Words of Jesus
Part 3

 

Mat 6:1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Mat 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
Mat 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Alms is our giving. We are not to do alms for the purpose of being seen in order to look good. It is one thing to give in front of our children as an example. When we give to show an example to influence others and our motives are to teach others to give, that is one thing but if we give for the purpose of making people think we are "somebody" special, then it is wrong. We are not to do anything to be seen of men. In other words, God sees our motive for giving. Our motive for giving should be because we desire to help the one we give to. Its alright to allow someone to see us to set an example, but we shouldn't give just so others would give. Our giving must come from our hearts. God knows whether we give just because we are worried about what people think if we don't or whether we really care about the cause we are giving to.

Mat 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Mat 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Mat 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

If we stand and quote great prayers written perfectly and publicly chant for a display, it doesn't do on bit of good if our hearts are not right with God and we are doing it for a religious show or because we've done it so long it becomes a ritual. It is a waste of time. The prayer itself is not what God looks at but the heart that is crying out to Him in prayer.

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We don't have to say the actual words of the Lord's prayer but follow the example:

1. Recognize that God is to be honored, worshiped and esteemed great.
2. Trust Him to provide our daily necessities and daily food for the soul.
3. Forgive our sins in the same manner that we forgive others of their sins against us.
4. Ask for deliverance from the temptations that lead us to evil. Seek righteousness and not evil. Seek God's ways instead of our own ways.

If we hold a grudge and do not forgive others, God is under no obligation to forgive our sins if we ask Him to.

Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Their reward is that they are receiving the praise of men now so they will not get a reward from God.

Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
Mat 6:16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
Mat 6:18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

Again the Lord emphasizes that all religious acts done to be seen of men, is in vain. Fasting is a private thing where one sets apart himself to spend time with God in prayer and does not bother about food for a season. It should never be done for the sole purpose of showing off how long one can go without food.

Mat 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Mat 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

How preachers can preach the modern prosperity doctrine when Jesus clearly points out the opposite is beyond me. The only way to get a prosperity doctrine out of the words of Jesus is the take them out of context. Our sole goal is to lay up spiritual treasure. We are to seek God's spiritual blessings. Some of us may be blessed financially and some of us may not be. That does not mean that the rich are living where God wants them to be and the poor are out of God's will. If that was the case, Osama bin Laden would be the best Christian in the world for he is rich.

Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

This continues the though of laying up the treasure in heaven. Our eyes should be on Jesus and eternal things rather then on the material things of this life. The next verses explain why:

Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Mat 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Mat 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Some take this last verse to mean that we are to expect prosperity also. I don't believe it does. If we seek first the kingdom of God and we seek God's righteousness, we will think we have plenty even if in the world's eyes we have little. If you truly seek God first, you will not want the other paltry things of this world. You may have little but still feel like the richest person in the world. The prosperity doctrine is a false doctrine. The true joy is spiritual blessings and trust God to take care of the necessary material things. We are not to seek the riches of this world. If we do become rich, we are to be careful how to handle it. The more we have the more responsibility we have to share it with those that have nothing.

Remember the story of the rich man and Lazarus.

Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

This doesn't mean that we are to be happy go lucky and never mourn over sin. Jesus said, Blessed are they that mourn. It means simply that material things are not to be worried over. We are to trust God in these things. If we are walking in the Spirit and will of God, He promises to care for us.

I've not yet arrived at this state of mind completely. Sometimes I get concerned over these things but happy are we if we do what Jesus says.

Words of Jesus Part 4
 

 
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