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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
August 31, 2014
The Proper Practice of Fasting
This morning we come to a topic which most people have little familiarity with the Biblical practice of it – fasting. You may recognize the word and may know its meaning. Some of you may have even had to fast for some medical test or as part of a diet to lose weight. Some of you may come from religious traditions in which some sort of fast was practiced on particular occasions such as the Lenten season. However, my guess is that there are few present that have ever fasted in the Biblical sense. Why? Two reasons. First, the proper Biblical practice of fasting, as expressed by our Lord was quickly perverted resulting in most churches that do fast practicing it incorrectly. Second, the evangelical church has largely ignored the subject as a reaction to the excesses that have occurred within Catholicism and other Christian traditions.
This morning I have two goals in my sermon. The first is to make you aware of fasting. You need to know what the Scriptures say about why and how it is to be done which should provide motivation to fast and do so properly. My second goal is to take a principle from this text and apply it to our daily lives. I hope your goal is to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Even though fasting is a rather obscure subject, there is an important principle that can be drawn from it to help live righteously in daily life.
Turn with me to Matthew 6:16-18 to examine our text. “And whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance in order to be seen fasting by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
This is the third example that Jesus has used to illustrate the principle that He gave in Matthew 6:1, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” This principle applies when you do something for other people such as give alms (gifts to the poor, 6:2-4). If you give in such a way as to purposely draw attention to yourself, then the only reward you will receive is the praise of men for that was your purpose. Do not expect to receive anything from God. (See: Proper Motives & Practices of Giving)
This principle also applies to your personal relationship with God Himself. If you pray in such a way as to draw attention to yourself with the motive of wanting others to think good of you, then the only reward you will receive is the praise of men. God will not give you a reward because He does not pay attention to such prayers. Your motivation to pray must be to talk with God, not to impress those who may be around you. The Christian can pray with confidence that the Lord knows his needs before he even asks. (See: The Proper Purpose and Practice of Prayer) Our prayers are to be God centered by seeking the glorification of His name, for His kingdom to come and for His will to be done. Prayer is centered on God, not on requests for our kingdom to expand and our will to be done. (See: The Proper Pattern of Prayer, Part 1) The requests we do make are to be made humbly as people who know that God is our provider, savior and protector according to His precious promises. If our prayers are not God centered, then they are not truly prayers and there is no promise of a reward from Him.
In our text this morning we find that the same principle holds true in the personal discipline of our own spiritual lives. If you fast in such a way as to bring attention to yourself, then there is no reward other than the praise of men because that was the actual motivation for it. If you want God to pay attention, then your fasting must be righteous.
This was the error of the Scribes and Pharisees. They had wrong motives for what should have been good religious actions. They wanted the acclaim of men, so they fasted in such a way as to make sure everyone around them knew that they were fasting.
If we are to understand their error clearly, we must first know what Scriptures actually teach about fasting. What does it mean to fast? What is its purpose? How should it be done?
The word translated here as “fast” (nhsteu;w/ n steu ) simply means to voluntarily abstain from food. There were different kinds of fasts and they varied in their practice. The Mishna records that the practice during the day of atonement was abstaining from all food and water. Most common though were fasts in which water could be taken, but food could not. There were also partial fasts such as that of Daniel and his three friends in Daniel 1 in which they abstained from the King’s food and ate only beans and water.
There is no specific command to fast in the worship of God, yet fasting was a common response by the person seriously seeking after God. Some have held that God commanded a fast to be held on the Day of Atonement. Whether or not this is a specific command, the purpose of fasting is well described in Leviticus 16:29 & 23:27 which both say, “On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD.” The phrase, “humble your souls” is supposed to be what signifies the fast. Whether that phrase particularly means a fast is debated, but the fast was to signify a humble state of the heart.
The personal religious fasts that are recorded in Scripture demonstrate this purpose of humility before God. Wicked King Ahab heard the prophecy of Elijah against him and 1 Kings 21:27 records his response, “And it came about when Ahab heard these words, that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and fasted, and he lay in sackcloth and went about despondently.” Ahab fasted as part of his demonstration of repentance. The Lord responded in verse 29, “Do you see how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the evil in his days. . .”
The basic purpose of the fast is a demonstration of the humility of the one fasting in their dependence upon God. There is usually an intensity of emotion involved. In the case of Ahab, it was the anguish of repentance. It was the distress of impending danger that caused King Jehoshaphat to proclaim a national fast in Judah when they were threatened with attack by the Moabites and Ammonites (1 Chronicles 20:3). It was the turmoil of soul that comes when a loved one is ill that caused David to fast when the child he had by his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba became sick. Nathan the prophet had already prophesied that the child would die because of David’s sin, but David fasted and prayed saying in 2 Samuel 12:22, “I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.” Fasts were also common responses in mourning when a friend or loved one died. The men of Jabesh-Gilead fasted for seven days upon King Saul’s death.
Even though there does not seem to be any specific command to fast in the worship of God, the Scriptures do record many examples of fasting by godly people as part of their worship or in serving the Lord. The first fast recorded is that of Moses in Exodus 34:28 when He was on Mount Sinai, “So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” The intensity of meeting with God precluded eating and drinking and God sustained him.
In a somewhat similar manner, Daniel 9 & 10 records that he fasted. Daniel was so intense in his prayer and in seeking after God that he neglected food. Daniel 9:2-3 states that as Daniel was examining the prophecies of Jeremiah he realized that the time of Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning the desolation of Jerusalem was nearly fulfilled and so Daniel gave his “attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fastings, sackcloth, and ashes.” That demonstrates not only the humility of this godly man, but also his intense desire to know God and understand the revelation God had given him. In chapter 10 we find Daniel in a partial fast, “I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use ointment at all, until the three weeks were completed.” Daniel was in mourning for the understanding of the revelation given to him. How our lives would be different if we had that same intensity in our desire to know & understand the Scriptures.
Fasting was a fairly normal part of the life of the godly, but they did not have a set schedule of fasting. They were at times so intense in their seeking after God that they would not let eating and drinking get in the way of their endeavor. They themselves, not the cravings of their physical body, were in control of their lives. Jesus recognized the normality of fasting when He says in our text, “but you, when you fast . . .”.
But as with any godly activity, it can become perverted. The Scribes and Pharisees lost sight of the purpose of fasting and instead of seeing it as a means to the end of a closer walk with God, they saw it as an end in itself which was the demonstration of their superior righteousness. Luke 18:12 records the boastful prayer of one of the Pharisees in which he brags on himself, “I fast twice a week.” This was apparently the common practice among these religious leaders at the time of Christ. Supposedly this was in commemoration of Moses going up on Mount Sinai on Thursday and coming down on Monday. Interesting enough, their fasting also happened to correspond to the two major market days of the week when the largest crowds would be in town.
Jesus says of them that their practice of fasting was to put on a gloomy face. They would neglect their appearance in order to be seen by men. There is a word play here in the Greek that emphasizes their hypocritical nature. They would disfigure their faces with ashes to that they might be “unseen” (ajfanivzousin / afanidzousin) but their purpose in doing so was to “be seen” (fanw:sin / fan sin). They made an outward show of piety by making themselves look like they were serious in their fast. Not only did they put ash on their face, but they would not groom their hair, leaving it all disheveled. They would put on old clothes that were torn and full of holes. A great outward show, but none of it was from true righteousness. They were far from God and these were acts of self righteous. They loved the acclaim of men more than the acclaim of God.
The question now arises about fasting in our time. Is fasting a practice that was to continue into the church age? Is fasting something that we as Christians should also consider as a legitimate practice of righteousness? From the scant amount of material written on the subject by the conservative evangelical church as a whole, you would conclude that fasting is not important and does not need to be practiced today. However, the simple fact is that fasting is still for today for the same reasons it was practiced in ancient times. What did Jesus say to the multitudes listening to Him preach this sermon? “But you, when you fast.” Jesus takes it for granted that fasting will occur by those that follow Him.
Jesus and His disciples also fasted at times. Jesus fasted for forty days and nights in the wilderness prior to His temptation by Satan (Matthew 4:2). The church at Antioch fasted and prayed when Paul and Barnabas were called as missionaries (Acts 13:2). Paul and his companions fasted and prayed before appointing Elders in the various cities in which they were working. History shows that fasting was a common practice in the early church. So why don’t we do it?
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his discussion of this subject pointed out that a large part of this is the over reaction by the evangelical church to the excesses that occurred within Catholicism and other Christian traditions.
A study of history shows that it did not take long for the proper purpose of fasting to be perverted within the church. Asceticism, and in particular that practiced within the monastic movement, brought about the worst distortions of why fasting was to be done. They did not copy the error of the Scribes and Pharisees by proclaiming their fasting publicly, but they did copy one of their other serious errors. They came to believe that fasting in itself would bring about spiritual gain. Instead of fasting being part of a response to an unusually intense time of danger, suffering, penitence or search for the mind of God on a matter, it became a regular part of their effort to become righteous through self abasement.
Asceticism developed a perverted model of spirituality that remained strong throughout the middle ages. Ascetics traded the inward reality for the outward facade. The extremes that were already reached by the fourth and fifth centuries (300-400 AD) are seen in these examples. Isidore of Alexandria touched no meat, never ate enough, and, as Palladius related, often burst into tears at table for shame, that he, who was destined to eat angels’ food in paradise, should have to eat material stuff like irrational brutes. Marcarius the elder, or the Great, for a long time ate only once a week, and slept standing and leaning on a staff. Marcarius the younger lived three years on four or five ounces of bread a day, and for seven years on raw herbs and pulse (beans). A fellow named Batthaeus was so extreme in his ascetic practices that worms crawled out of his teeth. Another fellow named Symeon spent 36 years praying, fasting, and preaching, which sounds good until you learn it was from the top of a pillar thirty or forty feet high. He ate only once a week and in fast times not at all. Such are some of the cases to which fasting was carried by the ascetics. These are some of the more extreme cases, but the same mind set about the spiritual reward in fasting continued.
The problem of course is that it confused the outward practice with the inward reality. Scripturally, fasting was to arise from the heart, but this was corrupted like so many other things into a method of trying to change the heart by an outward action. Abuse of fasting still occurs today for the same reasons, though not to the same extremes. I had a friend that was a messianic Jew who had an adult son who had problems in this area. The fellow was so given to fasting that his physical health was visibly deteriorating and yet they could not convince him that it would not detract from his spirituality to be less extreme in his fasting and to eat a healthy diet.
With the coming of the reformation in the sixteenth century there was a lot of reaction to what had previously occurred and still occurs within Catholicism. In that process, even some things that are proper were also laid aside. John Calvin wrote concerning fasting, “Many for want of knowing its usefulness undervalue its necessity. And some reject it all together as superfluous, while on the other hand, where the proper use of fasting is not well understood, it easily degenerates into superstition.” It is because of the over reaction to those that have practiced fasting superstitiously that we have ended up in America today with a conservative evangelical church that knows little to nothing about fasting.
How is fasting to be practiced today?
First, remember the purpose of fasting. Contrary to what is claimed by mystics, including Christian mystics, nowhere in Scripture do we find that fasting is the means by which a person can have heightened spiritual experience, visions, special insight or awareness. The purpose of fasting is to demonstrate humility and to give full concentration to God. As one writer put it, “People who are consumed with concern before God do not take a lunch break.” That brings up another reason for the lack of fasting today. We simply lack both that kind of intensity in our relationship with God and the self discipline to say no to our appetite. In my own life I have failed in planned fasting because my stomach would growl and I thought I had to feed it. More successful were unplanned fasts in which I was so consumed in study of something that God had laid on my heart that I would not think about eating, and when my stomach would growl I would keep telling it, “I’ll feed you in a minute, let me finish this page first.” Eventually it would be so late that I would just go to bed without bothering to eat. I never sensed any lack for having skipped meals. I was just physically tired by my pursuit to understand and know God and His word and was able to sleep quite well.
Second, remember that there cannot be proper fasting apart from a right heart, right living and a right attitude. Throughout the Scriptures we always find that fasting and prayer go together. The fasting is to arise as a result of the intensity by which we are bringing our concern to God. One thing I hope we have learned in this series on Jesus’ teaching on prayer is that prayer must have the right motive, practice and content. Prayer must be God centered. Fasting is an aide to intense prayer demonstrating our humble dependence upon God and our intense seeking after Him.
Third, fasting is never to be something mechanical. The only regular fast seems to have been the Day of Atonement. Jesus is our atonement, so Christians do not observe Yom Kippur. All the other fasts in Scripture were based on circumstances as they arose. National days of fasting were called due to danger or need for national repentance. Individual fasts occurred for similar reasons. Scripture associates fasting with mourning, times of sorrow, overwhelming danger being at hand, conviction of sin, and with intense seeking after and understanding of God.
Should you fast? Yes, as your heart is burdened and you seek God. How should you fast? As Jesus describes in Matthew 6:17, “But you, when you fast, anoint your head, and wash your face so that you may not be seen fasting by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
Some have taken this to extremes as well. They say that you are to be the exact opposite of the Scribes and Pharisees. They wanted everyone to know that they were fasting, so the opposite would be to make sure that no one knows that you are fasting. They made themselves out to look very sad and appear very bad, therefore you should therefore put on a happy face and appear very nice. They put on a frown, therefore you should put on a smile. They were dirty and disheveled, therefore you should be clean and well groomed. But this is not what Jesus is talking about. He is not telling us to hide behind a plastic face. That is the opposite presentation as these false religious leaders, but the hypocrisy is the same. One of the problems within the Christian community is that we put on these false faces thinking that is what we are supposed to do, and by doing so we shut ourselves off from being ministered to by others and us ministering to them.
The things that Jesus says to do here are the normal things that are done in daily life. Essentially Jesus is saying to act normally and do not purposely call attention to yourself. The anointing of the head was the standard grooming practice. Oil was put on the head so a person would look better. Often the oil would be lightly scented and act like a perfume, which would be helpful in a society in which there was no such thing as a deodorant. The face would be washed to give a clean, fresh appearance. Remember that the streets were dusty and a person would get dirty a lot faster than we do in our society with our paved streets and sidewalks. When you fast, do all your normal grooming and put on your normal clothes and look normal. Jesus does not say to make some kind of special effort to hide what you are doing. He simply says to look and act like you normally do.
A good example of proper fasting is seen in Nehemiah. We do not have time to look at all the details here, but a brief overview of his story will illustrate. Nehemiah was a Jew during the time of the captivity and was serving as the cup bearer to King Artaxerxes who was the King of Persia. Nehemiah received word that things were not going well with those who had returned to Jerusalem under Ezra some 13 years earlier. The people there were in distress and the walls of the city had still not been repaired. Nehemiah’s response was, “Now it came about when I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” His prayer is also recorded and it lets us know that he is deeply grieved over this situation. With all this on Nehemiah’s heart, what should his outward appearance be? Should He put on sack cloth and ashes? Job, Jacob, and several of the kings and prophets did that, but Nehemiah had a job as the king’s cupbearer which did not allow him that privilege. How should his face look? Should he put on a fake smile so that no one would know his heart was so weighed down? In once sense he needed to do that because to be in the presence of a Persian king with anything other than joy could lead to your death. The idea was that just being in the presence of the king should lead to great joy, and if it did not, then you were disrespectful of the king. That could cost you your life immediately.
What happens? Nehemiah 2 – And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, and I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. So the king said to me, “Why is your face sad though you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of heart.” Then I was very much afraid. (Remember, the king could kill him for that). And I said to the king, “Let the king live forever. Why should my face not be sad when the city, the place of my fathers tombs, lies desolate and its gates have been consumed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What would you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. As the story continues, Artaxerxes sends Nehemiah back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. But take note of the proper practice of fasting and prayer by Nehemiah. He continued his normal routine, but the matter on his heart did cause his face to appear sad, and God used precisely that to open the door to His fulfilling Nehemiah’s prayer.
Fasting is proper in our day and age, but it must arise from a right motive and be carried out with a right heart and done in a right way. You are not to proclaim to others that you are fasting but neither do you have to hide it. As Martyn-Lloyd Jones said, “In order to avoid looking sad, don’t put a grin on your face. Forget your face, forget yourself, forget other people altogether.” Your concentration is to be on God. That idea brings up my next point.
The Foundation Principle of Godly Living.
The Lord’s teaching about fasting lays out a foundational principle for all godly living. When you fast, your concern is to be God, not what other people think, so just act normal, or to paraphrase Martyn-Lloyd Jones – forget your face, forget yourself, forget other people – but remember God! 1 Corinthians 10:31 states this principle simply as, “whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” If your focus is on the glory of God, then your actions will not be done to call attention to yourself. They will be done in a way that is either hidden from others, as expressed in all three examples in Matthew 6, or if it is noticed by others, it will be as Jesus said earlier the sermon in Matthew 5:16 – a light shining before men in such as way that they see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The major problem with the Scribes and Pharisees was that they traded in true righteousness which comes from the heart for the shallow falsehood of a legalistic system of outward self righteousness. We need to remember that most of what they did were good things to do. It is good to give alms. It is good to pray. It is good to fast. But it is not good to do good things in order to gain the attention and acclaim of other people for yourself. A bad motive can turn a good practice into unrighteousness. Whenever you do something with the desire that others will notice and therefore think you are good, then you have stepped over the line and have fallen into the same trap as the Scribes and Pharisees. You have perverted your good work.
This principle applies to more than just these three examples of giving alms, prayer and fasting. It applies to every area of life and gives us instruction on how we are to behave.
In public worship – how should you sing? Loud, soft, or not at all? Should you sing the melody or the harmony? Answer: it depends on your motive for doing what you do. Scripture tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Psalm 100 and others). For whom and why are you singing? If your motive is to impress the people around you with your wonderful musical abilities, then you have a problem. Ifyou keep quiet because you have a terrible voice, then you actually have the same problem. In both cases the concern is about what people think instead of what the Lord commands. In both situations the heart has to be changed. Forget about your voice, forget about yourself, forget about what others think, and remember you sing as a response to God in praise of Him.
If you cannot sing well, then you should refrain from being in the choir or other singing groups until you can, but you should join the singing of the congregation in giving praise to God. If you do sing well, then it is appropriate for you to use your abilities in a group or performing solo to minister to the congregation. However, you must be very careful about your motivation. If your effort is to impress the congregation rather than glorify the Lord, then you need a change of heart or the only reward you receive is the praise of people.
What about serving the Lord in some leadership capacity within the church? Again this principle applies. Ministering as a leader is to be done as a response of the heart to serve the Lord and bring glory to Him. There is a serious problem with anyone that becomes a leader in order to impress others, or worse, lord it over others. I have met plenty of people over the years that are impressed with themselves and think others should be too simply because they are pastors or have some sort of college or seminary degree. None of that impresses God. They forget that it is God that gives spiritual gifts, ministries and power to His people that make up the body of Christ, the church, and that every gift, ministry and power is important within the body (1 Corinthians 12).
What about how you treat your spouse and children in public? It is good if you treat them well in public, but does that match how you treat them in private? Again you face the same question. Are your actions done to impress others or please God? Remember, God sees you in private as well as in public. You are to love your spouse and children and show them respect all the time because that pleases God.
There are many other things that could be used as examples of this principle ranging from why you come to church to the kind of car you buy to what hobbies you pursue because the principle of seeking to please God instead of people applies to everything. Take heed to Jesus warning and admonition to “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them” and instead “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:1 and 5:16). Follow the command in 1 Corinthians 10:31 that in “Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” If you live by these principles, then you will not only avoid the pitfalls of pride and self righteousness, but you will also live a truly righteous life from the heart.
Finally, as you consider these principles also consider if God would not want you to fast in response to the burdens of your heart in seeking God. If you need a reason to fast and pray, then contemplate the current condition of the world, our nation and what our children are inheriting.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count the references to fasting in the sermon. 2) Talk with your parents the purpose and practice of fasting.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What was your understanding of fasting before this sermon? Explain the principle of righteousness Jesus illustrates in Matthew 6:1-18? How did the Pharisees violate this principle in giving alms, prayer and fasting? What is the proper purpose and practice in giving alms, prayer and fasting? Can you find any commands concerning fasting in the Old Testament? What examples in the Old Testament can you find of proper fasting? What were some of the motivations for such fasts? How had the Pharisees perverted fasting? What was their practice? Why is fasting so rarely practice among conservative evangelical Christians? How did asceticism pervert fasting in the past – and in the present? How should fasting be practiced today? What should motivate it? How is Nehemiah a good example of proper fasting? How does a bad motive turn a good practice into unrighteousness? Apply the principle of Matthew 6:1 and 1 Cor. 10:31 to the following: Congregational singing in church; Performing music in church; Serving the Lord as a ministry leader in church; How you treat your family in public and private; The kind of car you buy; The hobbies you pursue. What burdens do you have that might motivate you to fast and pray?
Sermon Notes: The Proper Practice of Fasting
Biblical fasting was quickly _____________and the Evangelical Church has largely ignored it
Jesus uses fasting as the third ________to illustrate the principle of practicing righteousness in Matthew 6:1
Giving done to draw _________________to yourself only receives the praise of men
Praying is to be to ___________________with God, not to impress other people
Fasting done to gain the praise of men receives ____________________from God
To “fast” (nhsteu;w/ n steu ) is to voluntarily _________________from food
There is no specific _________________to fast in the worship of God, yet Godly people would fast
Examples of fasting: Ahab – the anguish of ____________; Jehoshaphat – distress of impending _________;
David – ______________of soul for a loved one; Men of Jabesh-Gilead in __________________
Exodus 34:28 – Moses fasted as part of His ____________________________on Mount Sinai
Daniel 9-10 – he fasted in conjunction with __________in seeking to understand God’s prophetic revelations
Jesus recognized fasting as ________________saying, “but you, when you fast . . .”.
The Pharisees _________fasting into a demonstration of their supposed superior righteousness (Luke 18:12)
They made themselves look _______________in order to call attention to themselves
Jesus considered fasting to be __________and He, His disciples and the early church are recorded as fasting
_________________perverted fasting into an effort to become righteous through self-abasement
Ascetics today may not be as extreme, but they still ______________outward practice with inward reality
The reformers (& modern evangelicals) have ___________to historical & current abuses within Catholicism
Fasting is not a ___________to gain heightened spiritual experience: visions, special insight, awareness, etc.
The purpose of fasting is to demonstrate humility and give full __________________to God.
There cannot be proper fasting apart from a ___________________, right living and a right attitude
Fasting is not be something mechanical – it is ______________by the circumstances which burden the heart
Jesus’ command concerning fasting is to_________________and do not call purposely attention to yourself
_______________provides a good example of proper fasting
Fasting is still ____________, but it must be from a right motive, with a right heart and done in a right way
The Foundational Principle of Godly Living
1 Corinthians 10:31 – keep your _______________on the glory of God and you will walk in righteousness
A bad motive can turn a good practice into _________________
This principle applies to ______________area of life instructing us on how to behave
How should you sing in public worship? – as a ________________to God in praise of Him
How do you serve as a leader in the church? – in _________as part of the body of Christ to the glory of God
How do you treat your family in public? – as you do in private – with ___________and respect
Take ___________to Jesus warning and admonition – Matthew 6:1 and 5:16
Do ________for the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31
Fast and pray in response to the burdens of your heart in ____________________God
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