Tuesday, 25 March 2014

When You Pray

Jesus Piety                                 Matthew 6:1-18

 Jesus is committed to, and earnest about spiritual disciplines.
Authentic piety is not external only, but reflects the secret things of the heart.
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1

When you give to the needy…
Self-consciousness deteriorates into self-righteousness.
Is the benefit for the giver or the person receiving the gift?
Seeing the need relieved satisfies the love that prompted the gift.

When you pray…
Behind piety can lurk pride.
We are to love prayer for the opportunity it affords us to enter into the presence of the one we love.
“There is a place of quiet rest near to the heart of God.”
 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew6:14-15

When you fast…
Fasting exemplifies self-denial and self-discipline.
Seeking direction or blessing
Refocus on justice and charity
 “And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:4, 6, 18

Pharisaic piety is ostentatious, motivated by vanity and rewarded by people.
Christian piety is secret, motivated by humility and rewarded by God.
Become so conscious of God that we cease to be self-conscious.

Memory Verse: Week Three

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 5:18
This Week:

  1. Read and reflect.
  2. Think about your giving, praying, or fasting, and ask the Holy Spirit for a change in your ‘performance’.
  3. Be quietly righteous.

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