The Word of the Lord came to us again as we met together a few days ago—once again we were kind-a joining the circle of Jesus’ disciples in his discourse given for us in Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 6.
The Lord told us so many ways how he expected us to order our behaviour living in his kingdom, his gracious Good News rule, which since 66-70AD replaced the old Mosaic age system. He calls us to come and live in his new age of the Messiah, the New Covenant! Yes, we were discovering dynamic, motivating stuff.
He warned us severely to take care how we present ourselves to the world.
In chapter 5 we were given an extraordinary vision: you’re the light of the world—you’re a city on a hill that cannot be hidden away! You’re a lamp that’s not put under something—wasted energy! No, you put it where everyone can see it! Our faith is a public affair. It isn’t to be hidden away in a religious ghetto.
But now he warns us that we must us beware of showing off our righteousness, like hypocrites who want to be noticed and admired and put on a pedestal. Motives are everything, hey? Our role is to present to others only HIS righteousness, the only way by which anyone may be accounted righteous before him.
The unrighteous, who Jesus has in his sights here, are in the streets and religious boxes, displaying their emptiness, their hollow-men, role-playing insincerities. Three favourite Jewish practices and three warnings are given: Truly I say to you, they have their reward, in full. Here—earthbound, adulation, audiences, control of others, pride, position, elite. No, that’s all they will get.
We must aim to hide not our light—the word of God—but we hide our giving, our prayings, our self-discipline and self-denying, and do these in secret and the Father, who sees in secret will reward. He sees us! He sees our inward hearts, our hidden motives! Beware!
We learned together and shared that the power of our prayers lies not in big words, religious words, or many words, but in the confidence that he knows what we need already! So we begin to realise that everything lies in him and his grace and like any loving earthly dad he desires our friendship, our oneness with him and his desire for our love and his plans—so for God’s sake only, ask, seek, get knocking.
He showed us all the seven prayer points most important for us to use—the basis of all asking, seeking and knocking which has become known as the Lord’s Prayer. Actually, it’s the disciples’ prayer.
We learned where true treasure lies—not in what we possess, but what we give up, place in his hands. That’s where will be our heart as well.
And then this bombshell: You cant serve two masters. You will end up hating one and loving the other. He is emphatic: You can’t serve God and mammon (riches, things, this world). Fence sitting’s uncomfortable.
You really have to seek first the Kingdom of Heaven AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and all you really want will be yours. . . so there is no need to be anxious. If God so arrays the flowers and herbs of the field which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace as fast fuel, wont he do MUCH MORE for you, you little-faiths?
Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own! We often waste a lot of time and energy over issues that are yet to occur, or may never happen.
Let’s accept it: he said stop hoping for trouble free days in this life. That is a stupid hope.
Do you know if you will be around tomorrow?
Trust me, He says.