September 6, 2017 H2BEC (Fasting and Offering)

Fasting:

What Fasting is Not:

·         Starving yourself to lose weight

·         A Ploy for Attention

·         To make yourself look holy

Matthew 6:1- “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

What Fasting Is:

·         To abstain from all or some kind of food or drink, especially as a religious observance.

o   It doesn’t always have to be food or drink.

What is it used for?

·         It is a tool that a Christian may use to seek a closer relationship with God and petition Him for help, guidance and a humble heart that is yielded to His will.

Examples in Scripture:

·         Jonah 3:5-9 (Repentance)

o   Jonah presented Nineveh with the message of repentance.

o   The entire nation fasted and believed in God.

o   God did not destroy them for their wickedness

·         1 Samuel 31:13 (Grief)

o   Saul had been killed in battle

o   The valiant men walked all night to retrieve his bones

o   They buried his bones and fasted for 7 days

·         2 Chronicles 20:2-4 (Deliverance)

o   A war was coming against Jehoshaphat

o   He was afraid and sought the Lord through prayer and fasting

o   He had the entire nation fast for help from the Lord

o   God answered their petition and defeated the enemy armies

How do we fast?

Matthew 6:16-18- 16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

  • Know the reason that you are wanting to fast for and make sure you have the right motives​
  • Pray for forgiveness before you fast. Make sure you are where you need to be with God ​
  • Don’t draw attention to yourself. Be your normal self​
  • Use the time that you would normally eat or whatever activity you are fasting from, to pray and read the Bible.

Tithes and Offering:

  • What is a tithe? ​
    • ἀποδεκατόω- “to give, pay a tithe,” all in the context of worship.​
    • One tenth of annual produce or earnings, to support the church and ministry of the church. ​
  • What is an offering in the church? ​
    • A voluntary gift given to the church out of the generosity of one’s heart in worship to God. 

Mark 12:41-44- “41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. ​ Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

Our Offering

  • Our tithe/offering should be from a place of worship​
  • It should never be from a place of obligation but of gratefulness for what God has already blessed us with because it all belongs to Him anyway.
  • Tithing is an opportunity for us to trust that God will provide
  • Tithing is the only time is scripture that God says to test Him.
    Malachi 3:10- “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
  • Our offering is not necessarily how much we can give but where we are giving from​
  • When we give we should keep it to ourselves.

2 Corinthians 9:7​- “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”​

Proverbs 11:24​- “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”​

Luke 6:38​- “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.

What does scripture say about our attitude with giving?

Matthew 6:1-4- “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. ​ “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

SO WHAT ARE YOU OFFERING UP TO GOD?

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