Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jesus tells us, do not be like the hypocrites!

"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" (Matthew 6:6).

I'm struck with the contrast in Jesus' teaching on prayer in Matthew 6: 5-8.

The contrast is "don't be like the hypocrites" and "don't be like the gentiles" (6:5,7). But do your religious acts in secret---the secret places of your inner sanctuary, don't do your religious deeds to be "seen of men."

Jesus tells us that the hypocrite loves to "be seen," standing in public places, and praying in the religious buildings (synagogues).

They pray using "empty words." They pray thinking that the more words they use the better.
The main idea here is not hard to understand, it is that we are to be sincere in our religious duties, we are to live our lives naked and open before our Father in heaven. Our religion is not to promote ourselves, but in so many respects our religion is a private matter between God and ourselves.

One of the monsters that we as followers of Christ will always wrestle with is the ugly monster of pride. Pride has such a loud voice and is always yelling and screaming "look at me," "look at my knowledge of the Bible," "look at how holy I'm," "look at me, me, me!

Believer, follow the wise teaching of our Savior when He tells us,  "But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you... (Matthew 6:6, NLT).

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