Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Matthew 6:1-18 - Giving, praying, fasting

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Jesus continues teaching his disciples, this is all part of the teaching that began in chapter 5. He moves on from showing how we must go beyond the Law.

In Matthew 6:1-18 we have teaching on giving, on prayer, and on fasting. Notice how it's not about what other people think of us, showing off is inappropriate. Instead our Father sees the secret things we do and will reward us accordingly. Verses 4, 6 and 18 make this explicit.

As you read the famous prayer in verses 9-13 pay attention to its simplicity. Read the prayer slowly and think about it line by line. Jesus is telling us what he considers to be most important.

When you pray aloud in a meeting or silently out in the busy world, remember what Jesus demonstrated here. It's not at all about fancy words.

If we are to make an impact in this world we need to hear Jesus on this. Look after people in need, pray simply and quietly, don't make a big deal out of fasting.

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