Topics: priority, morals, ethics
I. Fasting Coveys Humility
* Seeking God thru fasting and prayer is a discipline of self-denial!
- Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).
- "Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full" (Mt. 6:16; see Matthew 9:14, 15).
II. Fasting conveys true faith
* Seeking God thru fasting and prayer can break strongholds!
- "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "Return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; and rend your heart and not your garments." Now return to the LORD your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil (Joel 2:12, 13).
- "But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:17, 18).
- Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you. ["But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."] (Matthew 17:19-21).
III. Fasting conveys love for Jesus
* Seeking God thru fasting and prayer can spark spiritual revival!
- And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers (Luke 2:36, 37).
- While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went (Acts 13:2-4a).
Sermon by Pastor Rod Akins, May 1st, 2022