April 24 – Sermon on the Mount – Giving to the Poor and Prayer

Read Matthew 6:1-18

It is right in front of us. Someone to pray for.  The person who can barely walk and moves slowly. They live in a room in a house that is dirty, unkept, full of cobwebs and actually looks like a haunted house. They cannot clean the home because they have pain when they move. Groceries get delivered twice a month when the government check comes or they walk two blocks with a walker to a grocery store, purchase limited groceries and carry them home, regardless of the weather.

How can I generously and humbly help? (Psalm 82:3-4)

“Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”Psalms 41:1

There are many hurting people – people who have lost their health, their money and, for some, – their hope. How can they be encouraged?

What about our motivation? Jesus says in Matt 6:1 that, if you act in a way designed to gain the attention of others, your effort will bring no reward. Those who do this are hypocrites, and they forfeit a reward from God.

“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself.”

Be generous. Don’t let your right hand know what your left hand did. Ask yourself, “Am I seeking God’s will or my will?”

When Jesus talks about prayer in chapter 6, He says that, when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father and you will be rewarded. He also gave us a model for how we should pray. It is a model that we can follow when we pray alone or when we pray in front of others.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, 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.”Matthew 6:5-13

What do you find yourself most often praying for? What value is there to praying continually?

Where are your motives when you help people? How can you ensure that you are serving others for the right reasons?

Tom Weckesser

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