Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Matthew 6:16-19
As we are now going through the “Lent Season” we can see that some of our man made traditions and practices are really not Biblical. I wrote an article a few years ago on “Is Ash Wednesday Biblical”? and most Christians would instantly say Yes, because its become a Church tradition. However when you examine the practices of Ash Wednesday and Lent season, compared to Jesus teachings it’s really not
Jesus said “When you fast, don’t be like the hypocrites, that disfigure their face to prove to people they are fasting” this is essentially what we do during Ash Wednesday. We dump ashes on our face to prove to people we are fasting or mourning our sins. What are we trying to accomplish here? Yes it’s mostly just a Church tradition , but why?
Jesus goes on to say “When you fast, anoint your head with oil and wash your face” So this is actually the opposite of Ash Wednesday, Jesus instructs us to wash your face. Why? Because Christ wants you to have a personal relationship with him. You don’t need to put on a show for other people or try to demonstrate your relationship with Christ. Now I’m not condemning anyone who practices this , we each regard one day above another as long as we regard it to The Lord (Romans 14) but something to examine and meditate on when we’re doing things.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matthew 6:19-21
The next thing Jesus teaches us is to store and collect stuff, because this world is temporary. Storage sheds have become a big business, why? Because people love to keep buying stuff that they don’t even need or can’t store. The world is obsessed with accumulating possessions, however we need to think eternally, we need to think about the Kingdom of God
The reality is that a fancy car will eventually one day end up in the junkyard and it won’t save your soul. However, you’ll spend years paying off the debt. As Jesus said “Where your treasure is, your heart is also” Again it’s all about a heart issue. The same with fasting , praying, and your financial decisions.
Jesus came to make us Born Again (John 3) to give a new and clean heart so we can worship God in Spirit and Truth, Amen (John 4:24)