Devotional Readings

Matthew 6 – Teaching about: Alms, Prayer, Forgiving, Fasting,Treasures, Darkness, Mammon, Food, Drink and Clothing, the Kingdom of God, Righteousness and the morrow

Yes, I know the title is long enough. Let’s let the text speak for itself.

Mat 6:1  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Mat 6:2  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.

Mat 6:3  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

Mat 6:4  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Mat 6:5  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.

Mat 6:6  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.

Mat 6:7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Mat 6:8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.


Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Mat 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread.

Mat 6:12  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.




Mat 6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:

Mat 6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mat 6:16  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.

Mat 6:17  But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

Mat 6:18  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.

Mat 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Mat 6:20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.




Mat 6:22  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Mat 6:23  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!




Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Mat 6:25  Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Mat 6:26  Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?


Mat 6:27  Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?


Mat 6:28  And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

Mat 6:29  And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.


Mat 6:30  Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?


Mat 6:31  Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Mat 6:32  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.


Mat 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Mat 6:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.



Gill writes on this familiar verse:


Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God,…. Meaning either the Gospel, and the ministration of it; in which sense this phrase is often used, see Mat 21:43 and which is diligently to be sought after, and into; to be constantly attended on, and to be preferred to our necessary food, to raiment, or riches, or any enjoyment of life: or else the kingdom of glory, which is prepared by God, and is his gift; for which he makes his people meet here, and will introduce them into it hereafter.

And his righteousness; the righteousness of God, which is revealed in the Gospel, and is what gives a right and title to the kingdom of heaven. This is not the righteousness of man, but of God; and is no other than the righteousness of Christ; so called, because he is God who has wrought it; it is what God approves of, accepts, and imputes, and which only can justify in his sight, and give an abundant entrance into his kingdom and glory. Heaven is to be sought for in the first place, as the perfection of the saints’ happiness; and Christ’s righteousness is to be sought for, and laid hold on by faith, as the way and means of enjoying that happiness; without which, there will be no entering into the kingdom of heaven.

And all these things shall be added unto you: of the free bounty, goodness, and liberality of God, without your thought and care, and much less merit; even “all these things”, meat, drink, clothing, or whatsoever worldly sustenance else is necessary for you: which are not parts of the happiness of saints, only appendages thereunto; which they have over and above what they are, or should be chiefly seeking after. The Hebrews (r) say,

“that no good sign will be shown to Israel, until they return and “seek” three things: “afterwards the children of Israel shall return and seek the Lord”; זו מלכות שמים, “this is the kingdom of heaven”; and “David their king”, according to its literal sense; “and shall fear the Lord and his goodness”; this is the house of the sanctuary, as it is said, “this goodly mountain”, and Lebanon.”

(r) Jarchi & Kimchi, in Hos. iii. 5.


BTW It might be falsely thought that we are all called to give up all our money. but even on the surface that is a lie, and misses the point of even Jesus’ direct teaching on the subject. What is required is that we seek his kingdom, and righteoousness, not our own self-righteousness, as we go about this some may be called to give up more or some less. But we are still to do our alms from the plenty we have been provided, and to be generous in gifts, and not to worship mammon(money) and certainly not to covet it or other goods. Flee from worry….at least from tomorrow’s worries.

Again Gill writes about money which seems to always try to take the high ground.

 

ye cannot serve God and mammon. The word “mammon” is a Syriac word, and signifies money, wealth, riches, substance, and everything that comes under the name of worldly goods. 

Jerom says, that riches, in the Syriac language, are called “mammon”; and so the word is often used in the above senses, in the Chaldee paraphrases (y), and in the Talmudic writings; where (z) דיני ממונות, “pecuniary judgments”, or causes relating to money affairs, in which were pecuniary mulcts, are opposed to דיני נפשות, “judgment of souls”, or causes relating to life and death. The account and interpretation Irenaeus (a) gives of the word, is very wide and foreign; who says, that

“Mammon, according to the Jewish way of speaking, which the Samaritans used, is one that is greedy, and would have more than he ought; but, according to the Hebrew language, it is called adjectively Mam, and signifies one that is gluttonous; that is, who cannot refrain himself from gluttony.”

Whereas it is not an Hebrew word, nor an adjective, but a substantive, and signifies riches; which are opposed to God, being by some men loved, admired, trusted in, and worshipped, as if they were God; and which is incompatible with the service of the true God

for such persons, whose hearts go after their covetousness, and are set upon earthly riches, who give up themselves to them, are eagerly and anxiously pursuing after them, and place their confidence in them; 

whatever pretensions they may make to the service of God, as did the Scribes and Pharisees, who are particularly struck at by this expression, both here and elsewhere, they cannot truly and heartily serve the Lord. 

“Mammon” is the god they serve; which word may well be thought to answer to Pluto, the god of riches, among the Heathens. 

The Jews, in Christ’s time, were notorious for the love of “mammon”; and they themselves own, that this was the cause of the destruction of the second temple: the character they give of those, who lived under the second temple, is this:

“we know that they laboured in the law, and took care of the commandments, and of the tithes, and that their whole conversation was good; only that they אוהבין את הממון, “loved the mammon”, and hated one another without a cause (b).”




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