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March 19, 2021 7:05 am
Technically speaking, when we say a prayer we're talking to an audience of one.
Sure, we might pray in a setting with other Christians were listening in, but ultimately our prayers are directed to God in his sermon on the Mount, Jesus urged his followers to keep this heavenly focus Leslie be tempted to perform to an earthly audience today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll's teaching from Matthew chapter 6, and a portion of Jesus sermon that warns us about religious performance titled today's message prayer and fasting, minus all the pizzazz reading today from Matthew chapter 6. If you have a copy of the Scriptures with you. Please turn some of you have noted that I'm using various translations. On occasion I had been using earlier in our study of Matthew, the new living translation which I do enjoy you and I think it would be good to use that in the narration part. But when you get to certain sections for careful instruction.
I fall back on the new American Standard, which I'll be reading from today so little back and forth from time to time just understand that you haven't lost your place were just changing translations for the sake of clarification, and in this case for the exactness of the new American Standard scholars will tell you that it is still the most accurate rendering of the Greek and the Hebrew text.
But it is not the easiest to read or to hear, and my goal in communication is to make sure that I am not only accurate but clear and that it is understood by those who are not familiar with the teaching of Scripture. In this case, accuracy trumps what would be called a little easier reading Matthew chapter 6 verses nine through 18. Pray then in this way, our father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors and do not lead us into temptation but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen. For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you but if you do not forgive others.
Then your father will not forgive your transgressions whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by man. When they are fasting truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by man, but by your father who is in secret, and your father who sees what is done in secret will reward you listening to Insight for living to study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll.
Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies and now the message from Chuck titled prayer and fasting, minus all the pizzazz. One of the marks of maturity in the Christian life is balance. Balance the ability to guard against extremes even though extremes are our natural tendency, a take for example the event evangelism.
Instead of adopting a lifestyle of sharing the claims of Christ in a natural, comfortable and gentle way. We go to the extremes we either become mutes and never open our mouths publicly about faith in Christ or we elbow our way into people's lives inappropriately and offensively we lack the balance. I'm reading a wonderful book titled the allure of gentleness by Dallas Willard delete Dallas Willard and and in it he simply extols the importance of gentleness. When we speak of our faith when we defend our faith when we share the life of faith, just gentleness. It requires balance to remain gentle confident but still pleasant to be with or let's take Bible study and everything good can be said about the study of the Scriptures we, however instead of valuing the word of God and having a regular diet of time spent in the Scriptures, studying and meditating on it.
We either ignore our Bibles all week long and then scramble on Sunday morning to remember where we put it when we got home from church last Sunday because we haven't looked at it all week. That's what extreme or we become Bible freaks where everything is about Bible study, we really would do a good job at work because we've got a Bible there on her lap, and were more interested in that we go to home Bible studies we were involved in various Bible groups Bible classes may take correspondence courses or or interrupted an academic institution where we can learn more about the Bible. The Bible what's missing its balance.
Balance you and I will what we've all known teachers that that lose their balance in the become preoccupied with their one discipline. The one subject that has been has has consumed their thinking will a name for them.
We we call them preoccupied professors and whose study then is he any kind of institution beyond high school hasn't come across a preoccupied professor.
I certainly have sinned, and I know one whom we love dearly, but but I mean he was such a scholar. I you he could he could give you the irregular verb chart in the Akkadian. He was such a student of the Semitic languages but they moved to Philadelphia, and on one weekend he traveled to Baltimore to minister and I'm sure his ministry was affected. Excellent teacher of the Scriptures, but preoccupied while he if he flew back to Philadelphia and he was waiting at the airport for his wife and she didn't show up and he called her honey were are you Fort Worth, I'm home where you he said I'm I'm at the airport bar is therefore you drove to Baltimore.
Can you imagine preoccupied professors can't match those sought they miss button. The shirts they they they have their mind fixed on one subject asserted under the late Merrill Unger love Dr. Unger and respected him to the last day of his life, but Dr. Unger was not altogether with the mind of the student and he would turn back in those days they would put things on a chalkboard chalk board.
I know you never heard of that but back when I study. They had chalkboard the doctoral group returned with flashing would hit the chalkboard.
With this, the Hebrew word is show you just don't tickle tickle tickle he actually get the phone and he would write this, left, right, because that's the way you read the questions a right to left. That way, right to left, right, and he's writing it up there right to left in your life and he's doesn't erase what was first on the board. He just writes over what is already in Hebrew on the chalkboard like and finally I said Dr. Unger, could you just erase what with egos. Why read the last layer.
Last layer. The missing of the balance is, not only among professors. It happens in most Christians lives and I could use other illustrations.
I think one of the great contributions Jesus made in coming to this earth and living among us was to model balance. He's been misrepresented not only by artists but by fellow pastors and preachers he has been presented in one way when he is like that at all is not the way the Scriptures presented you know the only time that he describes himself in his personality.
I am meek and lowly in heart, you will find rest for your soul. My yoke is easy, my burden is light. Meek and gentle, not weak, meek, what a great balance but a great balance to be able to stand firm against the criticism of strong hearted, legalistic Pharisees without becoming ugly and revengeful in return holding a grudge against but he could speak firmly against them in ways that you would never forget he is even so gracious is to teach us how to pray the wonderful but the second member of the Trinity who comes to this earth as the God man to live among us for little over 33 years would reduce all of the omniscience.
The brilliance of all that was his and to reduce it to terms we could understand so that he would say something like, when you pray this is a way to do it. I love that number in Matthew six and you may remember the last time we were here that everything began with a strong warning beware of watch out. Remember, mind your motive. Remember the line. Mind your motive verse one is easy to practice your righteousness before others that they might think better of you that you really are. So don't do that.
What's he calling balance is the saying don't give adult pray and go fast.
He saying don't do it to show off when you go to extremes in these things, you become ostentatious and you're doing it so others will be impressed anything known on the note don't verse two when you give notes sound the trumpet.
Do you know that the Pharisees did that they had a trucker walk along with them and he would blast the trumpet as it took their money and put it in the offering.
Please don't talk the bottom of the offering plate. The way of $100 bill for you drop it. Just give to skip an end. By the way, when you pray verse five you not to be like the hypocrites they love to be known for their the wrong words in the ostentatious show of prayer and they like to be in a public place or they can look holy whenever that means, not the best place to pray is in a private room and do your best work on your knees when nobody is around, and those of the words and the fact that he's giving us in verses five through eight. In fact, he ends by saying don't be like the showoffs so let's bring this into balance in the comes to how we are supposed to do it and become of the most familiar prayer in everyone's life known to you and to me is the Lord's prayer, though it isn't the Lord's prayer wasn't a prayer he prayed. It was a pattern.
He gave us so we would know how to pray. This is the Christian's prayer. This is the believer's prayer the Lord's presence is in John 17, where he praises before he goes to Gethsemane and ultimately it under arrest and the cross, but this prayer is for you and me. So he says to us with simple words. Pray verse nine. In this way now because it is so familiar. We no longer realize what were saying, familiarity brings not just contempt but a lack of sensitivity probably haven't thought through this prayer as thoroughly as we should. So allow me to do that without being pedantic.
Let me just put it in terms that we can all remember the first part part of the prayer is all about the Lord God. That's verses nine through 10 yes 19 soul about the Lord.
When you get to verse 11, down through 13 is about you and me. So the first part is a praise and adoration in the last part is petition as we ask God for certain things I want to give you four words for each section.
Okay, in verses nine and 10. The words are name realm rule and will name realm rule and will so when you pray would begin with the name. Please observe it. Our father not dear Jesus, it doesn't say when you pray, pray, now spirit of God. Note we addressed prayers to the father through Christ and the power of the spirit of God. So learn that learn to do it right. Your Lotta prayers alluded addressed to Jesus. I I'm not beaten up on folks like that. I'm just saying is not the pattern that was given to if he knew what was best and tells you to begin your prayers with our father didn't know there and think of father. Think of the word and hopefully you had a good father. Understanding accepting, forgiving, gracious, strong.
The heart faithful. Consistent diligent. Although all these concepts come to mind when you use the word father.
So when I began my prayer dear father or father in heaven or dear Lord God. Whatever word I may choose my mind turns to those qualities that are true of a father encouraged by the now look at the realm who is in heaven. The Greek says in the heavens. Our father in the heaven.
Literally get this, he not only inhabits. He encompasses the heaven's. He speaks of his transcendence so that he is not in any way linked to tied to time, or year or season, or date. He is forever with us toes or put it like this, we think of ourselves that it is inhabiting some parenthetical interval between the God who was in the God who will be in in this ever present. Now we are lonely with that ancient and cosmic loneliness.
Why would we be lonely because we think of God in segments but he is in the heaven. He is the same as it was in eternity past since the passing of time today. All through this day tomorrow and all into the future into eternity future. He transcends because he is the one in the heaven above us, beyond us, around us, encircling us encompassing us, enveloping us our father everywhere at one time in the heavens that is Rome and please observe how load be your name. I would venture to guess you have not use the word how load maybe three times in your life.
If that we don't use the word today, we don't even know for sure what it means if you memorize the Gettysburg address. You know that Lincoln used as he referred to the hallowed ground at Gettysburg were those brave soldiers had died even said hi.
We were not able to hallow this place that that that's that you're only you could do this, Lord.
The word how load means holy get this set apart consecrated separate from implied separate from sin.
The Lord our God is forever holy Isaiah who wrote of him. In chapter 6 pictured him enthroned and angels around him as the praised him with the thrice repeated holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, infinitely holy, perfectly holy when I was staying without a mark of sinfulness.
He is in the realm of that hallowed existed. No wonder Moses would write as the Lord gave to him. The commandments, do not use the name of the Lord God in vain. Break the habit of saying oh my God, don't lower him to a slang expression Jesus name separate from all slang reserve a place in your life and heart and mind for the one who fills the heaven's end is the separate one though he has been gracious to connect with us who were so simple, so we need of forgiveness will get to that in a moment so we have his name we have is realm burden we have is rule look closely, your kingdom come, let's take a double view of this word okay kingdom all through the pages of the Old Testament.
Periodically I should say through those Old Testament references and into the New Testament, there is an anticipation of the coming of the King who will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lord he is pictured in Revelation 20 is having, and the Lord Jesus is raining and ruling over the kingdom for a literal thousand year reign fulfilling the promise to Israel that he will reign over you and you will be his people, and he will be your God in faith. The it it it's the beautiful eschatological portrait of the one yet future.
The one who will bring with him his kingdom where you have a kingdom you must have a chain and where you have a king, you must have a ruler which ties me into this word rule. The rulership is in the in the is under the authority of Christ himself.
Let me show you the same prayer. In other words, go to the last chapter in the Bible. Here we go all the way over there little dust pockets are forming in the pews, as you move to Revelation 22 haven't been here long time.
If I can ever find Revelation there.
I always think some when my kids cut out a verse or two when I was in get to it. Not now look at look at 2217 the Spirit and the bride say, let the one who hears say, I'm not the one who is thirsty, let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. Your kingdom come.
Verse 20 he who testifies to these things says yes I'm coming quickly. Amen. That's the Lord Jesus. This is the revelation singular bill call of the book of revelations six. It is a plural.
This is a great Revelation singular of the plan of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is been mapped out by the father and will be implemented through the power of the spirit.
This is the son saying I come quickly. Amen. And John response, Lord Jesus.
21 the grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen the end of the Bible. What a grand crescendo at the end of the Bible and it ends with that reference to his coming in setting up his enthronement on the getting started in this message from Chuck Swindoll. He titled today study Matthew chapter 6. Prayer and fasting, minus all the pizzazz and if you like to learn more about the ministry of insight for living or these messages, please visit us email@example.com. If you're prepared to dig deeper into Jesus sermon on the mount.
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