Fasting-A Biblical Perspective. Matthew 6:16-18

August 28th, 2018

Fasting – A Biblical perspective

Matthew 6:16-18

August 26, 2018

 

What really is the place of “fasting” in the Christian life???

  • Fasting is something that is taught in the Old Testament!
  • the only fast c_______________ in Scripture is the one connected with the Day of Atonement. On that day all the people were to "humble [their] souls" ( 16:29; cf. 23:27), a Hebrew expression that included forsaking food as an act of self-denial.
  • Then we find that in certain national e__________ the people themselves appointed certain additional fasts.

 

  • When we come to the New Testament we see that the Pharisees had gotten to the place that they were fasting twice a week...(Luke 18:11-12)...

  • In Jesus’ teaching we find that although He never taught fasting d_______, He certainly taught it i___________...

In Matthew 9:14-15, it is quite clear that He is advocating fasting....."Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast."

 

And the text here  “when you fast”, makes it clear that He e____________ His followers to do it, as it was a n____________ part of one’s spiritual life.

 

In our Lords own life He fasted, the most notable was the 40 days and 40 nights as He went through the preparation and testing of the wilderness.

 

  • As we look at the early church we find that the church at Antioch was “fasting and praying” before they sent Paul and Barnabas out on their p_____________ tours.

 

It seems that on any i____________ occasion, when they were faced with any vital decision, the early church gave themselves to prayer and fasting.

  • Paul tells us in II Corinthians 11, that He was in “fastings often”!
  • In the history of the church we find that Christians of all ages and places have b__________ in and p__________ fasting....

 

“It is an act of self-denial, and mortification of the flesh, a holy revenge upon ourselves, and humiliation under the hand of God. The most grown Christians must hereby own, they are so far from having anything to be proud of, that they are unworthy of their daily bread. It is a means to curb the flesh and the desires of it, and to make us more lively in religious exercises, as fullness of bread is apt to make us drowsy.” 

Matthew Henry

 

  • the definition of most of the Biblical fasting would be, “a____________ from food for spiritual purposes.”...

    • Nēsteia (fast) literally means not to eat, to abstain from food. Fasts were sometimes total and sometimes partial, and ordinarily only water was drunk.

 

  • “In every scriptural account genuine fasting is linked with prayer. You can pray without fasting, but you cannot fast biblically without praying. Fasting is an affirmation of intense prayer, a corollary of deep spiritual struggle before God. It is never an isolated act or a ceremony or ritual that has some inherent efficacy or merit. It has no value at all—in fact becomes a spiritual hindrance and a sin—when done for any reason apart from knowing and following the Lord's will.
  • Fasting is also always linked with a pure heart and must be associated with obedient, godly living.” John MacArthur
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A Plea For Prayer. Matthew 6:5-15

August 20th, 2018

A plea for prayer

Matthew 6:5-15

August 19, 2018

 

  • The instructions for prayer

    • The pretense of prayer.....

      • they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on street corners, to be seen of men....” H__________ in prayer

 

  • for many today, prayer is simply a h__________....
  • Let me ask you a question, do your prayers bring you into the presents of the Lord, or do they just fulfill your d_______????

 

  • And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words”. avoid “b__________”...

         

  • when we concentrate on the f________ of our prayers, or on the amount or length of time spent in prayer
  • Question: What is i______________ when you pray, the words you use, or the amount of time that you pray, or the place that you pray?

 

  1. the practice of prayer …
  • First of all, it is important to understand that even by the sentence structure, we are e_____________ to pray. ... notice the wording... “when”... vs 5, vs 6, vs 7, vs 9, We never see it as “I___” .....
  • What is called for is an intense, intimate time with G_____... you are to enter into your “very private place” and enjoy that communion

 

  • How are we to pray??

    • True prayer is prayer offered to God the Father on the basis of the d_______ of J________ C__________.!!!

      • Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,... Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,...(H_____________ 10:19&22a)
      • "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.“ J________ 14:6,

 

The Reward of prayer;

 

  • vs 6, “then your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you”,
  • notice that the key is in vs 8.... “He knows our needs before we ask....
  • Since He already knows my n______, He is already actively involved in meeting these n__________....
  • that is the basic idea behind R_________ 8:28!
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Matthew 6:1-4

August 13th, 2018

Matthew 6:1-4

August 12, 2018

 

The foundational principle.....  “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them.”

 

  • “let our light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.”

 

The believer is to so live that when outsiders look at him/her they will see the quality and character of that life and it should bring _______ _       ________.

 

  • the ultimate choice for the Christian is always between pleasing self, or pleasing God.

 

  • ultimately the only reason that we want to please o__________ is that we want to please o_____________.

 

  • man, by nature desires the praise of m_____ more than the praise of G_____, because in the final analysis we are really more concerned about o_______________.

 

  • .... The supreme matter in this life for all of us is that we should realize our r________________ with God.

 

“One almost apologizes for making such a statement, and yet I suggest that the greatest cause of all of our failures is that we constantly forget our relationship to God!”

 

  • .... "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no r____________ from your Father in heaven.“

 

  • God knows our heart.

 

“For that which is highly esteemed amongst men is a____________ in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15 

 

to we need to be constantly reminding ourselves of that....WE ARE IN THE PRESENTS OF GOD!!!!!

 

Jesus Himself is indicating that it is not only right to seek r_____________, it is almost expected.

 

There is no reward from God for those who seek it from men!

 

It is not our a____________... it is our h_________ that is important.  No matter how much we pray, or how much we fast or give or any other activity...if the heart is wrong...we are wrong.

 

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Matthew 5:43-48

August 6th, 2018

Matthew 5:43-48

August 05, 2018  

First of all, lets take a look at what the Pharisees were saying....

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

 

The Pharisees were teaching this in order to put the w_________ of the S___________ behind what they were teaching

 

‘n__________’ meant only an Israelite; so they taught the Jews to love Jews...but at the same time they told them to regard everyone else not only as an alien, but as an actual e_________.

 

there is a j____________ element in life. 

While we are on this earth God does indeed make the sun to shine on us and the rain to fall upon us, both the good and the evil.

 

But, at the same time, He announces to them that unless they r_________, they shall finally be destroyed.

 

When we look at this subject in the light of Jesus Words we find that He sheds more light on it.... 

He says “but I say unto you, love your e_____________”.....  

 

And then He gives us an illustration that we can apply ..

Bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.’ 

 

So, what does this mean in our lives today?? 

It means that our t___________ of others must never depend upon what they are, or upon what they d___ to us

It must be entirely controlled and governed by our view of them and their c______________!

 

Application:

 

  • First of all, “Bless them that curse you” which in ordinary language would be something like, ‘reply to bitter, unkind words with words of k_______ and g________.  (we all know that when people say harsh unkind things to us we tend to reply in kind)

 

  • Secondly, “Do good to them that hate you” ... which means b_____________ actions for s________ actions..... Though the farmer may hate God, and is an unjust, spiteful sinner, constantly rebelling against God, He still causes His sun to shine upon him and gives him rain for his crops.... good for evil...

 

  • Lastly, “Pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.” We need to learn to respond to the e_______ in others toward us with the energies of P_______... because it is through the avenue of prayer that God changes us... and changes how we think about the problem.
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