Verse of the Day

Monday, September 24, 2007

Matthew 6:5-15: Part Three

This Wednesday, September 26, we will be having our Matthew bible study. Come ready to discuss Matthew 6:11-15. Last week we discussed Matthew 6:9-10, the first half of the "Disciple's Prayer." Here are some thoughts, comments, observations, questions to help you prepare for Wednesday.

  1. Last week we divided Matthew 6:9-15 into two units. The first unit is Matthew 6:9-10. This unit is concerned with the glory of God. The second unit is Matthew 6:11-15. This unit is concerned with the disciple's needs and his relationship with other persons.
  2. What is the significance of the word "daily" in verse 11?
  3. To what does "bread" refer in verse 11?
  4. When reading verse 12, read vv 14 -15 with it, as they are both teaching the same idea.
  5. "and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one" at first strikes us as a very strange request. Why should we have to ask God not to lead us into temptation? Isn't that something we can take for granted? What are we to make of such a petition? To help you on your way, may I suggest to you that this is a litotes.

See you Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Matthew 6:5-15: Part Two

This Wednesday, September 19th, we will be having our Matthew bible study. Please come ready to discuss Matthew 6:9-10. Jesus, in Matthew 6:5-8, taught us how not to pray. We are not to pray as the hypocrite or as the babbling pagan. Now in Matthew 6:9-15 Christ will teach us how to pray. Matthew 6:9 begins with, "this, then, is how you should pray." Here are some thoughts/comments/observations/questions to help you prepare for this Wednesday.

  1. This is a model prayer. It is a guide or pattern for the disciples to use. It is not a prayer that we are to repeat word for word. We would then be guilty of what Christ has forbidden in the preceding verses. “This does not mean that the Lord’s prayer may not usefully and meaningfully be used exactly as it is enunciated, but it points us to the truth that Jesus is giving us a model that may be employed in fashioning other prayers” (Morris, Matthew, 143).
  2. Many refer to this passage as the “Lord’s Prayer.” It is not the “Lord’s Prayer,” it is the “Disciple’s Prayer.” If we were to give any prayer in Scripture the title “Lord’s Prayer” it would be John 17.
  3. Notice again it is assumed that as a disciple of Jesus Christ you will be regularly committing yourself to the practice of prayer.
  4. What is the significance of Jesus telling us to address God with "Our Father in heaven?" More specifically, how do "Father" and "heaven" relate to each other? What do they teach us about God?
  5. What does "hallowed" mean? How do we participate in this?

While we are on the subject of prayer, may I strongly recommend these books on prayer – “Teach us to Pray” by DA Carson and “The God Who Hears” by W.B. Hunter.

God Bless and see you Wednesday!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Matthew 6:5-15: Part One

This Wednesday, September 12, we will be begin our study of Matthew 6:5-15. Come prepared to discuss Matthew 6:5-8. Last week we discussed the importance of having a pure motive in our acts of righteousness (Matthew 6:1), specifically as it relates to our giving. That pure motive is one that has God's glory at its center. We must not commit acts of righteousness to be seen by others. This week we will continue with that theme as it applies to our prayer. Here are some thoughts/comments/observations to help you as you prepare for Wednesday.
  1. Each of the discourses on giving, prayer, and fasting follow the same essential pattern. The pattern is as follows: 1. Warning concerning motive 2. Reward for false motive 3. Secret actions with a pure motive 4. God sees. Notice however Jesus discourse on prayer breaks this pattern with an extended discussion.
  2. Notice the text does not begin with "if you pray" but it says "when you pray." It is assumed that as a disciple of Jesus Christ you will be praying.
  3. What does it mean to "babble like a pagan?"
  4. Why do we pray to God if he already knows what we need before we ask him?

See you Wednesday!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Matthew 6:1-4

This Wednesday, September 5, we will be studying Matthew 6:1-4. As always, come prepared with observations. Take the time to read all of chapter six to get the context. Here are some comments/thoughts/observations to help as you prepare.
  1. Compare Matthew 6:1 with Matthew 5:16. Is Jesus contradicting himself? What are we to make of these seemingly contradictory statements?
  2. Compare Matthew 6:1 with Matthew 23:1-12.
  3. What is the "reward" that Christ refers to in Matthew 6:2?

See you this Wednesday!