29 July 2013

On Fasting

S: “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (Isaiah 58:6-11 NLT)

O: When The Lord asks for fasting, He's talking about something COMPLETELY different than I was taught. I was taught that it was mostly about going without food so we could make a contribution to help feed those who needed it. But this passage shows it's SO much more than that. 

A: When I fast, what is my intention? How do I use the fasting time I have to fulfill something further on that list above?    What ways can I turn my everyday into a fast of some kind, so I can be of more use to my God?

P: Lord, show me Your work. Show me the way to walk after Your example every day. Release in me Your love, and let me see those around me with Your eyes. Let me free the captive and bind up the broken-hearted. I want to love your children more, and to have the safety of Your rich & loving grace to transform my efforts into Your work. In Jesus' name, amen!

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I welcome questions and concerns--they are most often what spur us closer to the truth. I only ask that we all give everyone the most generous benefit of the doubt, assigning the best motives possible. A soft answer truly does turn away wrath, and an atmosphere of Jesus's love is the best for learning, no matter which side of a discussion you're on.

Thanks so much, and God bless you!