Some people think that to speak against a behavior you once did or an attitude that you once held is hypocrisy. That is not hypocrisy. That is sharing a lesson you have learned – probably the hard way – with someone else in an attempt to save them the same pain.
Hypocrisy – according to Jesus – is pointing out the sin in others while ignoring the sin in your own life. It is insisting others repent while seeing no need for repentance on your part.
Do we want God to use the same measure of judgement on us that we use on others?
👉 Asking, Seeking, Knocking (v 7-8 )
The Lord responds to and rewards his people. This is not a genie-in-a-bottle scenario. We do not get anything we want just because we asked for it.
This promise of response is after the instruction to pray “God’s will be done.” The order is important. He taught them to pray “Your will” before “Give us.” (Matthew 6:10-11)
👉 The Narrow Gate
the way is hard
few will find it
it leads to life
If you have ever thought, “What am I doing wrong? This is so hard.” Or “Why do I seem to be going a different direction than everyone else?”
It may be because you’re on the right road. Difficult does not mean bad. In the last year I have dealt with a situation that I have begged God to change because it’s “so hard.” Just this week, I felt him say to me, “That doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing. Keep moving forward.”
God is so patient with us, friends. He knows life is hard and that following him is the way of the cross. He will offer the sweetest and gentlest encouragement if you will just go to him.
do not practice righteousness “in order to be seen by other people”
do not give to the needy “so that you will be praised by others”
There is a way of living that involves right actions with wrong motives and receives no reward from God.
Jesus then goes on to instruct disciples on how to act “when they give” and “when they pray”. Notice the assumption that God’s people would be giving and praying people.
We give in secret.
We pray in secret.
This doesn’t mean that no one can ever see us praying or find out that we gave – it’s entirely about our motives.
Think for a moment. How often do we mention “in passing” to someone about a good deed or act of service we’ve done? What if we gave to that person in need and never mentioned it? What if we served the church in that area and didn’t broadcast it? What if no one except God ever knew the sacrifices we make? Would that be enough for us?
👉 Your Father knows…
I live in the world of worry and what if. It’s a matter of daily prayer and repentance for me and, likely, always will be. For that reason – Matthew 6:8 spoke to me.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
What a promise.
What do you need today?
Your Father knows.
What this said to me today is that – yes, I pray and ask – but then I can leave it with him. He doesn’t need me to tell him how to provide. He isn’t waiting for me to plead “enough”. He doesn’t require a certain degree of desperation before he acts.
He knows – before I ask. My asking isn’t informing him of the issue. My asking is handing him the issue and trusting him with it.
👉 The seed of adultery is looking with lustful intent.
The seed of murder is anger. We read that in this chapter as well. What we see is that the actions (murder and adultery) are simply the fruit of what we have nurtured in our hearts and minds (anger and lust).
It is vital that we guard our hearts and minds. Garbage in – garbage out. Gospel in – gospel out.
👉 Ruthlessly eliminate things from your life that cause you to sin.
Because Jesus has just taught on the origin of many sinful behaviors – he commands them to be brutal in the removal of sinful influences.
tear it out
cut it off
throw it away
It’s that important.
👉 Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no.”
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Just be a person of your word. “No” is a complete sentence. 😊
love your enemies
pray for those who persecute you
do not seek to retaliate
turn the other cheek (the goal being to not escalate the situation)