Yesterday we saw six ways that God’s greater righteousness is expressed as we draw on God’s grace to go further than the law. Grace is internal and empowered by the Spirit. The law looks for external observance.
Today we see the biggie – love. Loving your neighbour is one thing. Loving your enemy requires the empowerment of the grace of God.
Next Jesus challenges our giving. The Lord has given, given, given to us and he is looking for us to be generous in return. Not in a showy way so people think we are generous, but in secret. What we give in secret without pomp and show is seen by the Lord and rewarded. Our generosity is a sign that the Lord has made a huge change in our hearts.
Jesus tackles prayer next, again not in a showy way, so that people can marvel at our eloquence. But again personal prayer (as opposed to corporate prayer) is for us alone in our rooms. Notice Jesus said “pray like this” not “pray this”. The Lord’s prayer is not a rote prayer, it’s a series of headings that guide us in our prayers:
- Our Father in heaven – celebrates our intimacy with Abba Father, so begin by adoring Him.
- Hallowed be your name – may your name be made famous. I often declare some of the names of God, that declare different aspects of His nature.
- Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven – asking for more of the kingdom of God in me, my family, my church and the area. The supplication, shopping list part!
- Give us your daily bread – asking for God’s provision.
- Forgive us our debts – confessing any sins you know you have done and asking for power to resist;
- As we forgive our debtors – consciously forgiving others.
- And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil – 1 Corinthians 10:13 promises that God always provides a way out from temptation, so ask the Lord for help and strength.