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"Why Fast?"
by Tom Goodman
June 20, 2007

Fasting:  Jesus practiced it.  So did the Apostle Paul.  The first-century church often joined it with their fervent prayers.  Those of us in the twenty-first century church need to restore this biblical discipline to our spiritual lives.

Why fast?  This Sunday I’m going to explain four reasons that people fasted in biblical times.  We’ll use the acrostic F-A-S-T to remember the reasons.

First, we should fast whenever there is need of forgiveness.  In the Bible, people fasted because they were heart-broken over their own sins (Joel 2:12-13), and also when they grieved over the condition of people they loved (Nehemiah 1:3).

Second, adoration leads to fasting.  We often think of fasting only in the context of grief or dire need or earnest, urgent prayer.  But fasting can also be a way of celebrating our relationship with God (Luke 2:36-38).  Fasting can be a way of saying, “God, spending time with you is even more important than food!”

Third, people fasted in the Bible days when they needed God to supply something they lacked (Esther 4:3; Judges 20; 2 Chronicles 20; Ezra 8:21-23).  Andrew Murray said: “Fasting helps to express, to deepen, and to confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, to sacrifice ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.”

Finally, we should fast as a way to train ourselves in the real priorities of life.  Fasting is a way of reminding us that there are things more important than food.  The worship of God (Acts 13:2), the work of God (John 4:34); and the word of God (Matthew 4:2-4) are all more important than food.

Forgiveness, Adoration, Supply, and Training.  Do you have any of those same needs?  Do you need to lay out some broken-ness before the Lord and ask his forgiveness?  Do you need to spend time in adoration?  Do you need something—rescue, guidance, healing?  Do you need to train yourself to put the worship of God, the work of God, and the word of God above everything else?  If you have these same needs, the same resource to meet these needs still exists.  Fasting is a discipline we should restore in our day and in our church.

So, join us for this special study this Sunday, June 24, at 9:30am or 10:45am.  Guest musician Adam Paul Williams will sing in both services.


Concert and Party This Week.  Adam Paul Williams and Stephen Burnaman will be in concert at 6pm in the Worship Center this Sunday, June 24.  Following the concert, we’ll celebrate Stephen’s marriage to Sandra.  Root beer floats all around!  More info in Gene’s article.

The Daily Cup.  Participants at the Common Ground Café receive a six-day devotional guide on the back of their discussion forms every week.  Herb prepares the devotionals based on the sermon.  These are now available in an e-mail called “The Daily Cup”!  These devotionals will help you reflect on the biblical truths of last week’s sermon all week.  Whether or not you attend Common Ground, sign up for The Daily Cup by writing Herb.

We’re going to the Holy Land!  Download our PDF brochure here.

A new iMix of praise music is here!  Listen to "Hillcrest Bold Gold (Volume 2)."

Links to Your World

The Missionary Travels of Paul, Nintendo Style.

Finally: a dress a dad can make for his daughter: Duct tape prom dresses.

Find guidance on gender issues at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

What’s happened to Sabbath-keeping?  The WSJ answers.

Buy a whole hill country town for $2.5 million.  Details here.

Calvary Austin baptism featured in the Statesman.  Neat pics.

Southern Baptists speak on global warming (here).

Here is a cool story about an Indian named Rabi Maharaj who left the comforts of being worshipped within his Hindu religion for something better in Jesus.  (HT: Amy at The A-Team)

“The trouble with the $27 million Creation Museum . . . is that it undermines the credibility of all Christians, especially those who are researching alternatives to Darwinian evolution using the tools of the scientific method.”  Michael Patrick Leahy in the LA Times.  Agree?  Disagree?

A real-time 3-D computer reconstruction allows visitors to navigate the ancient city of Rome as if it were 320 A.D. again (article, with video).

At The Post-Rapture Post, atheists offer to send your post-rapture letter to an unbelieving friend or relative who gets “left behind.” U-m-m . . .

"The logical complementarity of the human sexes has been so recognized in our culture that it has entered our vocabulary in the form of naming various pipe fittings either the male fitting or the female fitting depending upon which interlocks within the other," he wrote.  "When the complementarity of the sexes is breached, injuries and diseases may occur."  James Holsinger, M.D., the White House nominee for Surgeon General, talking sense and taking heat.

Find more at my weblog, “Get Anchored,” including the "Song of the Week" ("With Arms Wide Open" by Creed), commentary on the state of American weddings, the power of your influence, Part Three of our churchwide renovation, and advice from Woodrow Wilson on sermon prep time.  To keep up with the journal, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the feed to your news reader or Google Personalized Home Page.

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