Words to Build a Life On – Jesus & Fasting
Matthew 6:16-18
Dr. Jeffrey Clark

The Big Idea: How are followers of Christ to fast in their pursuit of God?

  • By understanding that fasting is a way to give attention to God.
  • By resisting a pursuit of approval by human beings.
  • By seeking the best and highest pleasures in God.


Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

My Story: Can you recall a time when you received a significant amount of approval for an accomplishment? How did you feel? In contrast, can you recall an occasion when you received a significant amount of rejection in the court of public opinion? What happened?

Digging Deeper:

  1. Fasting is a means of being persistent in prayer; it is a way to receive what God intends to give. It is not about food (1 Corinthians 8:8). Discuss.
  2. A problem orientation in this discipline is seeking the approval of others. Notice Jesus and Paul seeking the approval of God alone (John 5:41; Galatians 1:10). How would our lives look differently if we simply and only sought God’s approval?
  3. Christian Hedonism, according to John Piper, is seeking the best and highest pleasures in God. Seeking reward is NOT the problem, rather, seeking reward in things other than God IS the problem. How may this show up with food or drink?
  4. God is the all-satisfying object in the universe. Read Psalms 43:4 and 16:11. How can you seek God this week?

Taking It Home: James I. Packer says about fasting… “It’s just one way of telling God that your priority at that moment is to be alone with him, sorting out whatever is necessary, and you have cancelled the meal, party, concert or whatever else you had planned to do in order to fulfill that priority.” How do you need to adjust your priorities to fulfill God’s priority this week?


If you are visiting, we want to extend a special welcome to you and invite you to an informal reception immediately following our worship service. On Saturday, Pastor Jeff will be available in the Celebration Center, and on Sunday, he and his wife, Mary, will meet you at the Welcome Center in the entryway.


Aspen Ridge church leadership is asking for a special measure of prayer during what we believe is a season of ministry filled with opportunity and challenges. Our opportunities include the launching of our small groups, our upcoming marriage conference and the prospects of building upon growth with a new initiative. Our challenges include more than a few occasions of opposition, conflict and tribulation.


On October 5 at 9:00 AM, our Sunday small groups will gather for a Town Hall Meeting. This will be in coordination with our marriage conference, and will be led by Pastor Jeff. It will be on the subject of marriage, and will answer the question “How does the Trinity inform a vibrant Christian marriage?”


We value and cherish the monthly breaking of bread together at the Lord’s Table, which we often call “communion.” It has been our habit to set aside the first Sunday of the month, as well as the Saturday which precedes it, as our time to commemorate the sacrifice and love that this time represents. However, because of our upcoming Stronger Marriage Conference, we will celebrate the Lord’s Table on the second weekend (October 11-12) in order to give proper attention and devotion to this ordinance. Thank you for your understanding.


During the month of September, you may notice some new speakers being installed in our Celebration Center. The goal is to provide clarity during our weekend services and other large functions. Thank you for your patience as we test and configure this new equipment so that we may provide a place where our neighbors can find a home in Christ. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Pastor Kerry.


“Thank you for benefiting MAPC at your Hay Day Celebration! It was a great and fun event, Blessings.” Jill Sneed, Executive Director. We were able to donate approximately $150.00 to MAPC from the day.


The weekend marriage conference is almost here. Whether you’ve been married five days or five decades, there’s something for you. Check out our keynote speakers, Bill and Pam Farrel, at Then, register on our website. Marriage is under attack…let’s get stronger!

MEN’S BREAKFAST NEWS In order to honor the Celebration of Life service for Micah Barksdale on October 11 at 10:00 AM, Men’s Breakfast will not meet. We will resume our normal schedule in November.


On October 31, we will fill the lot with vehicles to provide a safe place for kids to “trunk or treat” in our community. Would you or your small group partner with us to decorate a trunk and hand out candy? Please contact Maryjean Fowler to get involved.


Our menu this week includes meatloaf, veggies, salads and desserts for $2.50 per person with a maximum of $10.00 per family. This is a great way to share a meal with a neighbor.


Ticket sales have begun for the MOPS Barn Dance on November 8, featuring a silent auction and a chili cook-off. All proceeds support the Mothers of Preschoolers program. Tickets can be purchased in the office or from a MOPS representative for $10 each.

Rich and Judy Swanson
Global Service Net


  • Patterning with Cru Ministries to plant churches in unreached portions of Ethiopia.
  • Working in Kenya to expand farming operations and plant two churches.
  • Sharing the good news in Central Asia in the context of farmer training and outreach effort.


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