Don at My Heart Is For Israel has finished his study on The Disciple’s Prayer and moves onward in his study of the Sermon on the Mount. Blessings and enjoy!

Sitting at the Feet of Yeshua

We continue exploring the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 6.  Yeshua has just finished teaching His talmidim how to pray and now continues with instructions on fasting and dealing with material possessions.

Before getting into the subject of material possessions, Yeshua shares His thoughts on fasting.  “Now when you fast, don’t go around looking miserable, like the hypocrites. They make sour faces so that people will know they are fasting. Yes! I tell you, they have their reward already! But you, when you fast, wash your face and groom yourself, so that no one will know you are fasting – except your Father, who is with you in secret. Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  (Matthew 6:16-18)

The only fast that God actually required of the Jewish people was on Yom Kippur (see Vayikra 23:27).  However, the P’rushim fasted every Monday and Thursday (see Luke 18:12) and did so in such a way that people knew they were fasting.  Their purpose, of course, was to win the praise of men.  Not good – wrong motive!

It is not wrong to fast, if we do it in the right way and with the right motive.  Matthew records that Yeshua fasted (see Matthew 4:3); so did the members of the early Messianic community (see Acts 13:2).  Fasting helps to discipline the appetites of the body (see Luke 5:34) and keep our spiritual priorities straight.  But fasting must never become an opportunity for temptation (see 1 Corinthians 7:7).

Simply to deprive ourselves of a natural benefit (such as food or sleep) is not of itself fasting.  We must devote ourselves to God and worship Him.  Unless there is the devotion of the heart (see Zechariah 7) there is no lasting spiritual benefit.  In other words, while you are fasting you should be using that time to mediate on the Word of God……read the rest of the post here: Fasting and Wealth