Sermon on the Mount: Fasting

16“And 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. 17But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that 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.” ~Matthew 6

I just wanna do

What I wanna do

I just want to

Do what pleases me

And if that fits with You, LORD

That’s great

That’s good

But if it doesn’t quite fit

I’ll gloss it over with You

Later

.

It’s Sunday now

The Sabbath Day

Set apart to worship and pray

I’ll go in the morning

I’ll pray in the day

But when the final chord ends

When I’m home again

It’s just the same

As it always was

I’ll talk to You

Later

.

I really need some help today

LORD

I really need some attention

And so I’ll fast

I’ll tell the whole world

I am Yours

They’ll know it

By the growling of my stomach

And if they look at me the wrong way

I’ll bestow on them Your wrath

Do they do this to those starving elsewhere?

But please LORD

Let my suffering not be for nothing

Please give me what I want

What I need

Now not later

.

But the LORD ignores me

Because I’ve ignored Him

So many times

I live out my faith by nothing

I offer no love—

Is He in me?

What fasting is pleasing to Him?

It is to live as Jesus did

To sacrifice my wants and desires

To humble myself today

To offer all that’s been given me

Give it

Give it in love

This is pleasing to the LORD

To live as Jesus did

And honor His Day

As He did

~

 

“14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” ~James 2

“9He went on from there and entered their synagogue. 10And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. 11He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.” ~Matthew 12

“2For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God. They ask me for just decisions and seem eager for God to come near them. 3‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers. 4Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high. 5Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord?

6“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. 9Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.” ~Isaiah 58

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