Redeem the Commute is not just about courses – it’s about being part of a community of people being challenged to live differently by following Jesus.  We posted fresh daily challenges from 2012 to 2016 that followed a daily and weekly rhythm:

  • Mondays: A New Idea
  • Tuesdays: Study It
  • Wednesdays: Change our Thinking
  • Thursdays: Act on It
  • Fridays: Reflect on It
  • Saturdays: Rest
  • Sundays: Community
Start by checking out the daily challenge, and then invite someone else to join  you.  When you’ve been meeting in a group for a little while, register your group here.  You can also discuss the daily challenge here.

Ryan Sim - May 8, 2013

Wednesday - Change It - Self Denial

Jesus talked about fasting, or intentionally denying ourselves for a greater good. The Pharisees were advertising their supposed humility to the world. So Jesus’ challenge is this: “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:16-18 ESV) Jesus wants his followers to fast for God alone. This is different from a hunger strike, like the one Theresa Spence engaged in. She put herself in the most conspicuous place possible – an island - and had staff dealing with her media relations. All about advertising her fasting, to make a political message. Jesus doesn’t want his followers fasting to make a point, force change, or advertise their religiosity. He wants them to fast privately, for God. If his followers can fast, and look and act ordinarily, God will see their humility, and no one else needs to know. And that was meant to be the point, right? What about today – why would anyone fast? We see three reasons people fast in the Bible, same today: 1. Prayer – Particularly for making special decisions. To turn to God for direction, we turn away from something else that might try to direct us. 2. Self-discipline – Our bodies can cause us to sin, they are broken versions of what God created them to be. We want not just our wills to align with God’s will, but all of us, including our bodies. 3. Care for the Poor – I have a friend who intentionally lived on Ontario Works level of income. She decided to live more simply than necessary, to give that money to others, or in the case of fasting, food. These are all reasons to fast for God: prayer, to be self-disciplined in avoiding sin, and to care for others. These are great reasons for self-denial – all ways to turn away from sin in our world, and towards God. John Stott: We have to become so conscious of God we cease to be self-conscious. Question: What are you self-conscious about? When do you pay the most attention to what others will think?

From Series: "Sermon on the Mount"

Discuss the Daily Challenge

More From "Sermon on the Mount"

Powered by Series Engine

Podcast Users

Our web site is built for live streaming of video and audio courses, but you may prefer to use a podcast app where you subscribe.  For copyright reasons, you won’t find us in podcasting directories, but should subscribe by entering this link in your favourite podcasting app:

Today’s Challenge
All Challenges