THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE WITH CAUTION (vv. 1-4).
* Jesus’s first words in the first verse is “Take heed”, so there is caution needed in giving.
* Caution means giving without calling attention to your act.
THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE ATTENTION TO PRAYING WISELY (vv. 5-13).
* The hypocrites, to whom Jesus refers, probably spent no time praying in private, unless it was to build their praying vocabulary, and prowess in expressing the words they would pray in public.
* How the Kingdom Christian should pray –
+ When you pray Praise and Glorify the Father – Recognize Him for who He is; Holy, Righteous, Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Sovereign, LORD of hosts, etc…;
+ For His will in your life as though you were in Heaven;
+ When you pray be sure that it is His will that you request most earnestly;
+ Request from Him what you need for the day – not wants and desires – your needs for the day;
+ Asks for forgiveness of your sins and transgressions against God and those you may have committed against your fellow man;
+ Asks for the power of the Word of God in your life to be delivered from evil;
+ As you are ending the time with the Lord end with recognition of His sovereignty, power, His kingdom, recognizing that His Kingdom is forever.
THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE ATTENTION TO FORGIVING THOSE WHO ARE INDEBTED TO US (vv. 14-15).
* The Christian of all people should know how to forgive – We have been forgiven much.
* Lack of forgiveness can hinder our prayers, and rob us of peace.
* All Christians have been forgiven by God’s grace, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
THE CHRISTIAN WILL GIVE ATTENTION TO FASTING WITH JOY (vv. 16-18).
* Just as in their praying, so also in their times of fasting they begged the attention of men.
* Fasting is right and good when it is done with the right motive.
+ To seek God’s will in times of uncertainty.
+ To seek God for personal renewing, revival, and church renewal and revival; National renewal and revival.
+ To seek God for strength for going through a difficult time.
* Fasting is a means of disciplining the appetites of the body.
* Overcoming hypocrisy in fasting -+ Be honest with God in your secret life;
+ Fast seeking God with all your heart;
+ Pray from your heart, not form;
+ Fast secretly;
+ Please God alone.
* The purpose of fasting and prayer is to glorify the Lord, and then it matters not whether you get what you asked for yourself.
For the Kingdom Christian Giving, Praying and Fasting is so that we might grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus our Lord and Savior. All world religions have these as religious disciplines for the gaining of their salvation, or earning favor with their deity; whoever that may be. These become the Character of the true Believer of Christ – the true Christian.
-Tim A. Blankenship