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Wednesday, October 5, 2022 7:33 PM

Thursday, October 6 "WHEN YOU FAST"

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 7:33 PM
Wednesday, October 5, 2022 7:33 PM

Fasting is an opportunity to trust in the Lord and show your need for Him.

Scripture tells us that fasting is not an “if," but a “when." It was Jesus who said "When you fast..."(Matthew 6:16). Fasting is something that God wants us to consider and use to grow closer to Him. Scripture contains examples where Jesus fasted to build intimacy with God. But He was not the only one to trust God through fasting. We see this with Esther as well. She used fasting to trust God even in the most dangerous of circumstances. Jeanne Nigro expands on Esther’s story as a model for how to fast with a purpose.

Esther trusted God through fasting in the midst of her scary and unknown situation. As you read in Joel 2:12-13, the Lord is gracious and compassionate to those who return to Him in fasting. He is abounding in love and slow to anger. God wants us to trust Him through fasting, just as Esther and Jesus did.

Apply

  • Take a few minutes to come up with a plan for your fast. When will you do it? Why?
  • What will you be praying for or trusting God with during your fast?
  • What can you rely on God for when you fast?

 

Scripture

Matthew 6:16-18

16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

Esther 4:15-16

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.”

 

Joel 2:12-13

12 “Even now,” declares the Lord,

“return to me with all your heart,

with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

13 Rend your heart

and not your garments.

Return to the Lord your God,

for he is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in love,

and he relents from sending calamity.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 7:28 PM

Wednesday, October 5 "REALIZE GOD'S GIFT"

Tuesday, October 4, 2022 7:28 PM
Tuesday, October 4, 2022 7:28 PM

Time spent fasting helps us grow in our relationship with the Lord. Through fasting, we can see the gifts God has given us and His purpose for us.

Personal sacrifice is a part of the Christian faith. While making a sacrifice is not easy, it can remind us of what is really important. Heaven is our true home and everything we give up on earth is temporary compared to eternity. Missionary Jim Elliot said, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” This is true of fasting as well. Our time of fasting can help us to better understand that everything from God is a gift to us. It can help us understand what purpose God has for us. Pastor and author Andrew Petiprin discusses what he has learned about fasting.

Every day we have the choice to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to God. The Lord does not force His children to obey Him; rather He longs for us to choose His ways over our own desires. When we fast - whether it is from food, or an activity, or an item - we move into a deeper relationship with Jesus. God shows us opportunities for the furthering of His kingdom. He shows us His desire, His purpose for our lives.

Apply

  • Would you consider giving up something to be drawn into a deeper relationship with God? What might that be?
  • Are you willing to act on what God shows you?

 

James 1:17

17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

 

Ephesians 5:2

2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

 

Romans 12:1-2

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 

Monday, October 3, 2022 7:26 PM

Tuesday, October 4 "HUNGER FOR CONNECTION"

Monday, October 3, 2022 7:26 PM
Monday, October 3, 2022 7:26 PM

Fasting provides us with an opportunity to step away from the things we prioritize over spending time with God.

Fasting is usually done by refraining from food with the intent to grow closer with God. But connecting with God through fasting can take many different forms. You should fast from anything that you rely on more than God. Then as you go throughout your day, you have the opportunity to build dependence on God by trusting in Him, instead of in what you relied on before. It is important to know that nothing will fill nor satisfy us the way God can. This action looks different from person to person. Kelly Johnson, author and counselor, shared how she learned from her experience of fasting from social media.

Each of us has things that take various priorities in our lives. Social media is not a bad thing, but it played a negative role in Kelley’s life. Are there things in your life that take too much of your time and focus? Kelly says that social media was like eating a piece of candy when she needed a nutritious meal. She wanted and craved relationship. Instead of pursuing a relationship with God, she put technology in His spot. This left her mentally and spiritually malnourished and weak. We all have weaknesses like this that get in the way of a stronger walk with God.

Apply

  • What is your “piece of candy” that is getting in the way of your nourishing relationship with God?
  • How can you begin to pursue God more today?

Scripture

 

Matthew 4:8-10

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

 

Romans 12:2

2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Sunday, October 2, 2022 7:24 PM

Monday, October 3 "SAYING YES TO GOD"

Sunday, October 2, 2022 7:24 PM
Sunday, October 2, 2022 7:24 PM

Fasting helps us recognize our dependence on God. We must make sure we approach our fast with the right attitude and intentions.

Fasting is an act that Christians have practiced since Biblical times. Even our Savior, Jesus Christ, fasted. It helps us to take our eyes off of our current worldly situation and focus our need toward dependence on God. Although not a regular part of most Christians' lives, fasting is a proven way to see spiritual growth. It is our choice to make. Listen to bestselling author Robert Wolgemuth speak about this choice.

The change in attitude that Robert speaks of may make a drastic difference in your fast. Think back to the purpose of fasting. It is a faith-based practice that helps us grow closer toward Christ. When done out of reluctance and self-will, it could have the opposite effect. As you prepare to fast, make sure your attitude and intentions are what God desires. Let Him guide you to the right purpose.

Apply

  • If you have fasted before, what has been your attitude leading up to the fast?

 

Scripture

Colossians 3:1-3 KJV

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

 

Luke 1:1-4

1 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3 With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Friday, September 23, 2022 10:42 AM

FASTING WITH A PURPOSE

Friday, September 23, 2022 10:42 AM
Friday, September 23, 2022 10:42 AM

Monday, October 3rd through Friday, October 7th we will be reading the devotional "Fasting With A Purpose" on the Bible app. We want to encourage you to not only read the devotions but also engage with it by sharing how God is speaking to you.

To participate in the devotional reading simply download the Bible app on your phone and request to be a friend of West Point. You’ll be able to participate in the devotions via the Bible app or through this link.