Fast Forward – Today’s Family Devotion

Fast Forward


Bible Reading of the Day: Read Genesis 25:29-34.

Verse of the Day: “Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children” (Ephesians 5:1).

Darcelle sat at the kitchen table and munched her breakfast cereal while Mom sipped a cup of black coffee.

“Why aren’t you eating breakfast, Mom?” Darcelle asked. “Aren’t you hungry?”

Mom blew lightly across the surface of her hot coffee. “I’m fasting today,” she said. “Just for breakfast and lunch.”

“What’s fasting?” Darcelle asked, eating another mouthful of cereal.

“Fasting means going without food,” Mom explained.

“But why?” Darcelle asked. “Why are you skipping breakfast and lunch?”

Mom shrugged. “Several reasons, honey,” she answered. “I fast every once in a while to remind myself that I need to control my appetites instead of letting them control me. It’s really an exercise in self-control.” She took another sip of coffee. “And I also fast as a way of submitting to God, because I spend my mealtimes praying instead of eating.”

“I don’t see how you can do that,” Darcelle said. “I’d get hungry.”

“I don’t think I’d want you to fast at your age, because it might not be good for you. But I’ve checked with my doctor and a short fast is actually good for me, even though I do get a little hungry. But that’s the point-I want to build self-control.”

“What’s so great about self-control?”

Mom smiled and set her coffee mug on the table. “Well, first of all, God commands us to be self-controlled. His Word says we ought to be alert and self-controlled because our enemy, the devil, is like a roaring lion, prowling about looking for ways to devour us. It takes self-control to stay out of trouble. But God also commands self-control because he values it-and he values self-control because he is the ultimate example of self-control. He is always in control-of himself and of the universe he has made. He never loses control of his passions, his emotions, or his desires like we so often do. So self-control is right, Darcelle, because it’s like God. And that’s why I’m fasting today-to give God a better chance to make me like him.”

“Cool,” Darcelle said. She lifted her bowl off the table and kissed Mom on the cheek. “Thanks for the sermon, Mom,” she said. “I gotta get to school.”

Mom smiled as she watched her daughter leave the kitchen. Then she turned around and lifted her coffee to her lips. “Kids!” she said.

TO DISCUSS: In today’s Bible reading, do you think Esau showed self-control? Why or why not? Do you think self-control is important? Why or why not? What makes self-control right? Do you struggle to control your appetites and desires? your temper? your tongue? How can you become more self-controlled in those areas?

TO PRAY: “Heavenly Father, we want to be self-controlled because you value self-control.”