In His Word
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." – Psalm 119:105

Mar
30

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:16-18).

Do you give to the poor and pray?  Surely you do.  Do you fast?  Notice that Jesus spoke of fasting as something He expected us to do as surely as giving to the poor and praying (:1-7).  He said “when you fast”, not “if you fast”.  He spoke of His disciples fasting (9:14-15) and set the example by fasting Himself (Luke 4:1-12).

Assuming you do fast, there is a way and a reason to do it.  When you fast look like you always do to others so they won’t even know it.  Do it to improve your relationship with God and be rewarded by Him.  To be rewarded by God – now there’s a reason to give serious thought to fasting!

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
27

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus concluded the model prayer by saying, “For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13b).  Some early manuscripts omit this part of the prayer, but there is no doubting the truthfulness of the statement.  As David prayed, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11).

May we respond as David said the Lord’s godly ones would: “All Your works shall give thanks to You, O LORD, and Your godly ones shall bless You.  They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power; to make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.” (145:10-12).  Amen!

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
26

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus continued the model prayer by saying, “’And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13).  James wrote that God does not tempt us to do evil (James 1:13).  Paul explained what He does in relation to temptation and why: “…God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape…” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  God is faithful to always provide a way of deliverance from temptation.  If we regularly make this request a part of our prayers, then we will remember the promise when temptation comes and look for His deliverance.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
25

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus continued in the model prayer by saying, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12).  This part of the prayer emphasizes our spiritual dependence on God.  We desperately need His forgiveness, for without it we will die (Romans 6:23).

Before we can expect to receive His forgiveness, Jesus said we must extend it to others.  In Mark 11:25 He said it this way: “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.”  At the conclusion of the model prayer Jesus elaborated, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matthew 6:14-15).  Do you want God to forgive you?  Then forgive others.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
24

1 - Jesus said2

In the model prayer Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).  This part of the prayer emphasizes our dependence on God for our physical blessings.  It is a daily dependence.  God taught the Isralites this kind of dependence on Him by having them go to bed with no food for the morrow and then arise to a day’s supply (Exodus 16).  Even though many of us probably have a month’s supply of bread/food in our homes, we must never lose sight of our daily dependence on Him.  Try surviving for only a few minutes without the air He provides for us to breathe, and you will quickly come to understand our constant dependence on God.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
23

1 - Jesus said2

When Jesus taught the way to pray He said, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10).  While there is a specific way in which the kingdom has already been established (Col 1:13), the general meaning of “kingdom” is that of reign, rule, or dominion.  We need to pray that the Father’s kingdom will come by all submitting to His rule in their lives.  The writer of Hebrews wrote in relation to human fathers, “How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live?”

Jesus not only said that we need to pray for the Father’s will to be done, He prayed it Himself in one of the most difficult times in His life: “Not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39).  If Jesus prayed with such a submissive attitude, then what should that say about us?

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
20

1 - Jesus said2

When teaching how to pray Jesus said, “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:9).  When we pray we need to keep in mind to whom we are praying, where He is, and what He is.

We pray to our Father.  “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15).  Remember that He is in heaven, in the spirit realm far beyond us; and His name is sanctified, consecrated, and should be respected as such.  Remember these things when we pray, and we cannot keep from having the proper attitude – one of humility, respect, and reverence – when we do.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
19

1 - Jesus said2

After telling how not to pray – for show or length (Matthew 6:1-8) – Jesus said, “Pray, then, in this way:…” (:9a).  On another occasion, “it happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.’   And He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:…’” (Luke 11:1-2).

Without being taught the way to pray and what to say, how would we know?  Who better to learn from than Jesus?  He continued in both of these Gospel accounts by telling some of the things we should mention in our prayers.  We will consider them over the next several days.  Keep reading – and praying!

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
18

1 - Jesus said2

While speaking of things not to do to be seen by men, Jesus said, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” (Matthew 6:5).  While street corner praying may not be as popular now as it was then by the Pharisees who wanted to appear righteous before men, we must still be careful about the same attitude today.  While it is always right to pray and thank God for our food (1 Timothy 4:1-5), even when in public, we must always do so to be heard/seen by God and not others.  Otherwise our only reward will be a righteous appearance before men.

In contrast Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (:6).  Jesus understood the value of getting away from all the distractions of the world to find a place of solitude to pray (14:23; 26:36-44; etc.).  The Father is there with us during those secret times and will hear and reward such prayers.

Jesus went on to say, “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.  So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (:7-8).  Jesus does not oppose repeating things in prayer (26:44), but we shouldn’t just babble on and on as though that is necessary for God to hear us.  As one commentator wrote, “The crucial thing is not the quantity of words, but the quality of the heart doing the praying.”

It should comfort us to know that when we keep our focus on God when we pray that He both knows our needs – even before we ask – and that He will reward our effort.

Have a great day in His word!

Mar
17

1 - Jesus said2

Jesus said, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:1).  Almost everyone likes to be seen and commended by others for doing good.  Jesus wants us to be seen by men when we do good (5:16), but He doesn’t want us to do good merely so that we will be seen by them.  If we do, then whatever reward we receive from men is all we will receive – there won’t be any from God.

Jesus continued with an example: “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” (:2).  This example reminds me of when some people call the local paper and/or news station when they plan a charitable deed, making sure the cameras are rolling and the photos are clicking as they ‘do their good deed.’  Jesus said don’t do that.  Instead, He said, “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (3-4).  Even if you give anonymously God knows what you did and will reward you, and His reward is what really matters.

Have a great day in His word!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: