48. Don’t do your charitable deeds before men- Matt. 6:1-18
-It is hypocritical to make a big deal out of your charitable acts of righteous before men Jesus says. Your reward is in full already when you perform to gain selfish applause and recognition. Hidden giving and prayer is recommended for reward from the Father in Heaven and His good pleasure (Matthew 6:4, 6). *Application* This again is a heart issue with the Lord. He knows our deepest motivations and will justly reward on that basis. Do your righteous acts with pure intentions and secretly if at all possible.
-Forgiveness is a big to the Lord as He teaches further after giving His disciples the model prayer. Our forgiveness from the Father is in a large way dependent on our attitude towards forgiving others who’ve wronged us He tells us and His disciples plainly. *Application* When people do us wrong, it gives us the opportunity to learn the precious art of forgiveness. We would never learn the compassion of our Father towards us if we were never mistreated unjustly. Learn the grace gift of forgiveness in your life. Reconcile with your brother or sister in the Lord’s way for His favor. Otherwise bitterness will grip and conquer your life as you continue to live in sin and unforgiveness.
-The last few verses in this section deal with fasting and again the proper manner with inward purity verses exterior expression for full reward from the Father. *Application* It is a great discipline to fast and pray with proper focus and attention on God’s will. However, as Jesus points out it can become a prideful exercise when we do it for public recognition and glory. Make sure that your heart is centered on the right things when you fast and pray before the LORD.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 6:3
49. The Lord’s Prayer- Matt. 6:9-13, Luke 11:2-4
-Jesus teaches His disciples, and us, how to pray properly before the LORD God. This is not to be a repetitious prayer devoid of meaning and ritualistic. It is a guideline for all the aspects that should be included as we communicate with our Maker. We will see worship, praise, adoration, respect, awe, and fear in the beginning phase. We see a surrender to the Lord’s will and His Kingdom purposes in it on earth as it is in Heaven (notice the struggle this earth has going on with sin and the enemy present). We can see that it is alright to ask for things from the Father for our benefit and well being. We learn that we must seek forgiveness from the Father as we forgive others in our lives that have wronged us, which includes confession and intercession of all kinds. We conclude that it is wise for us to ask that temptation be taken away from us as we walk the path of life. Lastly, we see that thanksgiving should be a major part of our prayer life as we recognize His greatness, provision, and supreme glory. *Application* How seriously do we take our prayer life. Coming before God should be consistent, purposeful, meaningful, and effective among other things. Jesus instructed us with all we need for a vibrant prayer walk with Him. Don’t neglect the opportunities you’ve been given. Don’t get too busy for time with God. Remember Him and keep Him close every moment of your day (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Verses to Memorize- Matthew 6:9-13