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Fasting in the New Testament

29 Jun

Our fasting quote of encouragement today is from Sam Storms. He said: “The ironic thing about fasting is that it really isn’t about not eating food. It’s about feeding on the fullness of every divine blessing secured for us in Christ. Fasting tenderizes our hearts to experience the presence of God. It expands the capacity of our souls to hear His voice and be assured of His love and be filled with the fullness of His joy… The point is that fasting is a feast. Fasting is all about eating! It is all about ingesting the Word of God, the beauty of God, the presence of God, the blessings of God. Fasting is all about spiritual gluttony! It is not a giving up of food for its own sake. It is about a giving up of food for Christ’s sake.”

Our fasting devotional today is titled “FASTING IN THE NEW TESTAMENT” from Elmer L. Towns in his book “Fasting for Spiritual Breakthrough”.

In the New Testament, fasting was a widely practiced discipline, especially among the Pharisees and the disciples of John the Baptist. Jesus began His public ministry with an extended fast of 40 days. As we have noted, when the apostles of Jesus were criticized by both the Pharisees and John the Baptist’s disciples for not fasting, Jesus defended their not fasting while He was present, but implied that they would fast after He was taken from them.

Jesus gave His disciples no specific guidelines concerning the frequency of fasting. He taught that their fasting should differ from that of the Pharisees in that they should fast to God rather than to impress others with their supposed spirituality.

Fasting was later practiced in the New Testament Church, especially when ordaining elders and/or designating people for special ministry projects. Fasting was apparently practiced by Paul and other Christian leaders fairly regularly.

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Fasting Edition

 

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