Covid-19 Update: We are meeting for Sunday School at 10 AM and worship at 11:00. There are no evening services or other activities scheduled at this time. If you choose to join us there will be hand sanitizer and masks by the front door, please observe social distancing in the sanctuary. Sermons are also posted online. Be safe, stay well, and God bless.
We continue today in the Sermon on the Mount and finish Matthew 6.
Think of not worrying as practicing a spiritual discipline. It’s something we have to be consciously aware of and perhaps work hard at. It worry is a problem in your life pray that the Holy Spirit would you through it just like with all other wisdom and understanding.
We need to understand the command to lay up treasures in heaven in the context of what has just come before in Jesus’ sermon. The first half of chapter 6 has been about giving, praying and fasting in secret, not before an audience but in the sight of God who will reward openly.
The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 is part of a larger discourse on not doing things the way others do them which includes giving, praying and fasting. Click here to read Peter Smythe’s “The Lord’s Prayer is so Old Testament” which I reference during the sermon. I printed the list of scripture references and handed them out to my congregation but you can view the list as well as read the full article.
There are several passages in Matthew 5 that begin with Jesus saying “You have heard… but I say to you…” Jesus is not compelling his audience to do a better job keeping the commandments. He has an entirely different motivation than the Pharisees. He wants people to change their thought process about what it means to be God’s children.
The Sermon on the Mount exemplifies the teaching and preaching ministry of Jesus. He speaks to several different topics but we also learn some things about the nature of his ministry. We start with the Beatitudes and his commands to believers to be the salt of the earth and light of the world.
After his baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness and fasted for forty days. He was tempted by Satan and we can learn a few things from the encounter.
Note: I mentioned a warning given to Cain in Genesis that “sin is crouching at the door.” Then I second guessed myself and backtracked, suggesting perhaps that statement was elsewhere in scripture. No, God said that to Cain before he murdered his brother Abel. In this case I should have trusted my gut. That was not in my notes and I am subject to make mistakes like that on the fly.