These last few weeks, we have talked about character and how Jesus says we are to live. Our attitudes influence our actions! As we move farther into the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6 this week) we find that Jesus is teaching about religious practices. The assumption is that people are already giving, praying and fastingand so He is not telling them to DO these things but rather HOW to do these things.
For example Jesus says to give privately and not spectacularly. The illustration of not letting your left hand know about your right hand in terms of giving does not mean to reach into your pocket and just grab whatever. The people that Jesus addressed gave systematically not haphazardly! He is teaching not to give with the motives of being seen or trying to use your gift to influence.
From there Jesus addresses praying and says not to”babble”. Praying some mantra or using senseless language is not how we are to pray to a Holy God who relates to us as Father, Forgiver and Provider.
The final teaching we are discussing Sunday deals with fasting. A young lady from our church who is overseas recently wrote that the people in her country were observing religious fasting during the day. However, they were also sleeping during the day and staying up all night eating. Yes they were observing their religious fast, but like the Pharisees of the Bible they were had wrong motives.
Give some introspection to your motives when it comes to religious practices and join your friends this week in Bible Study at 10:15 a.m.
Things to Ponder:
Make a list of ways you can improve or enhance your giving, praying and fasting?