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When you fast do not die! Part 1 - Abstain from normal food

Rev Enoch Thompson | FEBRUARY 18, 2023 | MATTHEW 6:16-18

KEY VERSE:

"When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:16 (NIV)


MESSAGE:

The fact that fasting is a valid Christian duty is seen in the way the Lord introduced the key verse WHEN YOU FAST . . . What does it mean to fast? We have heard of people who have “fasted” and fallen sick or even died in the process. The definition of “fasting” and the questions it raises for some of our members who struggle with not being able to personally fast or join in the congregational “fasting” and feel guilty or left out, call for this reflection. Some of such have medical conditions and are on various medications which require that they eat at various times. Others are lactating mothers or people on high-energy jobs. In the midst of the public health issue of COVID-19, with its particular challenge for the immune system, we need to re-look at the mandate to fast from a biblical as well as a medical perspective.


In the next few days, we shall approach “when you fast” from a biblical review of the subject, drawing attention to the varied forms of fasting, to the effect that we do not need to die when we fast.

For most of us “fasting” has been defined as abstinence from food and drink, for religious purposes. This understanding is biblically true (though not the full story). Fasting must be understood as abstinence from legitimate natural appetites and sinful tendencies and behaviour. This abstinence must re-direct our focus on God, help us see our weakness as mortals, re-enforce our reliance on God and attract divine attention to us.


FASTING IS ABSTINENCE FROM NORMAL FOOD AND DRINK

• The Lord Jesus Abstained from Food and Drink (Matt 4:1-2)

¹Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. ²After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. NIV


• The Early Church Abstained from Food and Drink (Acts 13:2-3)

²While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." ³So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. NIV


FEET AND HANDS FOR THE MESSAGE:

When was the last time that you stayed away from your normal food in order to re-tune your spirit to God, and receive benefits for all aspects of life? You may set apart a day, a couple of days or part of a day in a week or other such arrangements, for fasting, and you will be blessed.


PRAYER:

Lord, please help me to fast my food, and to draw closer to you in such times equipping myself for the rest of life’s journey. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING.

SHOWERS! BLESSINGS!!


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The Baptist Daily Devotional is a collection of God-inspired messages that will help you grow in your faith and walk with Christ. Each day, you will find a scripture passage, a reflection, a prayer and a challenge to apply God's word to your life. The devotional is written by pastors and leaders of the Ghana Baptist Convention, who share their insights and experiences from serving God in various contexts and ministries. For example, you will learn how to trust God in times of trouble, how to share the gospel with others, how to pray effectively, how to deal with temptation, how to handle conflict and more. Whether you are a new believer or a mature Christian, the Baptist Daily Devotional will inspire you, encourage you and equip you to live for God's glory.
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