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The Adventure of Fasting (1 of 4)
Series: Where Are You Hurting?
Matthew 6:16-18; Acts 13:1-3
Richard Foster, in his book, The Celebration of Discipline, says that in a land filled with Golden Arches and pizza temples, it seems very strange to talk about fasting. I hope that if you haven't read this book, you'll get a copy. Every Christian should read it. It's one of the finest I've read, covering many things in the Christian life.
Foster said that in his studies he found that for a period of several hundred years there were no books written on fasting. Only in recent years, he said, has he been able to find any materials on fasting which he could study and develop for his ministry to the church.
I have found that to be true in my own experience. I did not have a book or any teaching on fasting until ten years ago. In 1975, a couple gave me a gift after I performed their wedding service. That gift was a book on fasting, and the first one I had ever received on the subject. Subsequently, I found myself fascinated by it, and wondering why I'd never heard anything about it in the church where I grew up. Neither did I hear anything about it in my Baptist college, or even at seminary.
I do not come as a guru, professing to know everything about fasting. I do come with some experience, having read and studied it very deeply in order to be prepared to bring you this brief message. However, I could actually spend several weeks on this intriguing subject. Hopefully, I will give you enough now to whet your appetite so that you'll begin to study it, and then when the time comes for the Lord to move your heart to fast, or when our church comes to a period of fasting, you can do it effectively and it will bless you.
I'm going to deal with six questions that I an of tea asked regarding fasting, and I hope to deal with these specific points in order to give us some insight along the way.
I. WHAT IS A FAST?
In the passage which we just read, Jesu ...
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