Since we have been forgiven, what should our attitude be?
The Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7) continues with Jesus teaching us how to pray.
I must learn how to forgive. How I act gets reflected in how I pray. Jesus is clear with me on this.
Pray then like this:
“Our Father 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 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” | Matthew 6:9-13 (Christian Standard Bible).
The Jesus Manifesto continues as Jesus teaches me how to pray. It is not about how much I say. It is about the quality of what I pray. Jesus gave us a model that is succinct. It is short, sweet and to the point.
Jesus challenges me not to be someone who babbles on and on and on. God knows what I need. I’m not telling him something that He hasn’t already thought of. God wants to give great gifts because He cares.
The Jesus Manifest continues (Matthew 5-7). This is a critical teaching of Jesus. What should we think about money and wealth? We need to get clear on this. Jesus is! Jesus is very clear on this.
Whom will I serve? It is a stunning question. Jesus now explains that behind the choice between two treasures (where I lay them up) and two visions (where I fix my eyes) there lies the still more basic choice between two masters (whom I am going to serve).
It is a choice between God and wealth, that is between the living Creator himself and any object of our my creation I term ‘money’ (‘mammon’ being the transliteration of an Aramaic word for wealth). For I cannot serve both.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” ~JesusSource: Matthew 6:13 (ESV)
Jesus taught us to pray. Jesus gave us the template. The prayer is a part of the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). This is the core of what I need to say to God. One of the pillars is to ask God to deliver us from evil (or as most translators agree) the evil one.
“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” ~JesusSource: Matthew 6:2-4 (ESV)
There are a number of challenges here for us to pay attention to in this section of the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). Jesus changes how we think and act on giving when we listen to Him directly.
This is a good thing since I have spent most of my career raising money for charitable causes. Yikes!
Jesus is now at the core issue as He lays out His manifesto (Matthew 5 – 7). God has a country. It is a kingdom. Jesus is the Messiah and it’s King. Now that is some good news.
Jesus is clear about our mission. It is not to worry about “the things” of life. It is to totally dedicate ourselves to what Jesus, as the King of God’s country, wants us to do.
That is the main thing about the main thing.
Jesus continues the Manifesto. Jesus is teaching us how to pray. After the model prayer, Jesus emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. It starts with me. I must forgive. I must show mercy.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. | Matthew 6:14-15
What am I working for?
Jesus wants to know. Jesus has some commands for me on this.
I must act on what Jesus wants me to do. The Jesus Manifesto continues!
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” | Matthew 6:19-21