A Look At The Actions Required
- Matthew Six -
Matthew six is the second part of the scripture in that section known as the "Sermon on the Mount." (Matthew 5, 6, & 7) This chapter shows some of the actions that Jesus requires. Saving faith demands more than just belief - saving faith requires actions.
In Matthew six Jesus taught against hypocrisy in the practice of charitable deeds. () He taught that prayers should be simple, sincere and from a pure heart. (Matthew 6:5-8) Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. (Matthew 6:9-15) He also taught about fasting (Matthew 6:16-18), the evil of being worldly-minded (Matthew 6:19-24), and worry. (Matthew 6:25-34)
The action of sharing - : Charitable deeds are to be done by children of God. But, if charitable deeds are done only to be seen of men that will be your reward in full. Our charitable deeds are to be acts of sacrifice and service, not acts of show. Charitable deeds done in the right spirit produce a special reward from God.
The scribes and Pharisees were guilty of heart-sins. They were hypocrites. When they did their alms they sounded a trumpet before them in the synagogues and in the streets, that they might have glory of men. We must do better than that. What we do must be done from the heart in order to have God"s approval.
Do all the good deeds that you can. Hide this good from others so that they will not discourage your efforts nor boast too much about you for your actions. Do the charitable deed and forget it quickly so that you will not become complacent by thinking about what you have done. Allow God to have the glory for the deed!
The action of praying - : Prayer is to be a simple petition from a child (Christian) to his Father (God). We are not to pray to be "seen of men" but to be "heard of God." Prayer involves a solitary place and a simple petition. Prayer recognizes both God"s fatherhood and our need for forgiveness.
The prayers of the Pharisees was nothing more than show-off. They loved to pray "standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men." Their reward is that they will be seen of men and they already have that reward. Our prayers should be private, from the heart and with deep devotion. Such prayers will be rewarded openly by God, the Father.
Simple, short prayers to God have great power. Do not just talk on and on to be heard of men. Some think that God loves long prayers when He really loves earnest prayers. Our prayer should be an uncomplicated prayer directed to our Father in heaven. Prayer should be addressed with honor and respect for the name of God. Prayers should include, (1) entreaty for the kingdom or church, (2) a request for daily food, (3) an appeal for forgiveness from wrongs, and (4) a petition for help in dealing with temptation and in forgiving others. If we forgive others for the wrongs they do to us, God will forgive us likewise. If we do not forgive others, God will not us of our sins. Pray! Pray often! Pray from a sincere heart!
The actions of fasting and giving - : Fasting is to be seen only by God. God said, "When you fast." It seems that fasting is expected among Christians, but not commanded for Christians. Fasting is to be in private but the reward for fasting will be given openly. Fasting may be one of those overlooked things that Christians could benefit greatly from! When you fast do not try to look like a sad and gloomy religious show-off. Others do not even need to know that you are fasting. God will know and He will provide you with proper reward!
Treasures should be laid up in heaven, not on earth. The treasures laid up on earth may be stolen or destroyed by moths or rust. Christians should store up treasures in heaven. Moths and rust cannot destroy these treasures; and thieves cannot break in and steal them. The treasures laid up in heaven are enduring. "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Get your money into God"s work and you will get your heart there! We have learned a powerful truth when we recognize that our heart will always be where our treasure is!
The actions of shinning, serving and living - : God"s desire is for our "whole body to be full of light." A good eye leads to a shinning life. A bad eye will lead to a life of darkness. God expects of us actions that produce a shinning life. Your eyes are like a window for your soul.
It is impossible to serve both God and money. "You cannot be the slave of two masters!" You will love one master more than the other. Some allow God to be their Master. Others are mastered by mammon. However, you cannot serve both God and money.
Living the Christian life is to live without worry. If God cares for the flowers and the birds He will care for you! God knows your needs and is both able and willing to meet those needs. God expects us to put His righteousness and His kingdom first in life. If this is done there is nothing to worry about!
Christians do not have to worry about life. Their focus does not have to be on what to eat, drink or wear. They realize that life is much more than food and clothing. The same God that takes care of the birds of the heavens will surely provide care for His own children because they are worth much more than the birds. Worry will neither help you live longer or better.
Solomon was not clothed as well as the wild flowers of the field. If God so clothed them, then we can also have confidence that He will care for us. It is sad if we have only "little faith" in such a BIG God!
God"s message is "Don"t Worry!" There is no need to ask yourself, "What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?" God knows your needs and He is more than willing to meet the needs of His servants. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33) More than anything else God and His work must come first in our life. If we do what God wants the blessings of life, including all daily necessities, will be ours.
God"s advice to His children is, "Do not worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today." When that holiness of heart and purity of life that God desires of His followers is developed blessings will follow. Faithful members of God"s spiritual kingdom will be blessed!
Nothing is better than following the actions required by God. God requires (1) faith (John 8:24), (2) repentance (Acts 17:30), (3) confession (Matthew 10:32), (4) baptism (Acts 2:38) and (5) faithfulness (Revelation 2:10). The actions required by God lead to the best possible life. The Christian life leads to the greatest reward, HEAVEN!
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 6". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
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