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Fasting is Feasting

Prayer & Fasting  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:00
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*Title: Fasting is Feasting Trans: So, what have we learned about fasting so far? 1. Jesus fasted and wants us to fast... not a command, but a discipline Jesus practiced… 2. We discovered that fasting is an expression of love from us to God…He is our #1 priority… 3. We can fast from different things, not just food… 4. We can fast whenever we feel God has laid a burden on us to fast and pray… *On the back of your bulletin there is space for you to take notes…and right down questions that you have about the sermon that we can answer in depth on Wednesday nights!!!!!! *Text: Matthew 4:4 4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]” *>John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” -What did Jesus mean by saying He was the bread of life? The living water? Fasting invades our normal routine to show us what is really important. If it doesn’t matter for eternity, it just doesn’t matter. Fasting helps us to focus on what fills us with joy in life, wisdom, and guidance. We tend to seek those things in what we can find here on earth instead of in a relationship with Jesus. Eternal food is more important than spiritual food… *1. Feasting on God’s Wisdom *A. The Story of Esther >Esther 4:15…and fast for me… -There are times in life when a fast is necessary to seek God’s wisdom, direction and healing… -The Story of Esther is one of those examples God gives us to show us how fasting can produce Godly wisdom… -The Story of Esther can only be rivaled in history by the Nazi Concentration Camp Massacre of Jews in WWII… -Queen Vashti…Haman…King Xerxes…Mordecai… >Esther 4:15 15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” *B. The incredible plan God gave Esther. >Esther 5 -So, they fast 3 days and God gives Esther this plan… -God really gave Esther WISDOM…CONFIDENCE… -The timing in this story is miraculous…to the second… -Fasting allowed God to show Esther this incredibly wise plan to save the Jewish people… -Sometimes instead of panicking we need to fast and seek God… -Sometimes instead of talking to other people we need to shut other things out in order to seek God’s wisdom… >James 1:5 says… If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. -Why would we ever seek man’s wisdom when God’s wisdom is available to all who ask… Ill: Don’t you love it when a plan comes together, and you couldn’t have figured it all out? My beautiful daughter in law…story… *2. Feasting on God’s Will *A. God’s Will is simple! -God’s wants to have a relationship with us…THAT IS HIS WILL…HE LOVES YOU!!! >Col. 1:16-17 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. >Matt. 22:37-40 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” -It’s all about RELATIONSHIP…to love and be loved… -We were created to be in a relationship with God… -Fasting enables us to Feast on God’s love… -Have you ever taken time to just enjoy the love of God? -Have you ever taken time to let God tell you how much He love you? -Fasting is an interruption in our lives for the purpose of delighting in the love of God… -That’s what David said in *Psalms 34:7 *Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. -Delight means to enjoy, to bring pleasure and happiness… *B. God’s Will is tasty! *>Ps. 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. -What is God’s will? -Love Him…with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind…period… -Desire Him more than anything else in the world… -If we would do that, we would experience something so wonderful that everyone around us would want some… Ill: My wife tests food for me…She tells me whether I would like something or not… *3. Feasting of the Word of God *A. Eternal Food *>John 6:27 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. -Fasting helps us to devote time to feasting on the bread of life… -We devote ourselves to so many things that have no lasting consequence…Food that spoils… -When you feast on God’s Word, it will bring joy and happiness to your life…YES -Fasting is devoting our time to feast on the Bread of Life that feeds the spirit man… -The Spirit Man is the part that will endure for eternity either in Heaven or Hell... *B. Bread of Life *>John 6:30-35 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]” 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. -The Bread from God’s Word gives us life…not existence, but LIFE…JOY…HAPPINESS… Ill: Nothing in this world will ever quench your thirst! Nothing in this world will ever satisfy your hunger…
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