Jesus continues his teaching on the mountain. In this chapter He focuses on five topics.
Jesus warns us about showing off or broadcasting our righteous acts in front of others. Unlike hypocrites who announce with trumpets, our charity should be silent and in secret.
In the current generation, where many put up generous acts in front of cameras for appreciation, likes, publicity or fame, God is asking us to forsake these acts and do it purely out of our heart’s desire.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.Matthew 6:3-4
Similar to the above passage, God commands us to pray privately in our rooms instead of standing in the synagogue or on the street corner so that they are seen by others. It’s not the place or the people that God wants us to avoid but the design for which we pray is important.
Further, He says not to babble while praying with many words. Our God knows our needs even before we ask and He showed us exactly how to pray.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“ ‘Our Father in heaven,Matthew 6:9-13
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. ’
This prayer might seem very short but God teaches us how to connect with Him through prayer. We have a habit of adding requests or asking for blessings from God instead of asking for God’s will. We need to trust in Him fully and be faithful to Him.
With the growing social media influence, people have the urge to share every detail of their lives. God is asking us to spend time privately with Him. We ought to clean up our faces and look bright and fresh for the outside world. Fasting is a means for us to grow spiritually towards God.
But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 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.Matthew 6:17-18
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:21
It is true indeed. Our heart will always be on the things we consider precious or very valuable. This will lead us to worrying endlessly about it being stolen.
God is shedding light on our love for the earthly wealth and how our focus gets distracted from God. He commands us to store up treasures in heaven by our good deeds so that our hearts will also be set on God.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!Matthew 6:22-23
He also warns us against the lust of our eyes, as sinful eyes can lead us to darkness.
“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.Matthew 6:24
Our love for money would always be a hindrance in serving God. Therefore, until one forsakes the worldly wealth, they cannot serve God wholeheartedly.
In these current times, anxiety and worrying are inevitable. Beginning from our personal problems to global issues like inflation, pandemic, war rumors and global warming, worrying has become a part of us.
God beautifully shifts our attention to the birds in the air and flowers in the field, how wonderfully He takes care of them. Then aren’t we not more valuable than them? Will He not take care of us?
We might not realize but worrying consumes a lot of our valuable time that we can give to God and does not add even a single hour in our lives.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Matthew 6:33
So let us seek God’s kingdom amidst the difficult times and not be consumed by our anxiety.