By Michael C. Mack
What is the weirdest diet you’ve ever tried? What is the strangest food you’ve ever eaten?
Read Daniel 1:5, 8-17; Matthew 6:16-18.
What were the motives of Daniel and his friends for their dietary choices? What was the motivation of the “hypocrites” Jesus spoke about?
Why did Daniel make such a big deal about what food he would and wouldn’t eat? What were he and his friends risking?
How do motives impact the rewards we receive? (See also Hebrews 11:6.)
What do you learn from both Daniel’s example and Jesus’ teaching about the connection between faith and fasting?
What are the proper motivations for fasting? (See also 1 Corinthians 10:31.)
Spiritual disciplines nourish our souls and grow our faith. As a small group, it’s beneficial to discuss these with one another as a form of instructing (Romans 15:14), encouraging (Hebrews 3:13), and praying for one another (James 5:16). But first, weigh your motives for sharing. With that in mind, how can your group develop a healthy approach to talk about experiences with fasting, Bible reading, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines?
Michael Mack leads church training events and consults with churches through his ministry, Small Group Leadership (www.smallgroupleadership.com).