THOUGHTS FOR YOUR DAY.
Jun18MonJune 18, 2012
"WHEN" not "IF"
Matthew 6:2-4 (KJV)
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Matthew 6:5-8 (KJV)
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Matthew 6:16-18 (KJV)
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
1 Corinthians 14:26 (KJV)
26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
Acts 20:7 (KJV)
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
1 Corinthians 11:18 (KJV)
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1 Corinthians 11:20 (KJV)
20When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
1 Corinthians 11:33 (KJV)
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
Hebrews 10:25 (KJV)
25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Notice that these scriptures say "when" not "if". Praying, giving, fasting and coming together, all actions we should be involved in.
Praying, giving and coming together in fellowship are all activities we would / should do with consistency. To say it another way, we associate the idea of consistency with these activities.
Fasting maybe not so much. Consider though that fasting is an exercise in subduing the flesh / appetites of the body. That doesn't just mean food, but also any other pursuits or desire that might come between ourselves and God. It has to do with laying aside weights and things that hinder our "race running". TV isn't bad (in and of itself), or golfing, reading novels or a myriad of other "distractions" that we can get "over" involved with.
Fasting is a spiritual discipline when it is connected to prayer and fellowship with the Lord. Fasting (food) without prayer is dieting.
Fasting as a spiritual discipline can be a valuable asset in our spiritual growth as we set aside "things or activities" for the sake of pursuing (without distraction) the Lord and the things important to Him.
Consider this thought as well, there is a difference between fasting a meal or TV show from time to time and living a fasted lifestyle. The latter being a consistent exercise of self control. Read Isa. 58 for some more thoughts on the subject.
To get back to the original point the Lord put in my heart. Praying, giving, fasting and coming together for fellowship in the Lord are "whens" not "ifs".
Life and success are about priorities and choices.
Choose life and seek first the Kingdom of God and His way of living and doing right.