Summary: How often do you consider your life? It’s very easy to just tend to the details, take care of business, and try to make it to the weekend. If we want anything different in life we have to engage a strategy – a gameplan – one that addresses the basic spiritual needs in our lives.
How often do you consider your life? It’s very easy to just tend to the details, take care of business, and try to make it to the weekend. If we want anything different in life we have to engage a strategy – a gameplan – one that addresses the basic spiritual needs in our lives.
In February we will continue our way through Matthew’s Gospel and will focus on the idea that you should CONSIDER YOUR LIFE. The Scriptures are filled with passages that tell us that life is short, it’s a vapor, it’s like grass in the field … are we considering our lives each day? In this Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5-7) Jesus speaks to the hurting, beaten up, diseased, depressed and hopeless. He’s calling them and us to Consider our Lives. It seems to me Matthew 6 is mostly about today. Disciples of Jesus are called to pay attention to today. Formulate a plan/strategy/ for daily life in the kingdom. In what ways does Jesus turn our attention to today? What is your gameplan for today – every day?
1. PRAY TODAY
Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one
When you pray, Don’t…. Don’t do it to be seen by others (5-6) and Don’t think God is impressed w/your words (7-8). Do Pray like this.
-Express your heart to your Father.
-Submit your life to the Father.
-Thank God for your daily blessings.
-Ask God for forgiveness.
-Appeal to God for deliverance.
Prayer is an awesome privilege that every person here can do….on your own … in your prayer closet.
2. FORGIVE TODAY
Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Jesus makes a clear connection between our willingness to forgive others, and receiving forgiveness from Him. Forgiving is hard work, but we should remember:
-Forgiveness does not mean approval
-Forgiveness does not mean living in danger
-Forgiveness does not mean we fail to learn from being hurt by others.
-Forgiveness is letting the other person off the hook in your own heart, allowing God to heal your hurt and handle the rest.
-Forgiveness sets us free.
There is enough hurt in the world that I expect we all need to learn to forgive daily…and sometimes we have to forgive the same offense over and over until it takes place in our hearts.
3. FAST TODAY
Matthew 6:17-18 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Do not do it to be seen by others (16). Do it as a way to connect with God (17-18). Similar instructions as to prayer…fasting and prayer go together. Fasting demonstrates our dependence upon God. We need him more than we need even our Daily Bread. When our own bodies tell us how much we need God, we realize the value of fasting and praying. We can’t fast from food every day. Maybe there are activities in your life you can abstain from for a period of time as a fast. We can practice giving up on God.
4. DEVOTE TODAY
Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Verse 24 tells us not to be devoted to another master. To be devoted is to belong to someone, to be focused on showing love to another. When we are devoted to God, we must eliminate every contender for our hearts. The Enemy works hard to earn our devotion.
We are choosing every day who will rule our lives. Self – only what makes us happy in the moment. God – choosing only what pleases him.
5. SEEK TODAY
Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
In this long section about worry, we are encouraged to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. What are you seeking most in life today? Are we consumed with worry about tomorrow?