Insert fancy into here. Hmmm alright glad you did that. Just what you needed to hear today right. Alright lets just get straight into the word.
Giving To The Needy
6 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.
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.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Alms simply means to give. Its a bit of an older word. The real thing that Jesus is emphasizing is seeking material things is really no good. If you get them in service that’s one thing but to seek or expect them is really not good. The reason for this is if you do a good deed to be rewarded then the reward of the deed is satisfactory. It served its purpose and you were not really helping someone you were providing a paid service to them. When a Christian assist someone it should be out of love and not seeking material gain.
The Lord’s Prayer
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.
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.
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.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Once again we see this theme of the heart being the most important thing to God. If you are praying long winded prayers God already knows what you have to say. You could literally say “In God I pray for the things on my mind”, and leave it at that. It is also not good to pray in order to create a spectacle. If you are praying so that others hear your prayer, then are you really praying to God or are you praying to yourself? This is why God tells us to pray in private. Let your prayers be between you and God.
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
We are to first recognize our Father for who he is. He is supreme ruler. However he is not long winded either as to who he is. Simply you are to recognize him as Holy. It is amazing how humble he can be at times. Titles of our government officials are longer. He is simply “Our Father in heaven, Holy is his name.” I am stopping and typing here because I want you to think about this. It truly shows his character and how humble our father is.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
What kingdom to come? A kingdom on earth that is in the future. We are to be steadfast and always remember the coming earthly kingdom. I know this a subject of controversy within the church but his words are his words and I cannot deny Christ calls for a future kingdom on earth. It will be in this kingdom as it is in heaven. Christ will rule from king David’s throne in the millennial (Thousand Year) kingdom. Holy be the day.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
The bread here can be taken as manna from heaven. The word, is our daily bread. We ask that Jesus give us understand so that we can be sustained by him.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Remember our forgiveness of others is not out of obligation but rather it is out of love. We have been forgiven by Christ for our sins, so naturally we should forgive others with the same love, at least try our best to emulate it. Sometimes I wish it were easier. I can truthfully say at this time there is no malice toward anyone in my heart. Can you say that about yourself? If you cannot that is ok. Sometimes things happen that hurt us very badly. It is understandable. Still work on it. God will give you strength.
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.
God does not lead us into temptation, it is the second part the is the driving point. The evil one or evil, is Satan and his fallen angels and demons and unclean spirits and a whole host of other things. However, they are limited by God the Father, they can only do what he allows. I struggle with that sometimes. Not what God has allowed to befall me but I sorrow for others sincerely. Untold horrors, tragic ends, nightmares. The cruelty of man knows no bounds and I suppose it is even worse for those from below.
Always remember the end though. His kingdom, his power, his glory. It is about service to him above all things. If you do anything in life service to the Lord is the utmost importance. Nothing else matters as much. Always keep that in mind. Whatever you do, do it for him. Be the best. Be loving. Be brave.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Now you are probably saying “What! Didn’t he just say it is because Jesus forgave us! That’s why we are to forgive! Well this contradicts that!” You would be correct. But your not correct. See God does not seek our perfection. He wants us to try our best, better then our best, we are to follow him. Jesus was perfect in all his ways. He completed the race for us. We cannot get salvation through ourselves, it has to be through the blood spilt on Golgotha that grim day above Salem. What a glorious day that was. Jesus died for all of our sins, even the ones of not forgiving others. Make no mistake, it is a sin. However, through Christ you are forgiven. ALAS!!! You should forgive others.
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.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
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.
I am sorry to all of you about this. I can’t shut up about fasting. I don’t complain about hunger as much but I am a total wimp. I fast often especially on the days of fasting. I could do a whole study on WHY YOU SHOULD BE FASTING!!! But I wont do that here. However I will tell you it would benefit you GREATLY if you fasted once or twice a week. I personally fast on Wensdays and Thursdays. So if you want to join me in fasting in spirit I would love that. Let me know, it keeps me accountable.
Lay Up Treasures In Heaven
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
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:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Now this is a strange one for some people. They seem to think of physical things as treasures, but really I do not believe God is speaking of this as treasure. He is speaking of people being the treasures here. The more people you bring to Christ the more “Treasure” you will have in heaven. I believe very strongly this is what he is saying, though I will admit that I could be wrong.
Jesus is quoting Psalm 135:18 in verse 21.
22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
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!
The word used for light here is λύχνος (luchnos) it literally means a portable lamp. Now the second us for light is actually a different word. φωτεινὸν (phōteinon) it is a bright light. So to understand further we need to break down the word single, ἁπλοῦς (aplous) it means simple or single… well that did not help. So if we go back in how this was used it was used like clear.
So if you eye is like a portable lamp make sure that the window is clear. Inside of it is bright, but only shines through the window of the lamp. So if your window is covered in soot and smoke, it will not shine brightly. You must check your internal prospective to have a clear view of things. Clean your soul and mind so to speak.
Staying in this analogy if the lense of lanturn is not clean and covered in soot, you cannot tell if there is light in the lanturn. It very well may be the fire has gone out in the larturn. See the human mind can be like this. If all you see is evil than surely evil may be within you.
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.
Mammon is often refered to as money. Mammon is an old syrian god of riches. One of the few times God names a devil in the bible. Now a lot of you may be thinking “What is he on about?” Mammon is a spirit. There is power in the concept of wealth. It makes people sacrifice everything for it. You must see if you are worshipping this deity because God recognizes you worship of it and he tell you, you are worshipping two masters. Take heed.
Do Not Be Anxious
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?
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?
It is true, God uses all things for his will including our lives and governments and the universe. He is a astronimically big God. What makes you think he cannot provide for you? He will. Trust in him. However! I want you to take notice, this come right after about serving two masters. One being mammon and really what is the purpose of wealth? It means security. You do not need to find secrurity in anyone but God. It is a sin to worry. I still do even though I have this knowledge. It is hard to overcome. This verse is not about that however, its more important to focus on God. Look to God and do right by him. It is not saying dont plan for your future. It is good to plan for your future. Don’t be a homeless person expecting hand outs.
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Can you add an foot to your height is basically what this is saying.
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Jesus is putting the emphasis on that God will take care of everything. We simply need to allow him to. He will direct us as he did Solomon. If we only follow his voice to a better life.
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?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
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.
In closing for this chapter. I think we all need to consider are we really living for God or are we going our own way? If we are living for the gods of this world. We want to reconsider, following the one true God, the creator of all things. That is who we should be following.