Give Gifts in Secret
6, verses 1-4)
(1) "Be very careful not to continually repeat
righteous acts in front of people so that they can all see what you're doing. If you do, you can forget being rewarded by
your heavenly Father. (2) When you help the poor or needy with nice gifts, don't announce to the whole world
what you're doing. Hypocrites do that. They do it in both religious and secular settings so people can say how "generous"
they are. But I'm telling you the truth, that's as much of a reward as they'll get. (3) Instead, when you
help out the poor and needy, keep it to yourselves. (4) In this manner your gifts of mercy will be done in
secret and your Father, who sees even secret things, will reward you in secret.
Wrong Way to Pray
(Chapter 6, verses 5-8)
(5) "When it comes to prayer, don't be like the hypocrites. They want everyone to see them praying; so they
pray in all types of religious settings and anywhere they deem appropriate in public. But I'm telling you the truth, that's
as much of a reward as they'll get. (6) When you pray, go to a private place in the house, close the door
behind you, and pray secretly to your Father; then, and only then, will your Father reward you. (7) Whatever
you do, don't just repeat the same old things over and over again. It smacks of insincerity. You know, fakers do that all
the time, imagining that God will hear them because of their verbosity. (8) So, don't imitate them, because,
even without all those meaningless words, your Father knows everything you need before ever you make your request.
Prayer, Forgiveness, and Fasting
6, verses 9-18)
(9) "Here's how you should pray: ‘Our heavenly Father, permit the sanctification of your name. (10)
Allow your kingdom to come. Let what you will occur upon this earth, as it has occurred in heaven. (11) Give
us our daily ration of food; (12) and forgive the sinful nature in us, as we also have forgiven the sinful
nature of others. (13) And don't introduce us to temptation; instead, rescue us from the wicked one.'
(14) "If you pardon and overlook the mistakes of others, your heavenly Father will pardon and overlook yours.
(15) On the other hand, if you don't pardon and overlook the mistakes of others, don't expect your Father
to pardon and overlook yours.
(16) "When you're fasting, don't distort your face like the hypocrites. They disfigure their faces so that everyone
knows they're fasting. But I'm telling you the truth, that's as much of a reward as they'll receive. (17)
This is what you do when you fast: simply freshen up, and be well groomed. (18) Although people might not
know that you're fasting, your Father, who is looking on in secret, will reward you.
Store Heavenly Treasures
(Chapter 6, verses 19-21)
"Stop accumulating valuable things and building a large bank account to the exclusion of serving God. Your valuable items
can be stolen, and your money can be devalued. (20) Instead, accumulate spiritual treasures in heaven where
there is no planned obsolescence of valuables, and where thieves can't illegally access your account and wipe out your savings.
(21) Believe me, where your treasure is--whether material or spiritual--your heart is also. In reality, they
share the same space.
Simple Eye, Spiritual Treasures
(Chapter 6, verses 22-24)
(22) "The lamp of the spiritual
body is the spiritual eye. If, then, you have a modest eye, your whole body will shine brightly; (23) but
if you have wicked spiritual vision, you have the darkness of a cancerous body. If, upon closer examination, it's discovered
that you have a ‘black light' as it were, your darkness is really great!
(24) "No matter who you are, you
cannot report to two bosses who issue conflicting orders, and be completely loyal to both. Sooner or later you're going to
prefer one over the other, and you're going to side with one and disregard the other. Well, it's the same way with spiritual
things as opposed to material things. Ultimately, you cannot work for spiritual treasures and material wealth, simultaneously
giving each first place.
Don't Waste Time Worrying,
Pursue Kingdom Interest First
6, verses 25-34)
(25) "With this in mind, here's what I have to say to all of you: Stop worrying about what you're going to eat,
or what you're going to drink, or what clothes you're going to wear. Doesn't your life mean more than food in your stomach
and a shirt or blouse on your back? (26) Take a good look at the birds. They aren't farmers, planting crops
here and there, waiting for them to grow, and then gathering the fruits of their labor for storage. Even so, your heavenly
Father feeds them. Don't you know that, as human children of God, your value far exceeds that of birds? (27)
Which one of you can extend his life by being distressed over food and drink? (28) As far as clothes are
concerned, why be troubled? Learn from the flowers in a garden. They grow to be beautiful in form and color, and have a wonderful
scent about them, yet, they didn't have to work for their pleasing smell and appearance. (29) Now, compare
them to King Solomon, who was very rich, and who had more clothes than he could wear in a lifetime. He didn't nearly have
the assortment, collection, and selection of clothes that flowers have. (30) Now if God, that master Tailor
in the heavens, can supply tailor-made clothes to vegetation that's in the field one day and in the oven the next, surely
he can take care of the clothing needs of you who possess just a little faith, don't you think? (31)
So, don't ever stress out and worry yourself with questions like: ‘Oh my God! What are we going to eat?' or, ‘Oh
Lord! What are we going to drink?' or, ‘Jesus Christ! What are we going to wear?' (32) These very things
are what ungodly people live and die for. Just be aware of this one fact: Your heavenly Father already knows you need all
these things, so don't worry!
(33) "The first thing all of you should pursue is the interest of God's kingdom and all its associated righteousness.
You do this, and the aforementioned necessities of life will be supplied by God himself. (34) It bears repeating:
Don't ever be overly concerned about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have its own set of troubles. Since every day has its share
of difficulties, why try to capture tomorrow's when you already have today's to contend with? Leave the next day's challenges
where they are.