Friday, March 5, 2010

Partnering in Prayer - A Lenten Devotion - Day 16 - Fasting

Day 16 – Thursday

Last night at church, we just finished a three-week Bible study on fasting. (Follow this link to see the Bible study curriculum we used. Follow the study from the OT, to the NT, and fasting by Christians today.) God has been speaking to me a lot about fasting, so it was fitting this morning when my devotion book gave this scripture:

Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval (John 6:26-27)."The crowds followed Jesus because of what He could give them. They were seeking the hand of God, rather than the face of God. There are many reasons to fast. People fast when they’re praying about a serious matter. They fast in order to grow closer to God. They fast when they’re grieving, or when they’re in danger. In fasting, we show God that He is more important than food.

Have you ever fasted? Have you ever come to a point in your life where you were so desperate for God that you put him absolutely first—even before food? Jesus said that He is the bread of life. He is sufficient for us. Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). After He visited with the woman at the well, His disciples offered him something to eat, and He said, “I have food that you don’t know about (John 4:32).” In other words, Jesus was so wrapped up in doing God’s work that He had forgotten to eat. He wasn’t even physically hungry, because His soul was so nourished. Jesus tells us not to work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty…For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day (vv. 35, 40)."
Jesus is the Bread of Life, and the Baker, all rolled into one. A woman who falls in love with a baker gets both the baker and the bread. A woman who only falls in love with the baker’s goods goes hungry when the shop is closed. Consider fasting, for Lent, or for anytime. I promise you—you won’t go hungry.

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