Purity, Prayer, and PossessionsMarch 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Matthew | 2 Comments
Tags: commentary on Matthew, Jesus Christ, Law and Grace, materialism, Matthew 5, Matthew 6, prayer, Sermon on the Mount, slavery, Sunday School lessons on Matthew
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
The Pharisees had placed a crust around the seed of God’s Word. Jesus broke the crust, but He did not destroy the Law. He fulfilled the Law. A seed can stop being a seed through destruction, or through fulfilling its purpose. Remember, Jesus came onto the scene of public ministry after working for years as a carpenter, and His job has always been that of a builder.
In Christian maturity we move past rules and regulations (outward), and get directly to the attitudes of the heart (inward). Imagine if I dug a well, attached a faucet, and filthy water came out. Would I just change the faucet? No, I’d dig a new well. The hearts we were born with can produce only sin and evil. When we trust Christ, He removes the old heart, and replaces it with a new heart, from which can flow God-pleasing purity.
Matthew Chapter 6 deals with prayer, fasting, and money. Have you ever thought about why God commands us to pray when He already knows our needs? One reason is that prayer is the God-appointed way for getting those needs met. Here’s how it works. You pray to discern God’s will (“Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”). God allows needs to come into your life, and you draw close to Him in prayer (Psalm 50:15). God shows you that all you really need is Him (II Corinthians 12:7-10). You become thankful to God, even about your needs, and you stay in an attitude of prayer and ongoing communication with your God (I Thessalonians 5:17-18). Prayer prepares us for the proper use of what God already knows we need.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Materialism is when we stop possessing things, and things start possessing us. Idolatry of things enslaves. It enslaves the heart.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
It enslaves the mind.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 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!
It enslaves the will.
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.
Imagine: Your heart, your mind, your will – all enslaved to a bass boat or a TV set or a retirement account or a Cadillac. It’s not a pretty picture. However, in Christ, we can win the victory over our idolatrous desires to be rich, to own property, to possess things. Even worry about the basic necessities of life needn’t ensnare us.
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?
“Things” used for God will bring glory to God, but things used for me cheapen the things, and cheapen me as well.