Fasting Devotion: March 25
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And, everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:24-27)
Not only does Jesus’ most famous sermonic discourse conclude with an ominous illustration, it concludes on the wrong note. It ends on a negative note—the fall of those who fail to listen and adhere to Jesus’ teaching—rather than a positive note—the sure and steady foundation of those who listen and adhere to Jesus’ teaching. But, like any skilled communicator, the King of Preachers knew what he was doing. His last word is his most important. He concluded with an intense verbal image intended to warn his listeners, his readers. Those who fail to build their lives upon the teaching of Jesus will be destroyed. Indifference, or hostility, to Jesus’ participatory kingdom-vision is not a manifestation of intellectual freedom, it is the highway to hell. To be wise is to follow Christ; the wise will inherit eternal life. And, to be foolish is to disregard Jesus’ teaching; the foolish will inherit eternal death. As we fast prayerfully for a good gospel work in our community, may be remember that eternity, not preference, is at stake.
Prayer: Father, we are reminded afresh that life, very literally, hangs in the balance when we preach the gospel to and pray for and fast on behalf of our lost family members and neighbors and coworkers and fellow image bearers. God, we are aware that we all have at least one thing in common, souls that will never die. Those who respond positively to Jesus will be ushered into everlasting joy; those who respond negatively to Jesus will be ushered into everlasting pain. Therefore, we pray, convert the unconverted in our families and community and workplace and beyond. We pray this in Jesus’ name, the only name given among men by which people can be saved. Amen.
*You can download and print our Fasting Guide to keep with you throughout the week or pick one up at our Connection Center this Sunday. The introduction and instructions for your fasting can be found here.
**The following resources were consulted in crafting the content of this guide: Donald Whitney’s Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline
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