In Matthew 6 Jesus gave instructions regarding “when you give to the needy…” (Matthew 6:2), “when you pray…” (Matthew 6:5), and “when you fast…” (Matthew 6:16). He did not use the word “if” but “when” as if to indicate that He assumed His disciples would practice these exercises of faith. Generally speaking, we hold ourselves accountable to the expectation of giving and praying but not fasting. Yet, fasting was practiced by Jesus (Matthew 4:1-2) and the early church (Acts 13:2-3; 14:23). Thus, there must be a context in which it can be beneficial for our spiritual growth today. So, this week’s spiritual exercise is designed to educate and engage us in the discipline of fasting.
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