16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Another discipline we don’t talk a lot about in the church is what the bible calls “fasting”. There are many examples in the bible of people fasting. Moses fasted in the Old Testament. John the Baptist fasted in preparation to announce Jesus’ coming. Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights in the wilderness, before he began his public ministry. While fasting is usually associated with abstaining from food, one can also abstain from really anything that might control them. I.e. Alcohol, caffeine, the internet/TV, junk food. Lent is a good time to try out this discipline. You can fast for any time. An hour, a day, a week etc... The idea is not just denial of the flesh, but also using that time to grow in your relationship with God. For instance, you could use the time spent in that activity and that spend time with God. In the case of internet/TV that could be quite a substantial amount time.
Jesus, you gave us an example of fasting. Though we may not be able to fast for 40 days we can fast as a discipline to develop self-control, as spend more time seeking you instead of things of the world. Amen.