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28: The Sermon on the Mount – Part 3

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Matthew 6:1-18

Outline:

  1. Give                       Matt. 6:1-4
  2. Pray                       Matt. 6:5-15
  3. Fast                       Matt. 6:16-18

Context/Discussion/Comments:

One could look at this passage and say it runs counter to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5:13-16.  But this passage talks about purposely seeking the limelight, drawing attention to oneself, promoting oneself as to how good one is.  We are to be salt and light but not to be so in a braggadocios way.  We shouldn’t hide our love for Jesus and we shouldn’t brag about it either.  It is far too sacred and precious to flaunt.  We are all sinners.  Some of us have been privileged to hear His call and accept His grace.  One’s discipleship is to be lived, shared, but never bragged about and forced on someone.  After all, we did nothing to attain it.  Jesus paid the price for us.

Our good works/acts of righteousness are defined here as giving to the needy, praying, and fasting/worshipping.  We have a responsibility to help those in need, to pray, and to worship.  It is to be done in genuine love.  We don’t do it because it is demanded, we do it because we love Jesus and Jesus loves those in need, those who pray, and those who worship.  It is not a duty but it is a privilege.  They are all holy acts, sacred moments, and are to be treated as such.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Practice genuine love. Do your "acts of righteousness" in
    secret and not in someone’s face.
  2. True love and humility are important wrappings for your gifts.
  3. When you give, make sure it benefits the other person more than you. Doing
    things in the open for your benefit takes away from the benefit received by
    others.
  4. Doing things in secret will be of benefit for you too. Your gift will be
    validated in heaven [secret] or on earth [before all men]. We are commanded
    to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven where moths and rust don’t corrupt
    it. Giving is an investment; an investment of our time, talent, and treasure
    for the benefit of those in need. That investment can grow in heaven or erode
    away on earth. It’s our choice.

A Model for Praying:

  1. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they Name.

    We are to recognize who God is; Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent. Our
    God lives. He resides in heaven. He is holy and just. Our prayers must recognize
    Him, a Holy and Righteous God, in an act of true reverent worship.

  2. Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
    We are to pray for the advancement and acceptance of God’s Kingdom, for those
    who place their faith in Jesus, His Church. His will is that all would hear
    the Gospel and accept Him as Lord and Savior. His Will is that we would grow
    in knowledge of Him and that His name would be lifted up above all names.
    It is such in heaven. Why shouldn’t it be the same on earth. We are to pray
    that Satan’s influence would diminish and that God’s influence would increase.
  3. Give us this day our daily bread.
    We are to ask God for our daily needs even though He knows them. By doing
    so we recognize who gives us our daily needs, our blessings. We are not to
    ask for our wants, only our needs.
  4. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
    This is very important; confession. But before confession is real, we must
    forgive our debtors.
  5. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
    We are to pray for guidance and wisdom so we avoid temptation. But if and
    when it comes, we are to ask for deliverance. God does not temp us but He
    does provide a way of escape. [I Cor. 10:13]

This prayer outline is explained further in the next lesson, the continuation
of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus discusses these same issues as they relate
to daily living.

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