When You Fast    1/1/24

When You Fast 1/1/24

When you Fast! January 1, 2024

Matthew 6:16-18 says, “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.”

Jesus did not command us to fast. Fasting is not some fulfillment of an archaic law. He just expected that we would do it. So He says, “WHEN you fast.” It is apparently, as commonplace in the life of the dedicated believer as daily prayer or regular Bible reading. It doesn’t make you a second-class Christian if you do not. You don’t win some deific brownie points if you do. Fasting is just the next understandable step for that disciple who desires to experience another level of intimacy with the Father.

Many of us plan an intentional time of fasting in January. Some will go the whole month. At Branches we will fast from January 3-31, (there has to be an allowance for black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.) Our church is fasting for 21 days from January 7-27. Each day I plan to write a brief note of explanation or reflection. It’s a part of my fast. For today, may I just suggest that you prayerfully consider joining in on an organized, planned, intentional fast this month? Doing that gives you a little extra motivation and accountability. Tomorrow we will talk about WHAT to fast. For now, when you fast…lol, see what I did there…read this little ditty and know that some people believe in you and are supporting your steps to get closer to God. Follow along on www.branchesblog.com

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