Summary: To explain that giving, praying, and fasting are things Jesus assumed we would. Its our duty. He said," when you"...not, "if you..."
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
• He made it clear that praying, giving and fasting were a normal part of the Christian life.
• As much attention should be given to fasting as to praying and giving.
• Eccl 4:12
12 And if one prevails against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
• During the years that Jesus walked this earth he devoted time with his disciples teaching the principles of the kingdom of God.
• Principles that conflict with this world.
• In the beatitudes of Mt 6 he provided the pattern by which each of us should live as a child of God.
• That pattern addressed these three specific duties of the Christian.
• Solomon, when writing the book of wisdom of Israel made the point that a cord or a rope braided with three strands is not easily broken.
• Likewise when giving, praying and fasting are practiced together in the life of a believer, it creates a type of threefold cord that is not easily broken.
• In fact, Jesus took it even further by saying, “Nothing shall be impossible!” Mt. 17:20.
• We could be missing our greatest breakthroughs because we fail to fast.
• Remember the 30 fold, the 60 fold and the 100 fold return Jesus spoke of in mark 4:8,20.
• Look at it this way, when we pray we can release that 30 fold return, when we both pray and mix giving we release the 60 fold blessing, but when all three, giving, praying and fasting are part of our lives, that 100 fold return can be released.
• What blessings are not being released? What answers to prayer are not getting through? What bondages are not being broken?
• All simply because we fail to fast or give?
• When Jesus responded to the man whose son was possessed with demons who watched helplessly as his son suffered with severe convulsions and as he grew older the attacks became so severe that the boy would often throw himself into open fire or a trench of water and a suicidal spirit tortured him constantly, he had exhausted every attempt for deliverance so, when he hear Jesus was near cried out for help.
• He said he had brought his son to his disciples and they could not cure him but when he was brought to Jesus the scripture says he rebuked the devil and he departed out of him, and the child was cured from that very hour! (vs.18)
• What made the difference? And that’s what the disciples’ wanted to know, so later that night when they were alone they asked him.
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.