Thursday, February 18, 2010

For all the right reasons

"Some have exalted religious fasting beyond all Scripture and reason; and others have utterly disregarded it." John Wesley

What Jesus Said About Fasting

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught a lesson about how and how not to fast:

"And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:16-18).

We see that it is important to not brag or boast to others about fasting. The Jews of Jesus' day used fasting and giving to make everyone think that they were more spiritual than others. But Jesus tells us that fasting should be done in secret, so that it can't be used as a way of bringing glory to ourselves. Fasting should make us humble instead of proud. In the end, it is not our works but our hearts that matter to God. God promises to reward openly those who fast and pray in secret.

May this be a great 40 days of giving up something so you may gain something!

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