34 Bible Verses about Abstinence as a discipline
Most Relevant Verses
Then the Lord spoke to Moses: "Tell the Israelites, 'You must not eat any fat of an ox, sheep, or goat. Moreover, the fat of an animal that has died of natural causes and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be used for any other purpose, but you must certainly never eat it.read more.
If anyone eats fat from the animal from which he presents a gift to the Lord, that person will be cut off from his people. And you must not eat any blood of the birds or the domesticated land animals in any of the places where you live. Any person who eats any blood -- that person will be cut off from his people.'"
You are children of the Lord your God. Do not cut yourselves or shave your forehead bald for the sake of the dead. For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. He has chosen you to be his people, prized above all others on the face of the earth. You must not eat any forbidden thing.read more.
These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, the ibex, the gazelle, the deer, the wild goat, the antelope, the wild oryx, and the mountain sheep. You may eat any animal that has hooves divided into two parts and that chews the cud. However, you may not eat the following animals among those that chew the cud or those that have divided hooves: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger. (Although they chew the cud, they do not have divided hooves and are therefore ritually impure to you). Also the pig is ritually impure to you; though it has divided hooves, it does not chew the cud. You may not eat their meat or even touch their remains. These you may eat from among water creatures: anything with fins and scales you may eat, but whatever does not have fins and scales you may not eat; it is ritually impure to you. All ritually clean birds you may eat. These are the ones you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the black kite, the dayyah after its species, every raven after its species, the ostrich, the owl, the seagull, the falcon after its species, the little owl, the long-eared owl, the white owl, the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the cormorant, the stork, the heron after its species, the hoopoe, the bat, and any winged thing on the ground are impure to you -- they may not be eaten. You may eat any clean bird. You may not eat any corpse, though you may give it to the resident foreigner who is living in your villages and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. You are a people holy to the Lord your God. Do not boil a young goat in its mother's milk.
About noon the next day, while they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted to eat, but while they were preparing the meal, a trance came over him. He saw heaven opened and an object something like a large sheet descending, being let down to earth by its four corners.read more.
In it were all kinds of four-footed animals and reptiles of the earth and wild birds. Then a voice said to him, "Get up, Peter; slaughter and eat!" But Peter said, "Certainly not, Lord, for I have never eaten anything defiled and ritually unclean!"
Then Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes. He said to the people, "Be ready for the third day. Do not go near your wives."
"This is to be a perpetual statute for you. In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you must humble yourselves and do no work of any kind, both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides in your midst, for on this day atonement is to be made for you to cleanse you from all your sins; you must be clean before the Lord. It is to be a Sabbath of complete rest for you, and you must humble yourselves. It is a perpetual statute.
Then the Lord spoke to Moses: "Speak to the Israelites, and tell them, 'When either a man or a woman takes a special vow, to take a vow as a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord, he must separate himself from wine and strong drink, he must drink neither vinegar made from wine nor vinegar made from strong drink, nor may he drink any juice of grapes, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins.read more.
All the days of his separation he must not eat anything that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.
The Israelites must keep the Sabbath by observing the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the Israelites forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'"
"'On the tenth day of this seventh month you are to have a holy assembly. You must humble yourselves; you must not do any work on it.
Now be careful! Do not drink wine or beer, and do not eat any food that will make you ritually unclean.
Then Ezra got up from in front of the temple of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he stayed there, he did not eat food or drink water, for he was in mourning over the infidelity of the exiles.
They said to me, "The remnant that remains from the exile there in the province are experiencing considerable adversity and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem lies breached, and its gates have been burned down!" When I heard these things I sat down abruptly, crying and mourning for several days. I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
"Yet even now," the Lord says, "return to me with all your heart -- with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your garments!"
The people of Nineveh believed in God, and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
Now there were these prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius the Cyrenian, Manaen (a close friend of Herod the tetrarch from childhood) and Saul. While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After he fasted forty days and forty nights he was famished.
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he endured temptations from the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were completed, he was famished.
Then John's disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?" Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot mourn while the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and then they will fast.
Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. So they came to Jesus and said, "Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?" Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast. But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and at that time they will fast.
Then they said to him, "John's disciples frequently fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours continue to eat and drink." So Jesus said to them, "You cannot make the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? But those days are coming, and when the bridegroom is taken from them, at that time they will fast."
There was also a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having been married to her husband for seven years until his death. She had lived as a widow since then for eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
For three days he could not see, and he neither ate nor drank anything.
The one who observes the day does it for the Lord. The one who eats, eats for the Lord because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God.
He said to the people, "Be ready for the third day. Do not go near your wives."
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Then Jesus called the crowd, along with his disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Then he said to them all, "If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Let us live decently as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in discord and jealousy.
"Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood.
It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
"When you fast, do not look sullen like the hypocrites, for they make their faces unattractive so that people will see them fasting. I tell you the truth, they have their reward.
They lament, 'Why don't you notice when we fast? Why don't you pay attention when we humble ourselves?' Look, at the same time you fast, you satisfy your selfish desires, you oppress your workers. Look, your fasting is accompanied by arguments, brawls, and fistfights. Do not fast as you do today, trying to make your voice heard in heaven. Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the Lord?read more.
No, this is the kind of fast I want. I want you to remove the sinful chains, to tear away the ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free the oppressed, and to break every burdensome yoke. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Don't turn your back on your own flesh and blood!
Then the Lord spoke about these people. "They truly love to go astray. They cannot keep from running away from me. So I am not pleased with them. I will now call to mind the wrongs they have done and punish them for their sins." Then the Lord said to me, "Do not pray for good to come to these people! Even if they fast, I will not hear their cries for help. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will kill them through wars, famines, and plagues."
Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech and their companions to seek the Lord's favor by asking both the priests of the temple of the Lord who rules over all and the prophets, "Should we weep in the fifth month, fasting as we have done over the years?" The word of the Lord who rules over all then came to me,read more.
"Speak to all the people and priests of the land as follows: 'When you fasted and lamented in the fifth and seventh months through all these seventy years, did you truly fast for me -- for me, indeed? And now when you eat and drink, are you not doing so for yourselves?'"
The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of everything I get.'