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How long did Jesus fast?

How long did Jesus fast?

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Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights. 

The Devil Tempts Jesus

In Matthew 4:1-11, this section of the chapter is titled “The Temptation of Jesus.” This chapter of the Bible tells a story of Jesus before he began his ministry. He was brought to a desert where he fasted for forty days and forty nights, and was tempted by the devil.

In verse 2, it notes that Jesus was hungry and that is when the devil came to tempt him. The devil tested Jesus’ hunger and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” In response, Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3 which says, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

Jesus could have done what the devil asked him to do – as the Messiah, he was able to perform signs, miracles and wonders. But if he obeyed the devil, then Jesus would no longer belong to God. He would fall for the devil – just as Eve was tempted by the serpent – and would no longer be able to carry out the work he was supposed to. Jesus had the Word in his heart, depended on it like it was food, and was able to outwit the devil. After this, Jesus began his ministry. 

True Food & Time for Fasting

In John 4:31-34, Jesus continues to explain how the Word, or the work of God, is like food to him. John 4 is the chapter where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well. Worried about Jesus, as it mentions in verse 6 that he was “tired from the journey,” the disciples demand him to eat something.

But what was Jesus’ response?

“I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” The disciples question what this food is or where he got it from (they think Jesus is referring to physical food!). Then, Jesus continues, saying, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

We can see that Jesus’ references to food in the Bible goes beyond mere physical food, but is regarding something spiritual. Of course, physical food is still important – we could not survive without it – but the greater of these things is spiritual because it will last for eternity. 

Other Biblical Figures Who Fasted

There are many other biblical figures who fasted as well. Moses also fasted for forty days and forty nights when God gave him the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28).

Nehemiah also fasted. In Nehemiah 1, Nehemiah breaks down after hearing Jerusalem is in trouble. “For some days,” Nehemiah says, “I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4).

Daniel and his three friends also fasted from the food and drink that the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, offered them (Daniel 1) because they did not want to defile themselves. God was well pleased with Daniel and his friends who had refused the royal food from Babylon and granted these four men knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning, and Daniel was able to understand visions and dreams (Daniel 1:11-17).

Why Do Believers Fast Today?

Throughout these examples of fasting, we can see that it was done during a time of testing, mourning, or out of reverence for God. Today, Christians follow the same tradition.

There are many stories Christians have regarding times of fasting, when they did so, how long, etc, but many fast for forty days and forty nights to honor Jesus. To Christians, it is like a sacrificial offering to God.

Often believers will fast themselves of people or things that distract them from God as a show of devotion to God, but even in thinking of what can lead people astray from God, then it is also imperative to consider false teachings.

For what did Jesus first say in his response to the disciple’s question of what the signs would be for his second coming? In Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus responds, “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” As these words were spoken as a warning to believers today, then what actions must be taken to heed and obey these commands?

Last Thoughts….

With the large amount of speculation regarding the mysterious called the Bible, there are copious amounts of books filled with commentaries and interpretations attempting to dissect the thoughts of God.

However, as said in 1 Corinthians 2:11, “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Rather than relying upon the ideas of man to explain the higher thoughts of God (Isaiah 55:8-9), the standard for learning and understanding the word must come from the Bible which contains God’s heart and will for humanity. 

While fasting is a tradition that is carried out today by various churches and denominations all across the globe, are believers able to understand the reason in which it is done? What is the “food” that God desires us to fast from today?

Mysterious Beginnings of the Bible: Who Wrote Genesis? How Old is the Earth?

Mysterious Beginnings of the Bible: Who Wrote Genesis? How Old is the Earth?

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The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Bible, and often one of the books that most believers know better than many other books within the Bible. Every believer knows about the famous story of Adam and Eve, even the stories of Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Esau, and so on.

Many of such stories are taught to believers early on and serve as moral guidance on what believers of God should live like, apart from being fun stories to think about. I mean, who is placed in paradise by God and receives a command to be fruitful and multiply from God Himself just to end up being deceived by a talking serpent? Who gets commanded to preach for 950 years about an impending flood, builds a huge ark that will host two animals of every kind, and survives a 40-day long flood? These stories are not only pretty fun to read but also a good way to perceive more about God’s power and greatness.

What is the Purpose of the Bible?

As believers, we believe that God left Scripture for our benefit, for us to get to know Him, receive guidance, be strengthened, and be prepared for the time of Jesus’ Second Coming especially.

However, many times, we may wonder about how it is that we can use books like Genesis for this purpose. How can fantastical stories about Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Esau, and more, help us become better believers? How concretely can we answer this question with tangible ways in which we can improve our lives of faith according to Scripture? In order to do this, we must first understand the nature of God’s Scripture.

In 2 Tim 3:16, we can see that the Scriptures of the Holy Bible are inspired by God. This is how we know that Scripture does not simply contain mundane accounts of world history, but rather accounts regarding God and His people, which are recorded with a specific purpose orchestrated by God. 

Who Wrote Genesis?

A big question that many believers ask themselves is regarding the author of the book of Genesis. There are many accounts that serve as evidence for Moses being the one who recorded the book of Genesis. The first five books, also known as the Pentateuch, have long been said to be recorded by Moses. The Pentateuch was originally one book, but it was divided into five separate books for the sake mere convenience. It is said that the amount of detail found in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is significant evidence for Moses being the one who recorded them, as he was the pastor that God chose to use in those eras.

Moses, the prophet

This still leaves us with the question regarding Genesis. The events recorded in Genesis, historically, took place about 2,500 years before the time of Moses. How could Moses then record the events of Genesis in such detail. Does this mean that the book of Genesis is all a lie? We can find the answer to these questions within Scripture. Among other verses, the verse mentioned previously gives us the answer to how Moses was able to record such events, which is by being inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16). As believers, we do not read or follow the Holy Bible because it is a book written by man, but because it is a book authored by God.

How Old is the Earth? 6,000 years? 4.5 Billion Years?

The earth has been around for millions of years now and there have been many claims regarding how old the earth is. A lot of scientific evidence has proven that the earth is at least 6 million years old. One of the ways this is proven is by using carbon dating, a method that allows carbon interacting with oxygen to determine the age of the world. Other evidence can be found through fossils and the discovery of extinct ancient species.

Though science is a relatively reliable method to assess the age of the earth, the discourse regarding the age of the earth is oftentimes not far from Christianity and what the Bible has to say about the age of the earth. Creationism for instance, was derived from fundamentalist sects of Christianity. 

Fundamentalists believe that the Bible should be interpreted literally and according to the Bible, the earth is 6000 years old. Of course this comes with numerous disputes from scientific evidence proving otherwise.

These exchanges of information between two different approaches to the age of the earth begs the question; how old is the earth according to the Bible, and how can we understand it correctly? Many people, even believers, do not give much thought regarding the creation story and what the purpose of it is.

Oftentimes believers choose to not delve into answering this question as it seems that science and Christianity do not go hand in hand. If the supporting evidence proves the earth to be millions of years old, then why does it say otherwise in the Bible? Well are different ways of actually making sense of the Bible and the way it explains the world

What is the Bible truly about?

The Bible is actually very accurate and true if we are able to understand it correctly. But first we must ask ourselves, is the Bible really talking about the creation of the physical world?

We have already established that the world is millions of years old, so how come the Bible only describes the world to be thousands of years old? Well the Bible actually talks about the creation of the world, but not in the way that we imagine it.

For example, in Jeremiah 4:23, it describes the world to be in the same condition as Genesis 1:2. So did the creation of the world happen again at the time of Jeremiah? Well if we take a look at the verses before, it actually talks about God’s people. 

The Bible in fact, talks about God’s people and their relationship with God Himself. Even at the very last book of Revelation, it says in Revelation 22:21 that it’s God’s people the Bible is concerned about. Understanding the Bible correctly will help us reason and perceive that science and God’s Word actually make perfect sense. In order to do so, we must first examine the way we understand both science and God’s Word.

How To Pray According to God’s Will

How To Pray According to God’s Will

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A question many people will ask themselves is how can God hear and receive my prayers? Is there a certain way to pray in order for God to know what I’m asking for? The list of questions goes on and on, but it is a valid one to know about, nevertheless.

As fellow believers, these are times in which our faith is put to the test. That is why, it is important that one turns to God and turns to his word to seek guidance and wisdom. This firstly starts with prayer and having the proper heart to ask God for an answer.

Many on the other hand, would want their prayers answered and demand that they’d be shown a sign or a miracle as evidence for their request. Rather than having that kind of heart and attitude, one has to respect and understand God’s point of view. There are certainly other ways to figure out a solution that does not jeopardize one’s relationship with God. 

For instance, when it comes to prayer, the purpose of performing this activity is to demonstrate our devotedness in asking for constant guidance and protection. God will either approve or decline if a prayer is offered, depending on what is raised up to Him.

Therefore the kinds of prayers that we ask in front of God must be carefully examined. The easiest way to look at this is whether or not we can answer a phone call from someone we know as opposed to someone we don’t know.

One prayer in particular we can learn from is the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Based on the prayer above, we are able to take away the fact that God understands what we need and provides us the means to get through all kinds of situations. 

Furthermore, another example we can learn from is Isaiah 55:8-9, which goes into how God’s thoughts and ways are higher than our own. The verse starts as follows, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

From this, what we are able to perceive is the importance of not putting our own needs before God’s who desires us to follow His will.

In other words, there’s a proper way to do prayer, but there have been moments when we have failed to do it according to God’s will. Now that we know the true way of doing prayer, then God is pleased with us. 

Therefore, as we learn prayer, we must always turn to God and His word in order to understand God’s will for us. If we take a look at Psalms 141:2, for example, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”

The comparison of prayer to incense indicates the very process of how prayers are lifted up to God and whether or not he accepts or declines them. By understanding this figurative incense, we are able to truly understand and perceive the importance of how prayers are offered up to God. 

As a result, what do we all have in common? We desire for our prayers to be answered and to receive a sign or some sort of miracle to prove that God has listened to us.

It is not that simple, but we must consider God’s point of view since he is not a genie that fulfills our every wish that we summon upon. In short, this gives people the ability to further understand the true intention of  prayer in order to draw closer to God while fulfilling his will.