Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 6, Matthew 6: The Sermon on the Mount

TITLE: Day 6, Matthew 6: The Sermon on the Mount
THEME: Pray Lots - Worry Not

This chapter contains one of the most common prayers in the Church: The Lord's Prayer. In many churches, the prayer is used wholesale in worship services. It is interesting how after the teaching of the Lord's prayer, three major applications are described.

Firstly, the discipline of fasting. Prayer and fasting often appears together, especially when one is praying for a very important situation. I have heard people praying and fasting when they are looking for a new leader, during a major operation, a crisis situation, or a major disaster. Even Jesus tells the disciples that certain kinds of healing and casting out of demons require fasting. This discipline is not often practiced now. Maybe the urgency is not there. Maybe people justifies the importance of keeping their stomachs full so that they can do more good works. Maybe. Yet, the discipline of fasting helps one to do one thing: Focus.

Secondly, the discipline of serving God, not Mammon. The word Mammon refers to that thing that one yields allegiance to. The choice is clear. The disciple must choose between God and Mammon. There is not both. God is God. Mammon is Mammon. We all need to decide upfront who we want to serve.

Thirdly, the discipline of NOT worrying. Prayer in faith will lead to a DECREASE in worry. Those who do not pray tends to worry more. Perhaps, the best antidote against worry is to do what Jesus has prescribed:

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" (Matt 6:26)

What I Learn: The person of God will let the three things flow out of his prayerfulness: Discipline of fasting; the discipline of serving God; the discipline of NOT worrying.


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