PDF Sermon + Bible Study Notes: The Spiritual Discipline of Fasting (Matthew 6:16-18)

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Pray: Lord, I come to you in prayer to sustain and nourish my relationship with You. Let me sense Your presence and power at work in and through me, and let me truly depend on You. Day 3 - Luke Pray: God, I ask for the grace of a pure heart with an awareness of my helpless need. You alone are fully adequate and faithful to make my life all that it ought to be.

Fasting for the Father's Reward

Day 4 - Matthew Reflect: How is righteous fasting an expression of our dependence on God? Why is it important? Apply: Why do you think fasting has fallen out of fashion in our day and culture? Pray: Lord, teach me to practice prayer and fasting as a time to focus and rely on You for the strength, provision, and wisdom that I need, not as a way to manipulate You into doing what I desire.

Day 5 - Matthew Reflect: What does Jesus say is the purpose of fasting? Apply: What has your past experience with fasting been? What has Jesus taught you about or through fasting? Pray: Lord, may my prayer and fasting reveal my inner hunger for You. These are the people Jesus is talking about as he begins to speak with his disciples about their motives for fasting. Jesus uses a couple words here to describe the way these showoffs were fasting. They looked terrible. In other words, they smeared ashes all over their faces, which made their faces invisible, but made their fasting very visible.

It was obvious to everyone what they were doing. They wanted it to be obvious they were fasting, so that people would notice them and recognize what wonderfully spiritual people they were. When people noticed them fasting, that was the only reward they got.

Fasting: Then and Now – Matthew 6:16-18

Their fasting was not sincere worship; it was ostentatious. They were showoffs. That is ostentatious worship, religious acts designed to impress people instead of serving God. Notice the key elements in this type of fasting:. It means basically that when you fast, wash your face and comb your hair. Are you fasting to concentrate on God?

No one else needs to know. Does that mean that you must keep all fasting a secret? There are examples in the New Testament of groups fasting together. Why did you do it?

For people? Or for God? God sees even what no one else can see. Jesus urges us to fast in secret, so that our motives will be completely pure.

Glorifying God By Making Disciples Of The Lord Jesus Christ

Just what is this reward? But I think we can make a pretty good guess. In the Bible, the thing that drives people to fast is their deep concern, their profound need for God to hear them and act. Perhaps that is the reward of fasting. If you are so intent on connecting with God that you skip a meal or two, then you will connect with God. And those who really seek him will find him. All they get is human admiration. The one who fasts will be rewarded.

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The Discipline of Fasting | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at degadfplumlosa.ga

But that reward is only for those who fast with a pure motive. Now we can see the complete contrast between ostentatious fasting and secret fasting:. Action: is not a public performance, but a private discipline. Motive: The reason for fasting is not to get recognition from men, but rather to honor God and concentrate on him.

Result: The result is not praise from men, but rather a reward from God.

You really do connect with him. God wants you give and he wants you to pray. Those are commands. What he wants is your complete devotion. And that honors God—not because you went hungry, but because you evidently cared so much about him that food—something you need to survive—was just not that important to you. God is honored by that kind of devotion. On the other hand, you can skip a single meal—only because you truly want to honor God—and for that God will reward you.

The other idea about fasting is that it helps to exercise the spiritual muscles that allow us to refuse to indulge the desires of the flesh. The desire for food is a bodily desire though not forbidden. I think in practice this works. However, there is no biblical support for this purpose in fasting unless there is a deeply veiled allusion to fasting in 1 Cor. But that does not make it either a biblical or a legitimate reason to fast.

The other popular idea, that fasting supercharges prayer, is based in part on a textual variant of Matt. This idea is not in the autographs.

Why Does the Bible Stress the Power of Jesus’s Name?

There is no biblical support for fasting in order to empower your prayers. Once again, in practice this may work. God may indeed be more likely to answer the prayers of those who fast. The reason, however, is not because they are fasting, but because they are sincerely and wholeheartedly seeking God. Bell III. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with credit.

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The Place Where Everyone is Welcome. A General Principle Do you remember the general principle that Jesus taught about worship at the beginning of Matthew 6? What is Fasting? For example, Moses fasted for 40 days before receiving the 10 commandments.

The Correcting of the Hypocrites' Approach To Fasting

I have no idea! Ostentatious Fasting [16] "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. But Jesus says, they are completely missing the point of fasting: I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Notice the key elements in this type of fasting: Ostentatious Fasting Action: It is public suffering: visibly sad and pitiful.

Fasting - Sermon on the Mount #12 - Matthew 6:16-18

Result: The reward is paid in full.