Ken Green - April 5, 2017

Fasting for Reconciliation

As the love of Jesus changes hearts, minds, and lives—as more are added to the number of those who follow Jesus—should there be a distinction between those who are “insiders” and those who are “outsiders”? If so, what would that distinction be? The Apostle Peter and the early church is faced with that question as God’s Spirit changes the lives of Gentile believers (“outsiders”). The truth is, apart from the reconciliation that Jesus brought about on the cross, reconciling God and people, we would all be outsiders. Our God is the One who brings those who are outside in from the cold and desolate spiritual landscape of this world, so that our hearts and lives would be warmed by the love of Jesus. That is what changes lives, here, and for eternity. Was there ever a time you felt like an outsider? How does God desire to use us to let others know of the tender love of Jesus so that they would be brought in from the cold? How do we humbly confess that it is only by grace that we find ourselves on the inside, in the tender embrace of the Savior?

Scripture References: Acts 11:1-12

From Series: "Fasting in Faith"

Fasting is a willing abstinence from an activity, most often referring to a reduction in or avoidance of food for a spiritual purpose. Jesus' forty-day fast in the wilderness was a notable event at the beginning of His Ministry. As a common practice throughout the Bible, fasting was often seen as a humbling act of commitment or repentance to be combined with prayer. In our day, fasting has become a favored spiritual discipline for a wide variety of people who believe this effort can help eliminate earthly distractions as they seek to draw nearer to God. But what can we do as sinful human beings to draw near to God-God is already with us- Jesus has redeemed us through the cross and empty tomb! These Wednesdays in Lent, we explore this theme of "fasting" to highlight our complete dependence and reliance upon God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. Moreover, we focus on the Word of God for Nourishment as the Scriptures guide us to examine circumstances and instructions related to fasting, food, and self-denial.

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