Verses and some thoughts (well, mostly verses)… on fasting

Exodus 34:28 Moses fasted for 40 days receiving God’s law
Joel 2:12 God commands as a sign of repentance and returning to our gracious God
Nehemiah 1:4 as a sign of sorrow over sinful situations
Psalm 69:10 some will make fun of us for it
Psalm 35:13-15 endurance in sorrowful grieving is a part of fasting
Daniel 9:3-5 pleading, petition, and prayer vitally connected to fasting
Luke 4:2-4 Jesus fasted 40 days and then endured the toughest temptation from Satan and won
Matthew 6:6-18 Fasting to be in: In secret expectancy of reward.
Matthew 9:15 excused until Jesus went back to heaven
Isaiah 58:3-7 fasting not necessarily an introverted thing, but an opportunity to do good for the poor and care for the needy
Jonah 3:5-9 a sign of true faith
Luke 18:1-12 fasting no substitution for obedience and true faith in God

Didache– (teaching of the twelve apostles – and let not your fasting be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and the fifth days of the week, but do ye keep your fast on the fourth and on the preparation day.”

Polycarp – Polycarp to the Philippians 7.2 2Wherefore let us forsake the vain doing of the many and their false teachings, and turn unto the word which was delivered unto us from the beginning, being sober unto prayer and constant in fastings, entreating the all-seeing God with supplications that He bring us not into temptation, according as the Lord said, The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

“Fasting is a service to God…The context of fasting is prayer. It should conform to the same conditions as prayer: unostentatious quietness before God, arising out of gratitude, expressing thanksgiving, grounded in faith, as a means of spiritual growth.” – Clarence Bass

Final Thoughts:

Paul wrote this to an already great church…in Phil. 2:5-8 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

[Emptied himself – εκενωσεν – ekenosen – root word is kenoo – theologians call this “emptying” the “kenosis” or Jesus laying aside his glory/position when he became a man – the definition of this Greek word according to  Louw Nida = to empty oneself, to divest oneself of position – Greek dictionary – deprive of power, make of no meaning; effect;  give up; lay aside what one possesses]

Fasting is a practical way of “emptying” ourselves so we can be filled with God Himself. It only works if our heart is right, if it is done in faith for the glory of God and not our own. It is worship! But the benefits are purifying and sanctifying and draw us close to God Himself. Though our physical body will be weaker our spiritual man will be made stronger. Our goal is to take the form of a servant and empty ourselves of our own provisions, our place, and our position and allow Christ to use us in our weakness, and fill us with Himself; that equals more of Christ and less of us. In taking part in this time of fasting and abiding in Christ, we are simply “walking as Jesus walked.” (1 John 2:6) The Lord bless you in this walk, with his grace and peace multiplied to you in this season of fasting and prayer. Pastor Rod

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