Bible Reading Day Seven

by markburlinson

Good morning!
This is Day 7 of our reading plan and we have reached Matthew 6.
Read online.
This link is to the NLT version but you can change the version using the “Choose Version” box on the right of the header. If you see a small audio speaker beside a translation, that means you can also listen to the chapter being read.
I hope you have been enjoying our readings in the Sermon on the Mount this weekend, and I hope you felt a deeper connection with Jesus yesterday in the services. There were a good number of people dedicating their lives to Jesus at the end of Pastor Phillip’s message. There are so many good things we can share as we meet in our 4G groups this week. 
We have been taking a little longer on the reading over the weekend because there has been so much to digest in Jesus’ manifesto. Today is no exception so feel free to read part in the morning and save some of the chapter for the evening if that helps you draw out all that is here.
First we continue with more of the contrasts between the best religion can offer and the treasures of a relationship with God through Jesus. Instead of having to look for public recognition, we can be secretly generous knowing our Father God sees. Instead of praying fancy prayers in public meetings, we can simply spend time talking privately with the Father who loves us totally!
Then Jesus goes on to describe a model prayer (we call it the Lord’s Prayer) that gives us a glimpse of how He talks to His Father. Since this prayer is probably familiar to many of us (either from childhood or from past church involvement) I want to encourage you to dwell on each word as you read. Look for the surprises – insights you have forgotten or overlooked. If you have to pause your reading after verse 13 and pick up this evening, that’s OK! Whole books have been written on these five verses – no surprise that we need to take time with them!
After the model prayer, Jesus goes on to talk about forgiveness and fasting. That’s relevant for many of us who are completing the first week of our fasts today! Again the emphasis is on our priorities – God’s ways or the ways of the world. We never lose by putting God first. And as if to reinforce that, Jesus tells us to trust God and not worry about tomorrow (or food, or clothes, or anything else). What a wonderful promise to hold on to today: your heavenly Father knows what you need (v 32)!
Have a great day!
Mark.
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