40/50/90/3000 Devotional: Day 1- February 23, 2010

Day 1- February 23, 2010
“The desert mothers and fathers of the third century tell a story about paying attention. A novice asked the
teacher, ‘Holy One, is there anything I can do to make myself closer to God?’ The elder replied, ‘As little
as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.’ The novice responded, ‘Then of what use are these
spiritual disciplines of prayer?’ The teacher answered, ‘To make sure that you are awake when the sun
rises.’” (Oden, 2008)

Spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting keep us awake.
In Matthew 6:5 Jesus says, “When you pray.”
In Matthew 6:16 Jesus says “When you fast.”
Actually earlier in Matthew 6, Jesus says “When you give.” Jesus was teaching concerning some very
important spiritual disciplines in the life of the Christian. Giving, praying, and fasting.
In Jesus’ teaching, He uses the introductory word “when” as if He assumed that we as Christ followers
would practice these disciplines. Jesus didn’t say if we give, pray, and fast, but when.

Take the time today to read Matthew Chapter 6 in its entirety. Pray and ask God how He would have you
to seek Him in these 90 Days of Investing in the lives of 3000 people.

One of the comments that I often hear when I talk about fasting is this, “The bible says that we are to fast
in secret,” and that is correct, sort of. The bible says that when you give, don’t do it with a parade to
announce to people that you are giving and how much. The bible says that when you pray not to pray
loudly so that others can hear how spiritual you are and don’t repeat phrases over and over again thinking
that because of the repetition, you will get what you want. Then the bible says, when you fast comb your
hair and wash your face so as not to show the world how wonderful you are for going without food.
In all of this, Jesus is not saying that we cannot receive an offering in church, Jesus is not saying that we
cannot pray in a church service, and Jesus is not saying that when you fast it has to be done in secret with
no one knowing what you are doing.
No, Jesus is saying that when you do these things, do them unto the Lord. Do them because you love Him
and because you are practicing a spiritual discipline that will help you to be awake when the sun rises.

Prayer
Lord, help me to understand your words in Matthew Chapter 6 today. Help me to draw closer to you
through these next 40 days. Give me understanding and revelation and guide me to someone today who
needs to know You. Amen

Rev. Ronnie G. Collins

Author: Ronnie Collins

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