due to us. One of the keys of financial breakthrough is sowing and reaping, but another one is to know just how much our Father delights in our prosperity. In Nehemiah 5, we see that the workers of God needed more dough, help with mortgages, and help with taxes. God knows what you have need of and has promised to SUPPLY His servants as we seek first His Kingdom (Mt. 6:33). 

Luke 16:16 says everyone is trying to press into the Kingdom! What’s the message Jesus preached? KINGDOM! What’s the message He sent His disciples out to preach? KINGDOM! What’s the message He said would be preached until the end and then the end would come? KINGDOM! 

The Kingdom of God is a clash of kingdoms. It’s light and darkness and darkness stands no chance. This is the kingdom! What is the message of the ekklesia? The KINGDOM! 


What is Church?

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
What is church? Surely something so central to our lives as believers would be clearly defined in our minds! Yet, for most believers (myself included), if we are honest about our thoughts, our definition of church has historically been comprised of a loosely connected thoughts about buildings, organizations, professional ministers or clergy members, and gatherings at specific times of the week. 
We know that Jesus said He would build His church. When He said He would build HIs church, what was He meaning? Did He promise to build magnificent structures? Did He promise to increase attendance at Sunday worship services? Surely beautiful church buildings and well-attended church meetings are a good thing, but is that what Jesus was saying He’d build?
The answer may be surprising to you. Jesus did not say He would build His “church.” Instead He said He would build His “ekklesia.” While “ekklesia” is translated as “church” 112 times in the King James Version of the Bible, the truth is the word “church” is not actually in the Bible. It turns out the word “church” seems to have come into being nearly 300 years after Christ’s resurrection and it was later popularized as a translation for the Greek word Jesus actually used in Matthew 16:18 - “ekklesia.”
So what was an “ekklesia?” An ekklesia was a well-known Greek / Roman construct at the time of Christ. His disciples would have been very aware of what an ekklesia was and how it functioned. In short, an ekklesia was simply an assembly of local citizens that actually ruled and legislated concerning all matters of society and culture in their town or city. They represented their city or town to either Athens or Rome and when they convened they operated with the delegated authority of Athens or Rome in their midst. This is the “ekklesia” that Jesus promised to build!
Jesus did not say “upon this rock I will build my synagogue.” He could have - after all synagogue is used 67 times in the New Testament! Instead Jesus said “upon this rock I will build my ekklesia” - a Greek or Roman entity best translated (in one word) as “assembly.” Church isn’t in the bible, but ekklesia is. Jesus was the first to call it an ekklesia. The question is “why didn’t Jesus use ‘synagogue’ and what’s that mean to us?”  That’s what we’re going to discover - or at least investigate - in this series.
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

There are basically two camps theologically as it relates to eternal secuirty of the believer. One says “once saved always saved.” In other words if you’ve received Christ your eternity is secure. The other camp says “saved, lost, saved, lost.” 

If you look at the “eternal security” side, there are many scriptures that support it … but the side that says you can lose your salvation also has many scriptures that they can cite. It’s important to be slow in forming doctrine. This teaching will present a third position that we believe dovetails with both sets of scriptures. 
Scriptures such as John 3:16, John 10:27-28, Hebrews 10:10, Hebrews 10:14, Romans 4:7-8, and 1 Peter 1:3-5 make it clear that your salvation is everlasting, eternal, will never perish, is once-and-for-all, perfected forever, incorruptible, undefiled, reserved in Heaven for you, and it will not fade away! Sounds like eternal security!
As if that wasn’t strong enough, scriptures like Romans 3:21-28, Galatians 3:1-3, Col. 2:6, and Eph. 2:5-8 make it overwhelmingly clear that you did not ever gain your salvation by righteous works of your own, but instead entirely through faith alone! Therefore, if your salvation came by faith - not by works - how could you be perfected by works or lose you salvation by a lack of works?!?
However Proverbs 18:17 says “The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.” It is important to be slow in forming doctrine!  We can actually prove from scripture that you can in fact lose your salvation.  
Scriptures like Col. 1:21-23, 2 Tim. 2:11-13, Mt. 24:12-14, 2 Pe. 2:18-22, Luke 12:8-11, Rev. 3:5, and Hebrews 10:26-31 all make it abundantly clear that we must endure, continue in the faith, and overcome. These are simply too many scriptures to ignore: a believer can in fact lose their salvation ... AND we know from above that it can't be on account of sin because a believer's righteousness was never beceause of a lack of sin but because of faith in Christ. So the question is how? 
Listen to this sermon (or read the written summary) for more!


- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

When we make declarations about finances, we need to remember that our God is able to exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask, seek, or imagine. The righteous shall live by FAITH! You have access by faith into all that Jesus has access to by obedience! Everything that Jesus did by obedience becomes what you have access to by faith. This is the walk. You go from glory to … glory! Because the righteous shall live by faith. I want to encourage you in your finances. God wants breakthrough in your finances. I believe that it is a season of feasting that has come upon this body!

The enemy will often send evil days on the tail-end of your breakthrough to try to get you to capitulate the ground that you actually just took. You actually just had a huge breakthrough so stand firm therefore in the evil day with the belt of truth fastened around your waist and you breastplate of righteousness firmly in place!  So when you have a breakthrough - you need to know that there is going to be opposition that comes and the whole thing the enemy is trying to do is to get your to capitulate your breakthrough. 
Whenever you are forming doctrine to be VERY PATIENT in your study. In my experience, issues with doctrine come from either having already heard a doctrine from others and thereby reading the Bible through that lens … or having an impatience that says “I HAVE to form my doctrine on this now!”… instead of just continuing to  devote yourself to reading the Word knowing that understanding will come. 
There of basically two schools of thought / doctrinal camps as it relates to the eternal security of the believer. The first is that “once you’re saved, you’re always saved.” The other camp says once your saved you can become lost again - and usually they will say that would happen because you’ve sinned. 
The question is, does the scripture say you can lose your salvation - and if so, how would that happen? This is the first sermon in a two part series that works through the New Testament scriptures on eternal security. Listen for more!

The Foundation From Which We Fast

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
Fasting is a physical act that is a spirutal tool that sensitizes us to the reality of who we already are in Christ! Paul said in 1 Cor. 3:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus went into fasting NOT to get the love of God, but BECAUSE of the love of God! The love of God was already expressed to Jesus in Matthew 3:17 and THEN He fasted. Do not fast to earn the love of God!
I have news for you … Jesus enjoyed His fast! “The Kingdom of Heaven is not a eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17) Was Jesus in the Holy Spirit when He was in the wilderness fasting? You better believe it - the Holy Spirit had just descended on Him like a dove! So, Jesus was in righteousness. Jesus was in peace. And yes, Jesus was enJOYing His fast! You can too - if you fast out a revelation of God’s love for you!
If you don’t fast out of a revelation of God’s love for you, find another way to torture yourself … because you will be the one walking around with a disfigured face telling people that you are “serving God!” We fast out of the basis of God’s love for us. Jesus was feeding on the revelation of His Father’s love for Him the entire time.
If you are fasting longer than you have ever done, get a book on fasting and read the testimonies about fasting every day! It will be really difficult to get discouraged if you are reading fasting testimonies consistently.
When you step into the fast on any level - you step into it WITH CHRIST, you do not step into a structure. You do need to decide the length and type of your fast ahead of time, but you are going to do a fast with the Holy Spirit not a fast with your plan. I am not trying to get intimate with my fasting plan, I am trying to draw near to God.
I would encourage you to start slowly. If you were to run a marathon you would generally need to run less than 26 miles before you tried to run 26! Fasting is a spiritual workout. Obviously this fast is voluntary and I am trusting you to have discretion about your own body.  If you’ve not fasted a good bit, I would advise you to use discretion. If you are fasting longer than 3 days on liquid only, you can actually injure yourself if you don’t know some basics about fasting. Especially about breaking the fast is very important for your health. It was good Jesus did not eat bread straight away at the end of 40 day fast! There are simply some things you need to tend to while fasting. Be sure to know those basics before starting your fast. If it feels like a stretch to you and you have peace on it, it is probably a great thing to do.
When we look at the many testimonies in the Word of God about fasting, we see that fasting can do what no other thing can do. There are things that your time in the Word can do that prayer cannot do. There are things that prayer can do that your time in the Word by itself cannot do. And there are things that fasting can do that neither of the other two can do totally by themselves.  Fasting is a super-charger on your spiritual car. So my question for you is “what are you hungry for?” What are the breakthroughs that you are hungry for in this season? Ask the Holy Spirit. What keeps coming up in prayer? What are your hungry for?

When you have a vision for what this fast is about - why you are doing it - it makes it so much easier! Brad just pictures that empty plate and it is getting filled up during the time that he’s fasting and it helps him through it! May we see Your face, know Your love, and have tremendous breakthrough in this fast in Jesus’ Name!

Why, What, Things to Expect, and How to Prep

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
According to Jesus in Mt. 6:16-18, fasting is a "when" not an "if" and it carries with it Heavenly rewards. Fasting is not legalism. You are not earning anything with God. Jesus already gave you it all. God’s given us a great tool to sensitize ourselves to the things of the Spirit … that’s all it is. It’s like prayer. It’s an opportunity. 
In Mt. 17:21, Jesus also made it clear that some kinds of unbelief only come out by prayer and fasting. Fasting mixes faith with your prayers. Scripture is full of examples of breakthrough that came on the heels of fasting.
This message will share more about the why of this fast, what fasting is, things you can expect while fasting, and how to prepare for a fast.

Touched by His Love (Part 4)

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary
Authority is positional. As a believer, you are in Christ! That means that you are in His authority! You have the signet ring! When you pray and say “in Jesus’ Name” you are NOT using vain repetition as the heathens do. You are not heard because of many words. “IN JESUS’ NAME” is a statement of KNOWN AUTHORITY. 
Colossians 3:1-3 says “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” We need to set our minds on things above! How can you set your mind on things above? Read the Word! Recite a memory verse! Speak about the things of God with another believer! Worship God! Or you can break out your secret weapon for heavenly-mindedness … praying in the Spirit - praying in tongues!
Praying in tongues is a major way to keep yourself in the Love of God. Jude 20-21 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Notice that you are called “beloved.” You are not just loved by God - your identity has become that of one who IS LOVED … “beloved.” When you pray in the Holy Spirit we actually build ourselves up in our most holy faith. Every time you pray in tongues, it is evidence of the love that God has bestowed up on you - it’s evidence of your perfect acceptance before God. When you pray in tongues you are therefore inherently keeping yourself in the love of God!  In fact, praying in the Spirit is the 7th piece of the armor of God!  (Eph. 6:18)
If you can start your day with God, it’s powerful. One way that you can start with God - even before you open up your Bible, even before you get before Him in prayer, or anything else  - you can have a declaration in the morning - a specific verse that you are declaring to shape your thinking before you let your mind go to anything else. Don’t turn to the news or open up Facebook or your email. Wake up and declare your destiny according to His Word and Will for your life!
Let’s look a bit further at 2 Corinthians 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.”  And John 14:23 says “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” As we experience the grace of the Lord Jesus, it invites us into the love of the Father which as we encounter His love for us and pleasure in us, draws us deeper into communion with the Holy Spirit!  Holy Spirit is in us. The Father and the Son are knocking on the door of your heart and they want to come in and dine with you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. 
Hope actually comes from knowing, experiencing, and responding to God’s love. (1 Cor. 2:9 and Rom. 5:5) Hope does not disappoint when it is the sort of hope that is coming from a place from the love of God being shed abroad in your heart. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. So we see that love is actually driving hope and hope is the impetus for faith. Put together, we see that faith is actually a tag-along with His love! And here’s one more! 1 Cor. 13:13 “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Why? Because you cannot have hope or faith from God without His love! Love truly is the greatest because it releases hope, which leads to faith!
What did Jesus do after He got a revelation of the Father’s love in Matthew 3:16-17? He went and fasted in the wilderness. The idea of doing a corporate fast in the new year has been growing in my heart over the past month or so. It’s a voluntary corporate fast. No requirements, OK? It will be corporate fast if at least one other person does it with me. With this fast, you should do what you have faith for. Anything done apart from faith is sin. Faith does come by hearing and hearing by the Word of God so I am going to teach from the Word of God on fasting!  

Touched by His Love (Part 3)

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

Do not feel bad having to work on your love relationship with God. If we think that love is just an emotion, we won’t work at it. But, if we think that love HAS emotions associated with it - that when we do the things love does, emotions follow which are a blessing - than we will work at doing the things that love does. Remember that the Ephesian church had departed from their first love and Christ instructed them to “do the first works.” If we do the things that love does in our relationship with God - and we stick at that - we will experience all the beauty that comes with it.  

We can meditate not only in the quantity of God’s love, but also in the qualities of His love! The magnitude of God’s love includes everything up to and including the value of His very own Son! That’s how GREAT a love with which He loved us! While that’s a great meditation, if you want to understand and have more of a revelation of God’s love, you have to go past just thinking about quantity and step into a place of also thinking about the qualities of God’s love.
Let’s look at Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Now, if these are the fruit of the Spirit, that means that when you sow the seed of God (which is the Word of God) these are the things that are naturally produced in your life. That means that these characteristics are inherent to the very DNA of God! The fruit of the Spirit are actually an opportunity to meditate on who God is to you! In other words, God IS love, joy, peace, patience, kindness … these are actually describing God! Now, watch this … what is the first fruit of the Spirit? Love. Therefore all the other fruit of the Spirit come through the avenue of love. When you have love, it gives access to the rest.
God’s love is actually filled with joy. God’s love is totally rooted in a covenant of peace with you. Then you find out that His love is patient toward you. God’s kindness toward us starts with His patience toward us. When you see how patient and kind He is with us, it becomes clear that He has only goodness for us!  And how can He help but be faithful toward you when His intentions toward you are ONLY good?” His love lacks no gentleness. Lack of gentleness comes from a desire to control. God’s love, by nature, is self-controlled, which means He is NOT controlling you. 
You can do the same thing with 1 Corinthians 13. We know that “love is from God, God is love, and we love because He first loved us …” (1 Jn 4:7,8,19) So, when we look at 1 Corinthians 13, we see that love doesn’t behave rudely and therefore you can say “God does not behave rudely toward me.” We also see that His Love does not envy, is not puffed up, and does not parade itself. 
There are opportunities to meditate not just in the quantity of God’s love, but also the qualities of God’s love. You are invited to explore His love. There is so much more to discover and experience!

Touched by His Love (Part 2)

- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

You only prosper in the Kingdom of God by receiving. Humility is how we receive. There’s a place of humility in the Lord that’s available to all of us that is actually the place of promotion. When you get in humility, it magnetically attracts / draws in the grace. When you take upon the yoke of Christ the issues of the soul that we so often experience fly off because we stepped into humility. 

The love of God is one of the toughest things to teach because most Christians KNOW ABOUT the love of God but not nearly as many have ENCOUNTERED the love of God. God so LOVED the world that He GAVE … In other words, God’s GRACE is always propelled by His LOVE! When you encounter His provision, know that you are encountering an expression of His love!
Every time you find you are looking outside of yourself for something, it is a mile maker and a signpost at which God is saying “turn off here, turn into My love, turn into My grace, because I want to provide that need that you have.” Likewise if don’t have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control abounding in our life in such a way that when we are squeezed that’s what comes out it’s a signal and God is saying “let more of My love into your heart so that more of My fullness would be coming out.” Notice that the first fruit of the Spirit is love. You need to receive His love in order for the rest of the fruits to fully develop!
The single greatest tactic of the enemy to keep you from walking in His love is condemnation. When accusation is believed or received, it turns into condemnation - and condemnation always leads to separation. As a believer, you have been made righteous in Christ. We have to fight condemnation. Here’s a hint … if you have the same condemning thought come all the time. Ask God “why?”When you’ve invited a guest who you now realize is NOT WANTED, what do you have to do? You have to dis-invite them! This sounds so simple you might not realize how powerful it is …You need to command demonic spirits that you’ve entertained in your thoughts to LEAVE in the name (authority) of Jesus. Confront it head on and command it to go so that you don’t even have to slam that door any more. Cast it out formally! “This time I am not only going to shut the door in your face, but I command you to TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST - you’ve got NO PART of me!”
David asked for 2 types of instruction from God … one was to teach him God’s TRUTH and the other was to show him God’s WAYS. 93% of human communication is non-verbal. We are made in His image. Is it possible that 93% of how He is speaking to you is not with words? God’s love is not only a theological concept … it is an encounter! Truth AND ways.  You can hear the Father’s heart for you - not just His words. When we think that we can only hear His words, we will only experience a small portion of His love. We will know love in theory, but we won’t know the heart behind it. When your ear is close to His heart you will actually hear more of His words and you will hear more of His words more accurately. Even God’s hard words are wrapped in LOVE!