The Church Fasts: Beyond the Slavery of Ingrained Habits

Downtown Church sermon from March 28, 2010 by Travis Trull.  This is part of our series called Our Radical Response to God.

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Small Group Questions

Pendulum Swings:
1. “I will probably never ______, but it would still be fun if I could because …”
2. “When it is sunny outside, my favorite thing to do is …”
3. “The most important thing I’ve learned about life is …”
4. “I would describe God to a child by saying …”
1. READ & LEARN:  John 13:34-35
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
2. Jesus said to love “just as I have loved you.”  How did Jesus love?  What did love look like in the life of Jesus?  In these verses Christians are called to daily live out Jesus’ kind of active love.  How do our daily habits keep us from doing so?  What kinds of things distract us from serving others?  How can fasting help us to move beyond a life of habit to a life of active love?
3. READ:  Acts 13:1-3.  Discuss why it seems that the disciples in this story have gained insight and direction from the Holy Spirit as a result of prayer and fasting.
4. READ:  Isaiah 58:3-10.  While in other passages Jesus asks his people to fast, here God threatens those who fast but do not actively live the kind of love Jesus enacted.  How should or how may this affect the way we fast?
5. What habits of life could you sacrifice occasionally in order to draw back and more intentionally invite God’s presence into your schedule?  In the time you gain in place of the habit that you sacrifice, what are some practical things you could do to live out the kind of love Jesus commands in John 13:34-35?
6. Make a plan: Brainstorm ideas and set some realistic goals.