Daily Bread 2-22-18
The Sermon on the mount(cont'd)
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fasteth, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
ref. - Isa 58:5 - Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
We have so many different opinions and pictures of fasting. What is the truth on this matter? It is written that we are not to fast so that man can see or acknowledge our fast, but in secret to God. The reference in Isaiah 58:5 explains what man thinks of a fast to be but exactly what it is not. These people were putting on a great show when they were to fast, or go without. This scripture goes on to explain that fasting can also be an affliction to the soul rather than to the body. If we want to go around and starve ourselves as a fast we will soon be showing to men our affliction in that we are hungry and thirsty. But Isaiah goes on to show them in verses 6 and 7; Is this not the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness,(go without wickedness, get rid of the hold it has on us), to undo heavy burdens( be able to release the things that are dragging us down), and let the oppressed go free(stop holding others back), and that ye break every yoke?( release all other Gods and idols from our lives, as well as addictions and traditions of men), Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry(to give to someone else in need, spiritually or carnally, but mostly spiritually), and bring the poor that are cast out to thy house?(lead others who are spiritually empty to the Church), when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him(our prayers and the conversion of a soul will hide a multitude of sins, therefore, clothing the Spiritually naked); and that thou hides not thyself from thine own flesh?(don't give up on loved ones or cast them out, follow the instruction of Christ and treat them as we ought to, as according to the scripture.) So, we learn that this fasting that God wants of us is not necessarily the lack of food and water but it is giving beyond ourselves to those who are in need. Going without many of our own luxuries so that others can see the light and prosper. Not trying to get the glory from men or to announce the good deeds that we are doing. Whether it be the spending of money or the giving of our time, we are to keep it within ourselves between us and God alone. This is when prosperity will begin to fill our lives and that we will be able to live in abundance of the blessings of God. So, today, we have a choice we can follow the carnal directions of man that will lead us to the acknowledgment of man, or we can follow the instructions of the word of God and become Spiritual creatures and eventually it will lead us to the acknowledgment of God. The choice is up to each one of us and the proof will be in the reward!! Have a great day!!!