Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Cost of Discipleship

"And they said to him, 'The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.' And Jesus said to them, 'Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days'" (Luke 5:33-35).

"When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed" (Acts 14:21-23).

"Jesus takes it for granted that his disciples will observe the pious custom of fasting. Strict exercise of self-control is an essential feature of the Christian's life. Such customs have only one purpose--to make the disciples more ready and cheerful to accomplish those things which God would have done" (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, quoted by John Piper in A Hunger for God).

Fasting is a lost discipline of Christ's church. May we recover it for his glory.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

I agree. Although I know my father fasts when he has a heavy issue on his heart that he is praying for, you don't seem to hear this activity encouraged all that much in the modern church.