MATTHEW 6:5_And when thou prayest…
Prayer is a necessity in the Christian life. Don’t try to live even one day without it. I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV), “Pray without ceasing.”
No one wants to go a full day without speaking to someone they love. If you don’t love Jesus, talk to Him anyway – you may soon find Him to be your friend. It takes time to truly love. There is such a thing as love at first sight, but if that’s all there ever is and love goes no further than sight – that won’t get it done. You have to know the person who has caused your heart to skip beats. Time must be spent in communication.
Prayer is communication. There is nothing in your heart you cannot tell Jesus. The fact that He already knows what’s there does not stop Him from wanting to hear your voice. Jesus desires your deep, intimate, communication – just as any two people who are in love.
Get to know the book of Psalms. They may be written for songs, but they make for some kind of awesome prayers! No matter your situation, there is a Psalm to express your heart. Pray a Psalm in first person.
If it is a prayer of brokenness, it’s okay to weep. If it is a prayer of joy, then sing praise.
Simply let your heart express itself.
Lord of All, Thank You that You hear my heart, and my feeble words. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ prayed—He will teach me!
MATTHEW 6:1_to be seen of them…
Take heed (pay attention) to one simple word – seen. Your righteousness can be seen just like your light. Your light draws and guides to truth and freedom. There is another way to use light – to attract attention to you. This clarifies not doing your righteousness before men.
If your purpose for righteousness is to receive praise – you missed the mark. Showing acts of mercy, charitable giving, giving more than receiving, should all be done to bring glory to God. Any honor belongs to the One who taught you to live in righteousness.
The purpose of being light is not to shine on you, but on Jesus – the Light of the World!
You can’t save anyone – even yourself. You can’t bring anyone out of darkness. The light that shines from acts of righteousness reflects Jesus’ light. He saves. He brings out of darkness. He possesses the power to transform lives, break bondages, heal broken hearts, and when in His will, to heal diseased bodies.
If your light doesn’t reflect Jesus’ light – it’s the wrong light.
Loving Jesus, Please help me not to let my light shine on me, but on You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to shine for Him—I will!
MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees…
Jesus is love – true, genuine, unconditional love from head to toe. He is the purest form of mercy. He is grace at its greatest. If Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law, then the purpose of the Law must be love, mercy, and grace.
Make the Bible your best friend. The wisdom from it is far beyond awesome. If you don’t spend time with your best friends – they won’t be your best friends for very long. The more time you spend in the Bible, the more you gain understanding of wisdom.
The Scribes and Pharisees spent a lot of time studying the Law, but they failed to gain wisdom and understanding. Why? The heart. If your time in the Bible results in knowledge which lets you appear better than your friends, your righteousness will never exceed that of the Scribes or Pharisees.
If your Bible time results in your heart breaking from your own sin, and the cruelties of the world, and you want to do something to make the world a better place – you’re on the right track!
God of Mercy, Please help me learn the Bible with my heart, not my head. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is the heart of the Law—He wants it in my heart!
MATTHEW 5:19_he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven…
The importance of the word least continues, but changes from a description of the Law to a description of a person.
When you take into consideration all the laws, the least one is indeed – least! Yet Jesus makes it important enough that to break the least law and teach others to follow your lead, causes you to be least in the kingdom of heaven.
Think of this in New Testament terms to see a better view: How heartbreaking it would be if you were part of what encompasses the Bride of Christ, and called least by the Groom. You don’t want the word least to refer in any kind of way to your relationship with Jesus!
Who could keep from breaking even a small law out of so many? No one.
There’s hope! Don’t give up yet!
Lord Jesus, Thank You for giving me hope. Thank You that if I follow You, I have no need to ever give up. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is my hope—I won’t give up!
MATTHEW 5:19_and shall teach men so…
Jesus knows to live outside of Biblical principles brings heartbreaking consequences. He wants to protect you, not punish you. The punishment comes on its own – a natural byproduct when you make your own decisions of right and wrong.
Jesus knows the world is too hard, too difficult, too deceiving for you to take on by yourself – so He gives you commandments to live by. These commandments are taught in the Old Testament by God’s chosen leaders and in the New Testament by Jesus and His disciples. Jesus knows even the least commandment is for your good.
Jesus sees every tear you shed, hears every sigh of your heart, and knows every pain disappointments bring. He tries to save you as much pain as possible.
Suffering comes with life – period. God’s commandments are a true safety to keep you from experiencing suffering unnecessarily.
It is enough to bear the pain of having broken God’s commandment, but far worse is the guilt of having led others astray with you.
Holy Lord, I don’t want to make my own suffering by breaking even Your least commandment. Let Your Word teach me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows all my pain—He wants to help me!