Monday, June 10, 2013

"Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (Matthew 6:16-18).

IDEA: Fasting doesn't apply only to food.

PURPOSE: To help listeners consider how they might make time for a special relationship with God.

What do you think is involved in "fasting"?

I. Fasting involves denying ourselves a meal for a day or more.

Eating involves food and all that is involved with food.

Eating is a demanding routine that can take a great deal of time and attention.

We have to shop for groceries, prepare them and serve them in a pleasant environment.

In some cultures buying and preparing "daily bread" can consume a great deal of time.

A person can say No to the demands for food for a day and take that time and thought and devote it to God.

II. Do you think fasting might involve other activities besides food that demand our time?

Could you imagine someone going on an "information fast" to devote themselves to what is really important for a while?

Does using your computer take time? Could you give it up for a week to devote yourself to what may be more important?

How about an "entertainment fast"?

The average person watches television about 28 hours a week. What would a fast involve? What might we gain?

Could you do it and not tell others about it?