Fasting

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Use the following questions for your personal or group study on Fasting from Matthew 6:16-18.  Renew_Groups_Graphic-01

MEMORIZE:  Psalm 73:25-26 

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 

1)     Have you ever been an actor/actress in a play?  What part did you do?  Was it easy or difficult for you to pretend to be someone that you were not?  Why?

2)     What is a “hypocrite?”  What kinds of thoughts and emotions do you have toward people model hypocrisy?

3)     How could a person use fasting as some sort of spiritual hunger strike?  What would this motive reveal about a person’s heart?

4)     What was the BIG IDEA of today’s message?  You can listen online at:  http://www.springroad.org/#/sermons-studies

What LIE might the Enemy use to try to refute the truth of this BIG IDEA?

5)     A couple of weeks ago, we noted that both crudity and piety were forms of complex language.  We discussed the question:  “how could religious language be used to cover up what we don’t want others to know about us?”  How could fasting be used as a form of piety that creates a diversion to hide one’s faults?

6)     Look back over Matthew 5 and the Big Ideas we have covered:

☐  The resurrection is the Father’s validation that the door to the Kingdom is open to ALL.

☐  Kingdom people already ARE salt and light in the world.

☐  Kingdom people love the scripture and live to keep it.

☐  Kingdom people sustain marriage through the practice of love, not always the feelings of love.

☐  Kingdom people can be trusted in the simplicity of their language.

☐  Kingdom people do not retaliate and use imagination to confront injustice.

☐  Kingdom people focus upon the future so they can thrive in the present.

Which Big Idea was the easiest for you to embrace?  Which was the hardest?  Why?

7)     What might you infer about the heart of a person who gave to the needy, prayed and fasted PUBLICLY?  Why would this be dangerous?  Are you ever around someone who is very self-promoting?  Is the same or different?

8)     How does doing these things (Matthew 6) in secret become “basic training” for the heart of the disciple?

9)     “Our human cravings and desires are like rivers that tend to overflow their banks; fasting helps keep them in their proper channels.” (Foster, Celebration of Discipline, p. 56)  How can food “overflow its channels”?  What other things in life are good in moderation but can be destructive if there is too much or too little of it?

10)  Last week’s Big Idea was:  Kingdom people focus on the future so they can thrive in the present.  Look ahead at the topic of the next few verses (Matthew 6:19-34).  How is Jesus preparing his disciples to hear the 2nd half of the chapter?

APPLY IT:

Miss a meal this week on purpose not on accident. We all miss a meal in a hurry or being busy, but miss one on purpose.  And that purpose is to be reminded of our dependence on God.

 

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