Lord, I want to pursue the deeper life in You. Help me to give up those things that will hinder that pursuit.
Are our appetites for food and "stuff" surrendered to Jesus?
Jesus continues to challenge us with his teaching about the good life. After secret "giving" and secret "praying," he talks about secret "fasting" (16-18). He assumes that his followers will go without food or sleep at times in order to focus on prayer. But this is to be a hidden activity, centered only on God, and quite different from a diet!
Bit by bit, Jesus is outlining a life which is in orbit around God. The only possible explanation of a generous spirit, cheerful and contented, is that we have a single priority in our lives: to know God's love and to do God's will.
The great enemy of our Christian well-being is greed. Jesus calls it "Mammon"--the god of materialism, money and gain. As with every other aspect of our behavior, Jesus makes us responsible for the choices we make. Why does money hold such an attraction for us (1 Tim. 6:10) and why does Jesus see it as a dangerous rival to the living God?
Offer a secret "fast" (from television or social media sites, for example) so that you can focus on what God wants.
Lord, may the way I use my money, time and talents express that You are the priority of my life.
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