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Fasting for the Lord (Matthew 4:1-4)Gary McManus, July 30, 2017
Part of the God's Word is Life series, preached at a Sunday Morning service
July 30, 2017 Matthew 4:1-4
Fasting—going without food for spiritual
or religious purposes.
The first point about fasting:
We are not to USE spiritual tools for selfish reasons.
Prayer is a good example.
Prayer: our agenda? Or God’s agenda?
Fasting is for the purpose of furthering God’s agenda.
Fasting is an ANCIENT church practice.
There are more than 25 references to fasting
in the Bible.
Why might a person fast? Focus.
There were traditional and prescribes times for
fasting for ancient Israel.
What was a fast? We do not really know.
John the Baptizer ate only locusts and honey.
This was considered a type of fasting.
John was calling people to repentance.
John’s diet or fasting may be a part of that
Fasting to mourn the dead and fasting for
mourning one’s sins were a part of the rituals
of ancient Judaism. They are signs of piety—
to be religious or reverent.
Jesus fasted. Jesus fully identified with His
people. “Jesus died for our sins but Jesus lived
for our righteousness.” --R.C. Sproul
Jesus when with the disciples did NOT fast
weekly like the Pharisees.
(See Matthew 9:14 ff., Mark 2:18ff., Luke 5:33ff.)
Jesus expected that we would fast:
”WHEN YOU FAST”
Pharisees used fasting for the purpose of
PUBLICLY DEMONSTRATING their PIETY.
Some people USED fasting for their own
purposes instead of using fasting for God’s purposes.
Jesus fasted when completely ALONE.
Bread. . .physical sustenance. . .is not really living.
Real living is more than physical (Matthew 6:25).
To really live this life, we NEED God’s word.
The disciples fasted. (Acts 13:2, Acts 14:23)
[for discernment and commitment]
Kinds/types of fasts: . . . .
All are a type of fasting—fasting from certain
foods or fasting from a lot of foods.
All of them concern weight loss
—NOT drawing close to the Lord.
See Isaiah 58.
THIS is a fast for the Lord.
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4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (ESV)