Good morning, beloved of God,
First of all, I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who read my blog. My meanderings. You are such a blessing to me.
One of the those amazing days yesterday…where God puts a Selah (pause and calmly think about that) moment in our day. My husband and I were at the hospital again to see his neurologist and we were leaving, waiting. (There’s that word again..) He saw him first. The neurosurgeon we had seen for the cyst that had been nothing. He looked at us and with a sad smile informed us he was on his way to do the surgery on a 32 year old man with a cyst in the same region as Joshua’s (Joshua’s turned out to be nothing, in fact the 2nd MRI was normal…) that was the size of a large orange. It was something. The breath was taken from us.
Deuteronomy 30: See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil.
Job 2:10 What? Shall we accept [only] good at the hand of God and shall we not accept [also] misfortune and what is of a bad nature?
As we dive into His Word today and look at the Words of our Savior, Lord, may we handle Your Word with reverence and with care and Lord, may I speak with truth and with Your wisdom. Get me out of the way Lord. May Your glory be revealed to those who choose to read. May they, may I learn more about You through studying Your Word. All for the glory of Your Name..
Looking in Matthew 5, a key word repeated over and over in verses 3-12 is blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions).
Now if you consider yourself one of the blessed, then Jesus has a message for you in verses 13-16:
13 You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
Jesus also seems to be making sure that His disciples and listeners understand:
17 Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.
18 For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away andperish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished.
I was one, who for many years, felt the Old Testament was boring, unreachable, and unimportant until I began to study it.
Now, let’s move to Matthew 6
So here Jesus is instructing on the intricacies of life before God and men: to understand more of the deeper meanings in this chapter…read verse 1 before every when and every whenever. (I highlighted them in yellow. ). For instance, read verse one and then immediately read the next verse with whenever…so verse 2.
1Take care not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven.
2 Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be recognized and honoredand praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.
3 But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly.
5 Also when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.
6 But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.
7 And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.
8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
16 And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy and sour and dreary like the hypocrites, for they put on a dismal countenance, that their fasting may be apparent to and seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full already.
17 But when you fast, perfume your head and wash your face,
18 So that your fasting may not be noticed by men but by your Father, Who sees in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.
Jesus lists off some very important practices/good deeds for my, your, our lives, doesn’t He?
- Give to charity, the poor
- Pray in private
Interesting choices…umm, challenging choices….Being in downtown Chi-town this past week we saw much poverty. Many men with McD’s cups in the rain waiting for hand outs, man-made homes of cardboard…
Lord, what would you have me do with all of this? This teaching is so relevant for my life, how about yours? Taking another look at fasting. Another look at my life before God and men…this is so critical…my rewards…His glory not mine…
Pray on, beloved. Pray on. I thank God for you. May God bless you as you search out His Word and May He show His good and perfect will…