RENEWAL: THE GIFT OF FASTING - Deepening Your Presence with Christ

Sermon Date: 
Feb 11 2018
Sermon Audio: 

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Sermon Summary Notes / Reflection

WHAT IS FASTING
To go without (whether food or otherwise) in order to deepen one's dependence and closeness with God.

WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY ABOUT FASTING
Read Matthew 4:1-3; 6:16-18; 9:14-17; Acts 13:2-3
-Jesus fasted, Jesus expected His disciples to fast, the early church fasted

WHY DID JESUS FAST
-Jesus was the perfect representative of the Israelites and faithfully fulfilled what the Israelites failed to do in their 40 years desert journey...
-Jesus used fasting to spiritually prepare Himself for Satan's temptation. Jesus would use this time to trust in His Heavenly Father's provisions ("man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." -Matt. 4:4).

WHY DID JESUS' DISCIPLES FAST
Old Covenant religious fasting often connected with mourning over sin and pleading for the future of God's mercy and grace. New Covenant relationship fasting (i.e., new wine with new wineskins) is fasting for reasons Jesus fasted - to draw us closer to our Heavenly Father which has us embracing more the fullness of Christ. The gift of fasting is a desire of the church to receive MORE OF JESUS'S filling-presence, spiritual-power, and spiritual-wisdom to make the Gospel known!

John Piper states:
"We have tasted the powers of the age to come, and our fasting is not because we are hungry for something we have not experienced, but because the new wine of Christ’s presence is so real and so satisfying. We must have all that it is possible to have. The newness of our fasting is this: its intensity comes not because we have never tasted the wine of Christ’s presence, but because we have tasted it so wonderfully by his Spirit, and cannot now be satisfied until the consummation of joy arrives. The new fasting, the Christian fasting, is a hunger for all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19), aroused by the aroma of Jesus’ love and by the taste of God’s goodness in the gospel of Christ (1 Peter 2:2–3)” (Resource: Hunger for God)

REMINDER WHEN WE FAST:
"F" - Focus on God...time of prayer, reading God's Word, etc.
"A" - Abstain from food or otherwise...take time praying over this with God.
"S" - Spiritual Strengthening...spiritual strength to battle material desires of the flesh and Satan's temptations
"T" - Treasures from God...fasting isn't about receiving recognition...keep this to your Father's eyes only and allow
Him to reward you

BE REMINDED OF ROMANS 14:3-6
- Allow one to do as their mind convinces them as to the Lord.

May we have such a heart as Apostle Paul when entering into a time of fasting and prayer:
"What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ." - Philippians 3:8

In Christ's Blessings,
Pastor Trevor