MATTHEW 6:16_Moreover when ye fast…
Fasting has recently gained popularity. More and more it is considered a health benefit. There are different kinds of fasts. Depending upon the kind of fast, some of the benefits are improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, weight management, and heart health. These are all health issues which need attention. They are some issues you might address in adulthood, and consulted a physician.
The kind of fasting Jesus refers to in this teaching is more to benefit the spirit than the body. Health benefits for the body are still there, but that is not the purpose of the fast. Health benefits come as a byproduct of your obedience to a spiritual fast. A spiritual fast concentrates on denying the physical to strengthen the spiritual. To gain insight from the Bible, and hear the Holy Spirit’s instructions – plan to incorporate spiritual fasting into your adult life.
Unfortunately, Christians bicker over many Biblical principles, fasting is often one of them. Do not bicker or argue over the Bible – rather, love God and His people. When you are an adult, God may call you at times to fast – to deeper your relationship with Him. A deeper relationship with Jesus can only do one thing – draw you closer to living a life of freedom.
If the Holy Spirit calls you to a fast, you will know.
Holy Jesus, When I am of the age for fasting, I will know Your call. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ fasted—He may call me to as well!
MATTHEW 6:15_But if ye forgive not men their trespasses…
What goes up must come down. If God’s forgiveness relates to your forgiveness, God’s unforgiveness relates to your unforgiveness.
A transformed life is a product of salvation and the ability to forgive. Salvation is an instantaneous, eternal experience. Transformation is a process. Love is a process. They grow. As you grow in relationship with Jesus, you grow in your ability to give true, straight-from-the-heart love. It is the way natural byproducts work.
The ability to forgive has to be a byproduct of the love you gain from heart transformation. Hard hearts cannot produce forgiveness. The natural byproduct of hard hearts is unforgiveness.
A relationship with Jesus is not just I need to be sure I’m not going to hell. It is about:
I hear the knock of Jesus on my heart’s door.
I feel the love He brings.
I feel His forgiveness.
I want to love like He loves me.
I want to forgive like He forgives me.
I want to live as His disciple.
I want to be His salt and light.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the natural byproducts of transformation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is salvation—He is my salvation
MATTHEW 6:14_Your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.
To understand forgiveness, understand your salvation.
Salvation is free. Yet it certainly was not free for Jesus. He paid an agonizing, heavy price for your sin freedom. This comes from love without boundaries. John 15:13 (KJV), “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” Add another trait to God’s I AM name – HE IS love.
When you accept Jesus as Savior and serve Him as Lord, life changes. That is what salvation’s transformation does – changes lives – forever. You will never be the same. You have stepped from the path of death to life, from bondage to freedom, from despair to hope, and from hate to love. You do not want to stray from this path.
Salvation comes with love. Not just love for you, but love within you. A freedom and ability to love like you never knew was possible. This is how it works:
Love is a natural byproduct of salvation’s transformation.
Forgiveness is a natural byproduct of love.
You don’t have to work for natural byproducts.
They come with the territory.
Mighty Jesus, Thank You for the undeniable path of salvation. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ gives His love to me—I will give it to others!
MATTHEW 6:13_and the glory…
What is glory anyway? Merriam Webster defines it as worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving; resplendence and magnificence. That’s the Lord God!
God uses His authority and control for good – to give love and mercy to creation. We’ve already read I John 4:17 (KJV). It needs to be repeated along with verse 16. “16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
God’s love can dwell in me! I can stand bold on Judgment Day. I stand bold because the power of God’s love worked within me in this life. I don’t have to wait for eternity to love like God – I can do it now! God gives me the ability to share in His glory.
God’s love shining through me gives light to my surroundings. Because it is God’s love, it shines from me with resplendence and magnificence! That blows me away!
The kingdom, and the power, and the glory belong to the Holy God of Heaven. He wants to place it inside my heart. How can I turn that down?!
Resplendent God, I praise Your glory! I worship You and all Your glory. I truly stand amazed in Your presence! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is Glory—I want His glory in my life!
MATTHEW 6:12_as we forgive our debtors.
My debtors caused this prayer to turn around. It was fine for God to forgive my debts. Psalm 136 (KJV) says twenty-six times, “for his mercy endureth for ever.”
I feel comfortable with the fact that God forgives me. That helps me overcome the lies the devil uses to deceive me that I can never be forgiven. This vertical forgiveness is from a God of true love. Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV), “The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee [you and me] with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Wow!
My debtors are those who have never paid things like:
A financial debt – money owed to me.
A verbal debt – a broken promise.
An emotional debt – harsh angry words which ripped apart every feeling of tenderness I ever possessed.
A trust debt – betrayal.
Whatever the debt, it is still in my ledger. Before, my prayer life was only concerned with God’s ledger book – now He is meddling into mine.
God points out things like, “I’m ready to erase your debts recorded in My Vertical Ledger because you are not able to pay. But, I see all kinds of unerased debts in your Horizontal Ledger. Let Me teach you a solution.”
Holy God, I want to have Your mercy that endures forever. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ erased my sins—He teaches me how to erase!