25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 6

Hi guys! If this is your first time reading a post from this series, we are starting post #3 in a study of the book of Matthew running for 25 days through the month of December. My hope for you as a reader, is that you feel you have gained access to “soul food” during this season of busyness and distraction!

Before we dive into our study, I wanted to share a little battle I had inside myself last night! I had this idea that maybe I should shorten the posts in this series to allow for easier reading and the ability to reach a larger audience. I struggled with this. I went back and forth on what God’s will for this series truly was and if it was impacting anyone. This morning, it hit me! A verse from the very chapter we studied yesterday! God was trying to teach me a lesson through chapter 5 that I had skipped over!

Matthew 5:1-2 (The Message translation) says: When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions.

His goal at that point was not to yell at the top of his lungs and hope that everyone could hear. His goal was to take the hungry who were serious about learning and bring them to a quiet place where they could study and really get some substance! Guys, this is our quiet place and I’m so sincerely glad you are here!

I do want to remind you that I will mostly be referencing The Message translation (I find this translation very relatable and easy to understand for new readers), as well as the NIV translation. I will, however, occasionally reference biblehub.com because of the vast number of translations available. It really opens up the possibilities for deciphering. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

The main points we will be touching on today are:

  • Giving without making it a production
  • Being open, honest and most importantly OURSELVES in prayer
  • Giving up our worry and concentrating on giving our attention to God’s will

 

  • Giving without making it a production

Matthew 6:2-4 (The Message) says: When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure -“playactors” I call them- treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone else is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it – quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

I underlined a portion of the verse because I wanted to clarify something. I believe there ARE people who are called to get on stage and do God’s works for big crowds. The difference between walking in God’s purpose for you and walking in your selfish purpose for yourself is your HEART. “Acting compassionate as long as someone else is watching, playing to the crowds,” tells me that the ONLY time this person shows compassion is in front of crowds vs. someone with a heart for God showing compassion BOTH in front of crowds AND in secret if God has called them to do that.

Let’s discuss this! How do you read this verse? What sticks out to you about it? Have you ever had a hard time trying to figure out if someone truly has a heart for God or if they have selfish motives?

  • Being open, honest and most importantly OURSELVES in prayer

Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV) reads: “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Our Father ALREADY knows what we need, all he asks of us is that we come to him with a humble heart and talk with him. We don’t have to have fancy words or a certain formula on how to pray properly. I have been saddened at times when I’ve seen my fellow sisters become frozen in fear of praying in front of other people. They are afraid they will sound silly or not know what to say. If you are in this place, you can find comfort in knowing that the order of your words or even the simple fact that you can not find the words to pray, make no difference to your Father! The fact that you have come to Him at all makes Him so happy!

The second part to this is: where are your actions? What I mean by this is: after you pray, how does that change the way you act or react in this world? Have you allowed God to change your heart, forgive you, and give you direction in your steps from that point on?

Matthew 6:14-15 (The Message) says: In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.

I don’t think there is a better way to say it. Just digest that for a moment. Carry it with you wherever you go! (I hope you are praying wherever you are, whenever you feel you need to.)

Have you ever been convicted of you actions not lining up with your prayers? Please share with me a time where you decided to line up your actions with your prayers and you saw change from it!

  • Giving up our worry and concentrating on giving our attention to God’s will

I think our human instinct tends to kick in and we spend our time WORRYING about how we will make enough money to cover the bills, how we will get clothes for our children come winter or how we will make sure we have a big enough savings to cover us if disaster strikes us. I love how The NIV translation says it:

Matthew 6:27 (NIV) says: Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Not only do we WASTE our time WORRYING, but the enemy LOVES when we worry! If we are distracted by how we think WE are going to fix our circumstances, that leaves us with LESS time to go to our FATHER who is the true provider of our needs!

The Message translation really opened my eyes when I read Matthew 6:30-33.

Matthew 6:30-33 (The Message) says: “…..What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with GETTING, so you can respond to God’s GIVING……” (Emphasis added by me)

SPOILER ALERT!

God gave me clear vision of this blog expanding into a full grown ministry and business as a provider for our home. He has shown me some of the details, but not all. I am trusting in his timing. The reason I bring this up, is because, the above portion of this verse is CURRENTLY helping to push me through this season of the beginning stages in this new ministry. I only started this blog (less than) 2 months ago standing on the belief that God would lead it in the direction He meant for it to go. I have a heart for the readers of this blog and I am excited for what is to come. Some days, I get ahead of myself and start making plans without asking God’s opinion. That always proves to be a mistake and I find myself asking for forgiveness and asking that He step back in and direct me the way that He has planned. We have yet to go hungry or without clothes and I need to trust that He will provide for us as long as I keep the heart of this ministry focused on HIM.

Do you struggle the way that I do in trusting that your needs will be met? Do you have a specific story you would like to share where putting your trust in the Lord paid off? Please feel free to leave a comment below! I would LOVE to be inspired by your stories! Hey this girl needs filled with inspiration too. 😉

I love ya’ll and I’m truly excited for the where the rest of this series is going to take us! I can’t wait to meet with you tomorrow, right here in our quiet place!

 

 

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3 thoughts on “25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 6

  1. This has truly been a blessing to me to hear these words tonight. I do spend to much time trying to control my path rather than let go and listening to God. It’s hard to break those habits. You are such a blessing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is extremely hard to break those habits! We are in a constant battle between our flesh and following God’s promises. I’m so thankful for the Bible as our guide, the Holy Spirit and the people God has placed in each of our lives in the exact right moment in order for His will to be done!

      Like

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