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Friday, September 4, 2009

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Colossians 1:15-20
Psalm 100:1-5
Luke 5:33-39

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loving to fast

"When the days come that the Groom is removed from their midst, they will surely fast in those days." —Luke 5:35

Jesus said that we, His disciples, will surely fast. However, our fasting as Jesus' followers differs from Old Testament fasting. New Testament fasting is so powerful that it is compatible only with a New Testament lifestyle (Lk 5:37). Without the new wineskin of a new lifestyle to contain the new wine of our new fasting, our fasting will not be constructive but destructive. Therefore, to fast as the Lord calls us, we must first be letting the Spirit create in us a new lifestyle.

The Spirit will do this by giving us a relationship with Jesus which takes precedence over our selfish desires, compulsions, and habits. In the Spirit, we will be able to say: "Those things I used to consider gain I have now reappraised as loss in the light of Christ. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For His sake I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my Wealth and I may be in Him" (Phil 3:7-9).

At this time in history, the Spirit may be calling the Church to fast in a special way. Fasting sets people free (Is 58:6) and, with prayer, is the only way to drive out certain demons (Mt 17:21, NAB). However, to fast in full New Testament power, we must let the Spirit change our lifestyle by giving us a love for Jesus which surpasses everything.

Prayer:  Father, free me from this prison of a self-centered, pleasure-seeking lifestyle.

Promise:  Jesus "is before all else that is. In Him everything continues in being." —Col 1:17

Praise:  Carmen added fasting to her prayers for her ex-husband.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or on audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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