Week 4: Dimensions of Mission
Wed 24,Isaiah 58:6-7,True FastingDo you regularly fast as a Christian? When was the last time you fasted? Why did you fast? Is fasting the forgotten discipline in the Church today? Is fasting the forgotten discipline in the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa? Fasting is one of the forgotten disciplines for children of God in our day and age. Because many Catholics fast especially during lent and Charismatics fast regularly, many Presbyterians have gone to the other extreme, they don't fast at all. When it comes to fasting, there is the right way and the wrong manner of fasting. This devotion is there to help us fast in the right way.
1. True fasting involves setting free those who are bound by the chains of injustice
When you look around what is happening in our nations today, wherever you look, you will see people who are treated unjustly. It is the job of every Christian to help out people who are treated unjustly. We are call called upon to make life much easier for those who are for instance living in abject poverty, people who cannot access justice from our Courts and many such places (Isaiah 9:4; Joel 2:12-14; Nehemiah 5:10-11; Jeremiah 34:9).
2. True fasting gets you an opportunity to share what you have with others.
There are several ways one can fast. For instance, one can fast from certain foods and the money saved from there can be used to help someone who is vulnerable or struggling in one area or the other. One can simply cut down on some of the luxuries and the resources saved from there can be used to assist those in need (Ezekiel 16:4; Luke 3:11; Micah 6:8).
3. True fasting helps you to practically love God and other people
We are required to show our love both vertically and horizontally (1John 4:19-21). Our love for God and other people must be sincere. (Genesis 29:14; Isaiah 16:4; Hebrews Ezekiel 18:16; Job 31:18-20; Matthew 25:36; Luke 10:31-32; James 1:27; Proverbs 19:17).
How has your fasting been? Do you fast in the manner it is expected of you? If you have not been fasting, I encourage you to fast. Fasting has many spiritual benefits.
|Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah58:6-7)|
The Reverend Allan Mchulu husband to Jessie and father of two daughters: Deborah and Natasha from Kabwata Uniting Presbyterian Church in Lusaka Zambia. Munali Presbytery.