Audio/Video podcast covering Matthew 6:
Alms – money, clothes, food, and other things given to poor people.
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.
As the disciples of Jesus Christ, we should be doing like He did, by always doing good for others. When we are doing good deeds for others in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord is Glorified. We must be careful not to be as the people who want to make a public display of their Good Deeds. Those who do good and boast of their good, are bringing glory to self. When we are careful to do our good deeds privately we move ourselves out of the way for the Lord to be Glorified. It is the Lord who provides for the needy. When He uses people to give to those in need, the blessing they have to give was permitted by God. If we give to those in need in silent, the recipient can clearly understand; “This was from the Lord”. When we give and seek the glory from it we can overshadow the fact that this blessing was from the Lord. We are just the blessing delivers/carriers. The mail man should not seek Glory for delivering the mail, they receive a paycheck to do it, likewise we should not seek the Glory when delivering a blessing to someone else, we will receive our reward in heaven for doing it.
#GetOutofTheWay and #LettheBlessingSenderGetALLTheGlory!
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. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Seek NO honor or recognition for doing Good. God’s will for us is to bring all Glory to Him. In today’s world people are often so proud to show that they have done a good thing for another person or organization. It is as if all the good being done in the world must be published. That is NOT the way of God. If God’s will would be done in this world regarding giving, there would be so much good happening but no publishing of it. Silent Good deeds. Do your good in complete silence behind the closed door, privately and watch God bless you abundantly for many people to see His favor in your life!
No more doing your giving or good deeds in front of others. Seek to find a way to give and do good privately and the Lord has a blessing coming for you. Cast out the desire to be seen of others when doing good, cast out the desire to be seen as a good person in the eyes of people, cast out the desire to have a reputation among men of doing good. Let your desire be SOLELY that God sees you doing good.
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. 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.
It is hypocrital or fake to pray with the motive of others seeing that you are a righteous person. This desire/motive to be seen of others while praying is not of the Lord. Let us constantly check our motives. We do not need to stand on a street corner or stand up in the church for God to hear our prayer. We need to live according to will of the Lord by Faith in the Son of God Jesus Christ, and God will hear our Prayer. When we pray in Jesus name, living in the way He taught us, God can hear us. Those living in sins and without Jesus Christ, the Word of God teaches, the Lord does not hear. He will hear the prayer of a sinner who is Repenting (turning from their sins) but not the sinner continuing in sins. The child of God living in the ways of the Lord with faith in Christ Jesus does not need to be seen of men praying to get a prayer through to God. A person may be blocking their own blessing by praying to God so that people can see them intentionally. The person who prays in secret without others knowing will be blessed where others can see.
It is best to Pray in a closet or some private place. The intention is for the Lord in Heaven to see and hear you praying, no one else.
It is not error to pray in a place that other people are, like a restaurant, in the home of a brother/sister, at the beach, in your car, etc.. The error is when discretion is not used when praying around others. Again, we should not have the motive of being recognized by men as a person doing good because we pray. To teach your children to pray always, wherever they are with discretion is not error, to pray as a family is not error, to pray in communion with fellow saints is not error. The error is when the heart of men is to be recognized of others for praying.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
We are not to use meaningless repetitions in our prayers unto God. This is not super common in christianity at large today. In the past time, some people who worshiped idols were known to recite nonsensical formulas of sounds that they believed to have special power in their prayers. In the past it was understood that Jews also embraced this practice, so likely the Lord was making is very clear that this is not the will of the Father. Some other idol worshipers were known to pray from morning until noon. The Lord here warns that it is not saying may words in prayer that makes God hear the person praying.
Our Heavenly Father knows all things and wants us to come to Him with our hearts desires, not vain babble. As a child of God, speak to Him from your heart each time you pray and you will be heard of Him.
After this manner therefore pray ye:
Jesus provides us with the basic framework for praying. The model prayer. Notice He says; “After this manner therefore pray ye” not “Pray these exact words”.
The Lord would have us to acknowledge these points in our prayer unto God in a genuine way each time.
Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father in Heaven is the Father of all creation. We address Him as our Father in Reverence and fear also because we have been given the liberty of speech before Him, so we address Him as He is, “Our Father”. The word “Our” coming before Father shows that we should pray for others as well as for ourselves. It is understood to be a rule with the Jews that; “a man ought always to join himself in prayer with the church;”. The heaven of heavens is the place where he most eminently displays his glory. Heaven is the dwelling place of our Father.
Hallowed be thy name.
Or sanctified/honor be to thy name. As the disciples of the Lord we are to be living a life that brings Honor to His name not shame.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Present & Future. Jesus teaches that the Kingdom of God is a present reality and will soon be fully consummated. We are to be praying for the time where God’s reign is full and complete on the earth(nothing happening outside His will, just the same as it currently is in Heaven). All things are Holy and right in Heaven. God is there. The Heavenly citizens do not fulfill the will of self, but fulfill the will of the Father, therefore everything is perfect in Heaven. We should be praying for the will of the Father to be fulfilled, consummating His Holy Kingdom.
Give us this day our daily bread.
The Christian life is one that lives constantly dependant upon God. We are to make our request of the substances of life to Him. He is our provider.
Example prayer on this point: “The necessities of thy people are great, and their knowledge short; let it be thy good will and pleasure, O Lord, our God, that thou wouldst give to everyone , “what is sufficient for his sustenance”, and to every one’s body what it needs.”
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Jesus teaches us to forgive others who have wronged us then we can receive forgiveness of the Father for the sins we have committed. The Blood of Jesus Christ brought forgiveness of sins to us through Faith. Since our cleansing of sin we walk forward in Newness of life. If a person commits a sin after being made new, they need to ask forgiveness of the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ. They way to unlock the forgiveness needed of God, one must first forgive others.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
Do not let us be overcome by temptation. Help us to escape from every trap of the enemy. Help us to be victorious over all evil!
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Everlasting kingdom, power, and glory, to God.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
God forgives the Repentant. Repentance is a result of a willingness to forgive others. The Lord is not obligated to forgive sinful man. This forgiveness is Grace. We must have Grace when dealing with others, forgiving them for all they have done, just as we expect the Father in Heaven to forgive us for all that we have done.
Fasting = eat no food for a period of time.
We recall Jesus fasting in Matthew chapter 4 for 40 days and 40 nights.
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.
The practice of the Jews in the past time was to smear ashes on their faces and wear unpleasant expressions of grief during their times of fasting. Throughout the old testament we see that these acts were an expression of True Repentance, hypocritical people adopted this behavior as a mask of false piety/devotion to God. The intention/motive of these hypocrites was to be seen of other people as someone fasting, seeking glory of men/people.
It was common among the Jews to fast multiple times per week, particularly every Monday and Thursday(the 2nd and 5th days). On these days the law of Moses, and the book of Esther were read, by the order of Ezra; and fasts for the congregation were appointed on those days. A private person, or a single man, as in this instance, took upon him, or chose to fast on the same. The reason for this is said to be for some, because Moses went up to Mount Sinai on a Thursday, and came down on a Monday. Though these men fasted so often, they took care not to hurt themselves; they allowed themselves to eat in the night till break of day(6pm at night until 6am in the morning).
*It is understood that when Jesus fasted, He went 40 days with no food, but had water. We understand this through the scripture suggesting how after forty days Jesus was hungry, but mentions nothing about him being thirsty.
*When apostle paul was converted in Acts 9, he immediately went on an absolute fast for three days, having neither food nor water. A three day fast can be beneficial as a spiritual cleansing. After the three days of fasting/cleansing, Paul received the Holy Spirit and his eyesight when Ananias laid hands on him. For new believers in Jesus Christ, fasting would be an excellent start to cleanse oneself and become strengthened in the Holy Spirit. When Fasting by Faith, we can receive a spiritual cleansing and our spiritual eyes can be opened, we also have the opportunity to obtain victory over the devil as a result from our time of fasting.
The only person that is recorded going longer than 3 days without water during a fast was Moses at Mt. Horeb/Sinai in Exodus 34. Our bodies can go a long time without food, but not very long without water, but all things are possible with God.
Jesus is not recorded in the Holy Bible stating exactly how long we need to fast, but He does expect us to: Luke 5:34-35 “And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.”
When is the last time you fasted?
Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 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.
The hypocrates by expressing their stresses and devotion to fasting among the people lost their heavenly reward for fasting. The only reward that can be received from fasting to be seen of people is for people to acknowledge what you are doing. When we fast in silent/private as Jesus teaches, we will be rewarded of the Lord openly. Those who seek acknowledgement of men for fasting are blocking their own blessing.
When we fast, we must clean ourselves up as if it were any other day. What we look like outwardly should not be different when we are fasting and when we are not. Let your fasting be done unto God, seek no acknowledgement of people in your time of fasting.
Notice Jesus says; “when thou fastest”, this makes it clear that Jesus expect His followers to fast.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
As Born Again believers in Jesus Christ the Lord teaches us to no longer have the mission of gathering treasures on this earth. In our former life we may have been working hard to buy a nice car, a big house, expensive clothing etc.. Jesus shows us that now that we are followers of Him our mission in life should no longer be to gather those things. Jesus made it clear that moths can quickly destroy our valuable fabrics, rust can eat away at our possessions, and thieves can come in and steal whatever earthly possessions we get. Nothing tangible is safe to keep forever.
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Now that we are living this NEW life for Christ Jesus, our treasure should no longer be the possessions of this world, but now our treasure must become what we can obtain in Heaven. Man can work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for earthly possessions and one day they can all vanish. The riches can be moth eaten, contaminated by rust, or even stolen. The treasure that us Holy Spirit led christians should be after does not have an expiration date. It will never get old. Our Heavenly treasure has everlasting value. As spiritual people we must be after our spiritual reward, not earthly physical rewards.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Is your heart really on Heaven!?! Are you still laboring to obtain the riches of this world, or are you content with what God has blessed you with and your primary focus is the heavenly treasure? If we are still chasing earthly riches for our own gain and enjoyment, our heart is not yet fully for the kingdom of Heaven. The same way our Hearts must be converted once we put our faith in Jesus Christ, our ambitions and goals must change also. Many people get stuck in their life for Christ on this very point. Many people have been chasing their own dreams that have nothing to do with the Lord all their life, but then they come to Jesus, put their faith in Him, but still are chasing after whatever they were in the former life. That is not what Simon and Andrew did. They were working as fishermen, but once given their opportunity at following Jesus, they forsook their original mission in life, and took on a new one. Paul was persecuting christians before Jesus came into his life, but once He obeyed Jesus His mission became to Advance the kingdom of Heaven!
Brothers/Sisters, let go of your former ambitions that had nothing to do with the Lord. If you do not let them go now, you will likely continue to struggle for years until you finally obey God and make your life goals and ambitions whatever HE wants from you, no longer what YOU want from you. So much can be done for the Kingdom of God with a willing Heart, so much eternal heavenly treasure can be gained when our goal is to fulfill whatever His will is for us. We slow down our early pursuit and our heavenly pursuit when we are trying to fulfill both our earthly goals and our mission from the Lord for the kingdom. Many people attempt to KEEP their goals and aspirations once they come to Jesus, but they try to add Jesus into their goal. This is not the teaching that the Lord gave us or the examples that we have in the Word of God. If you are willing to forsake all and be used in whatever way the Lord decides for His Glory then you are fulfilling His will. Anything less than willingness to leave all behind for the sake of the Lord is not fulfilling the calling He has for us. This is not to say that the Lord will not use your talents for His glory, but it is to say that we be willing to lay down our own pursuits for us to take on whatever pursuit the Lord wants us to take on.
The Lord used Pauls former accomplishments in a great way for His work in Christ, Paul likely planned to be living a much more wealthy and publicly accepted life in his dreams before he came to Jesus, but when he was converted he was hated by people, poor, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ that many despised, and (according to history) beheaded for his work in Christ. His life was not as glorious among the world as he probably imagined it would be before becoming a disciple of Jesus, but NOW he is probably one of the most wealthy persons in the Kingdom of heaven for all eternity! The Lord probably welcomed him into heaven saying; “MY GOOD and FAITHFUL SERVANT”! Let our treasure, goals, pursuits no longer be for self and to obtain earthly riches, but let our treasure, goals, pursuits, and HEART be for the Kingdom of God, to live a life pleasing to Him, and to obtain eternal treasures in Heaven!
Jesus taught us that a person’s heart belongs to what it treasures most. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are to Love God with all our Hearts. If we love material possessions and earthly riches, they can be a subtle form of idolatry.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 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!
Edited Excerpt from Ellicott’s commentary: “The light of the body. (the lamp of the body). Proverbs 20:27, “The spirit of man is the candle (or ‘lamp’) of the Lord”–that which, under the name of “conscience,” the “moral sense,” the “inner man” discerns spiritual realities, distinguishes right from wrong, gives the light by which we see our way. If this is “single,” if it discerns clearly, all is well. The “whole body,” the life of the man in all its complex variety, will be illumined by that light. The connection with what precedes lies on the surface. Singleness of intention will preserve us from the snare of having a double treasure, and therefore a divided heart.”
The single eye is focused. The evil eye(focused on accumulating treasures in this life) results in deep internal darkness, moral blindness that diminishes the ability to see and pursue the will of the Lord.
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.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot serve God fully and our worldly pursuits fully. The world has taught us to multitask, but this is not the direction of the Lord. We must be fully devoted to one master. Fully devoted to God and no longer devoted to our worldly pursuit of riches. God’s plan for His people is for our hearts to be SINGLE for Him. It is against His will for our heart to be divided. When our will is aligned with God’s will, we will no longer straddle the fence between pursuing earthly riches and the kingdom of God. When our will is aligned with God’s will, we will be fully focused on fulfilling all that He has called us to without going after our own pursuits that have nothing to do with the Lord.
Money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever can be valued more than the Lord can be a master in your life. God MUST be #1. He must be our everything. We must remember that He will always sustain His people that are living according to His Will. If you need to give up your source of income to become fully devoted to God, do not doubt, obey God and He will provide a way to sustain you. Over all things, we must have the willing heart to obey the will of the Lord. If we are too afraid to let anything go to be fully devoted for the Lord, we will continue to have lack in our spiritual life. Consider what other master may be in your life today. Consider if God is even a master in your life. Seek God through prayer to help you have Him as your one and ONLY master. Seek God to help you rid your life of any other master besides Him. Seek God to help you stay fully devoted to Him until the very end. Let us be watchful not to let any other master come into our life. The Lord must continue to be the one and only master of our lives.
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? 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? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 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? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 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.
Brethren, let us take a new perspective regarding our life in Christ. Let us turn a new leaf in our walk with the Lord today! It is time that we let go of the constant pursuit of our own needs. We must release the responsibility of providing our needs into the Lords hands. If we continue going through this life seeking our own needs, we will limit our usefulness in the hands of the Lord. When we release our cares unto God and Trust Him to provide, He can use us in Great ways.
The Lord’s plan for the disciples of Jesus Christ is to: take no thought for our life, what we; eat, drink, or wear. We should be trusting that God will take care of all these needs that we have. Brothers/Sisters; when we are not seeking first what we will; eat, drink, or wear, we can then be free to Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.
We must get to the point of letting THIS LIFE go. Many, if not all of us are still holding on to THIS LIFE in some way. Nearly all of christianity is still holding onto this life in some way. Because of this, the state of christianity in mass proportion is in a great state of Lukewarmness. If we can learn to accept the teaching of Jesus Christ and follow the example life He lived especially on this point we could then begin walking in the fullness of the mission He has called us to fulfill. Jesus nor His disciples(excluding Judas) had the “me first” mentality. The disciples knew that to follow Jesus Christ they need to consider the will of God and His Righteousness before they take care for themselves. Many of us consider ourselves disciples of christ, but take care for ourselves before Kingdom Business. We are all likely guilty of this in some way. The time of change has come. The time for us to lay down our own personal goals and ambitions to fulfill God’s Holy will has come. The time for us to STOP thinking about our SELF first and the work of God second or third has come. The time for us to leave our dad and nets in the boat and follow Jesus with a completely willing and ready heart is now.
Are you willing to let go of whatever it is you are currently pursuing to fulfill the will of God? Are you ready to leave your; school, work, family, riches, behind to fulfill your role in God’s Kingdom? Until we have this heart that says; “Yes Lord, I am ready to follow you wherever you lead me whatever the cost” we are not fully in the will of God. If following Jesus Christ has not cost you anything yet, maybe the Kingdom of Heaven is not Truly your first priority.
Many of us say; “God first” but our actions are not God first. Let us compare and contrast our lives today to the life of Jesus Christ and His disciples. We do not come close to what we should be pursuing daily. It is hard for many of us to leave the comfortable life we live today. It is hard for many of us to let go of our own goals and aspirations for the will of God to be fulfilled. It is hard for many of us to FULLY let go of this life and simply be a servant ready for the masters use.
Not once do I recall in the Holy Bible where Jesus Christ put Himself before the will of the Lord. Not once did Jesus Christ put Himself or His own needs before the work of the Kingdom. Jesus Christ fed thousands that were hungry and He was likely hungry too, but instead of stopping the work of God to feed himself and others, He continued the Work of God until His job at that time was complete and then He fed others first! (Matthew 15)
1 Corinthians 4: 9 “For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day. I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.”
Brethren; apostle/disciple paul taught us that the life he was living was an example we should follow. If Paul would have been seeking after what he can eat, drink, or wear first, he likely never would have been; hungry, thirsty, and naked. He was willing to endure any times of lack to fulfill his role in the Kingdom of God! We have a blessed opportunity and huge responsibility in the kingdom of God. To fulfill it, God must be first. His Kingdom and His Righteousness must be first to what we put on, what we eat, and what we drink. God must come before our own needs. We must let go of the care of our own needs to fulfill His will and TRUST that He will provide our needs.
If you are rich, are you willing to become poor for the sake of the Kingdom? If you are smart, are you willing to be considered a fool for the sake of the kingdom? If you have many changes of clothes, are you willing to have only 1 garment for the sake of the kingdom? Once we have the willing Heart, God will guide us to how we can fulfill His will. We may never need to leave our; job, family, school, or home behind, but we must bring them all to the Lord letting Him know that whatever His will is that we leave behind, WE ARE WILLING. Let us come to the Lord letting Him know that we are ready to put His Kingdom before our self, before our own needs, before our own goals and aspirations. Let the Lord know that you are ready to endure whatever He allows in your life for His greater Glory!
Dont have little Faith brethren! Don’t doubt that the Lord will supply all your needs. Do not doubt the God of Heaven and earth can be sure you have food, water, and clothing enough to survive. DO NOT doubt God! Trust God. Trust that in your willingness to fulfill His will and put His Kingdom and His Righteousness first through Faith that He will sustain you. Do not worry brethren. Cast out your worries of tomorrow, the Lord will sustain you! Focus on today, focus on fulfilling the will of God now. Focus on the present, Jesus may come back for us tomorrow. We need to be ready and found of Him as Good and Faithful servants, not lazy, slothful, and self centered believers who were reluctant to fulfill His will. We are here because we desire to become what God has called us to be. The Word the Lord is opening our hearts to now understand is that; we will not become what He has called us to be with ourselves still first in our priorities. We must put His Kingdom and His Righteousness before our own needs and Trust Him to provide as we labor for Him.
The disciple who values the reign of God over His life and Diligently pursues Righteous living will Trust God to satisfy all His needs.