Thursday Morning: 22 Aug 2019 – Matthew 6:1-18 ~ Jesus’ teaching on Giving, Prayer, and Fasting

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Guidance – Thursday)

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: Guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our lives we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 6:1-18 (NLT)

The Sermon on the Mount (Continued)

Teaching about Giving to the Needy

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting

“When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

“When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Pray like this:

Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair[d] and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
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Morning Reflection:

Pray like this….

When you pray, go away by yourself,
shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.
Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
– Matthew 6:6 –

In today’s reading, Jesus warns us not to display (show off) our righteousness in public. His concern is that we not fall into the trap of doing the right things for the wrong reasons. As we have already seen, God examines our hearts not simply our actions. Jesus cites giving as his first example: i.e. give your gifts quietly and privately.

Jesus’ second example addresses prayer and fasting. Like giving, prayer is to be done privately, without public display. And further, Jesus give us a model to follow in our own prayer life –

+ Our Father in heaven: reminds us of our privileged access into God’s sovereign, transcendent presence and of our need to treat Him respectfully.

The first three petitions deal with God and the last three with us –  reminding us to put God’s interests before our own, in our praying as in our living. All the petitions have some connection with the kingdom. The first three deal with the coming of the kingdom, and the last three are appeals in view of the coming kingdom.

+ May your name be kept holy: God’s name includes His reputation and everything about Him. Not only are we not to take His name in vain (e.g. OMG), God’s name and that of His Son are to be revered.

+ May your Kingdom come soon: This petition reflects the believer’s longing for God to turn the world upside down, to make all things new, with the glorious return of Jesus and His righteous rule and reign.

+ May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven: Nothing better can happen than whatever God’s will involves. The precondition of answered prayer is that it conforms to God’s will.

The remaining petitions focus on our needs. We need all three of these things equally; we cannot get along without any of them.

+ Give us today the food we need: Daily bread refers to the necessities of life, not its luxuries. The request is for God to supply our needs day by day. We only live one day at a time, and each day we are dependent on God to sustain us.

+ Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us: Our forgiveness of others demonstrates our felt need of forgiveness. The person who does not forgive a brother’s offenses does not appreciate how much he himself needs forgiveness. Personal fellowship with God is in view here (not salvation from sin). We cannot walk in fellowship with God if we refuse to forgive others.

+ Don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one: This petition acknowledges our felt human weakness to withstand severe trials of our character by the world, the flesh and the devil. God does not always rescue us from evil in the form of the world or flesh, but he does deliver us from the evil one – the devil.

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Morning Prayer – The Lord’s Prayer

Pray through the Lord’s Prayer making it your own. Pause and reflect on each petition – ask yourself what does this mean for me? How does this speak to my needs and concerns?

  • Our Father in heaven…
  • May your name be kept holy…
  • May your Kingdom come soon…
  • May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven…
  • Give me today the food I need…
  • Forgive me my sins, as I have forgiven those who sin against me.
  • And don’t let me yield to temptation, but rescue me from the evil one…

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“The Lord’s Prayer “ – Shenandoah Christian Music Camp

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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