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Sermon on the Mount

Red Couch Theology Podcast

Sermon Conversations with Alex and Aaron

There’s only so much we can cover in a Sunday morning gathering!
Each week, you’re invited to tune into our LIVE podcast at 11 am on Thursdays – recorded (and sometimes prerecorded) for later, online viewing.

What can you expect? Pastors Alex, Aaron and the occasional guest, having a casual conversation diving deeper into ideas related to last Sunday’s teaching:


Sermon on the Mount – “Kingdom Economics”

Questions may be sent through
https://redcouchtheology.com/  

Blog sites:

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCWnNSTN-6XA7oYy6TBfS0LAxqxPvxVjH

Apple Podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/guys-drinking-tea/id1616539767

Red Couch Theology Podcast2024-03-23T18:18:21-06:00

The Most Secure Investment

by Kathleen Petersen

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money.”

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. Luke 12:24-34 NET

According to this Forbes article, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S. and affect over 40 million adults, or 19.1% of the population.” The Mayo Clinic identifies some of the causes. The remaining 80% of illnesses are also affected by anxiety, but not so severely.

Although these reasonably authoritative articles from esteemed flagships of financial success and physical health are interesting, they probably don’t add much in helping us recognize main sources of anxiety. In the two millennia since Jesus spoke the words in Luke 12:22-34, nothing has truly changed on the list of most obvious and serious human concerns. Jesus’ summary statement gives sound guidance:

…the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. Luke 12:30-31, 34 NET


Although we have daily troubles, it’s worth repeating Jesus’ counsel for the most secure investment we can make for a gold-plated future:

…above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 


Two prior verses in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount recommend recurring deposits into that secure investment:

accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and devouring insects do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Luke 12:20-21 NET


It’s tempting to squander energy, time and resources agonizing about many issues plaguing our current worldly system, and whether they can be fully anticipated, planned for, or solved. Of course we face serious personal, social, economic and political concerns that merit our heartfelt prayers and pertinent action, directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. But, often to our frustration, outcomes are far beyond our control — even those ends that seem vital to building God’s kingdom.  

Let’s cherish our precious, daily opportunities to invest in God’s kingdom and leave the ROI (return on investment) to him.


Here are questions you might consider if you find yourself headed into an anxiety spiral:

  • Has God’s kingdom become your heart’s treasure? 
  • Do you see yourself and others seeking solutions in a perpetual tangle of problems? 
  • Are you spending an undue amount of time chasing worldly, unsatisfactory solutions for those problems? 
  • Will you commit to move consistently and intentionally away from anxiety pathways that center around things you and your loved ones lack?
  • And will you renew your allegiance to and dependance on the provision our gracious, powerful King longs to provide? 

If you need a nudge, this humorous approach by the comedian Bob Newhart has helped me to see my problems differently.


Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

The Most Secure Investment2024-03-23T12:37:40-06:00

Don’t Worry,  Trust in the Lord – Do Honest Work

by Carolyn Schnitt

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6


The above verses encourage me to look to the Lord in order to understand what is meant when I read different parts of scripture.  

In Matthew 6:26-31, Jesus alludes to birds and wildflowers as examples of how God cares for creatures and beautiful plants to encourage us humans not to worry but to trust in His love and provision for us. 

 Taken from the context of Jesus’ own life experience, it might give the idea that because God takes care of the birds and flowers, Jesus is against hard work, but that is not true. Jesus knew what it meant to work for a living. Mark 6:3 mentions Jesus as the carpenter, and Matthew 13:55 mentions him as the carpenter’s son.   

In Paul’s letters to the different churches, he reminds people of how they should honor God by doing honest work; he warns against being idle and gives himself as an example of working even when he and other apostles had a right to be paid.

  • In I Thessalonians 4:9-12, Paul commends the brothers and sisters living there on their love for each other, and he encourages them in their daily life:

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. 

  • In II Thessalonians 3:6-10, it appears that some people ”in solo”, were not working and were causing problems, so Paul called them out:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 

  • In Colossians 3:23-24, Paul tells them what kind of attitude to have as we work:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

  • In Philippians 4:4-9, Paul encourages his readers in our thoughts and actions: 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

Don’t Worry,  Trust in the Lord – Do Honest Work2024-03-23T10:57:53-06:00

Scarcity or Abundance?

by Grace Hunter

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34 NIV


Isn’t it amazing to consider that the God of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth, is concerned with our thought life? Jesus talks about worry in some detail here in Matthew 6. Why do you think He did that? Could it be that when we worry, we show lack of faith in our heavenly Father to provide? Jesus said,…O you of little faith”,  Matthew 6:30b

He calls us out. He proclaims worry to be a lack of faith in our all-powerful God to provide for our needs. There are many places we can look in the Old Testament to see how God has unlimited resources and has provided for His people. 

  • Psalm 50:10,  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. 
  • Exodus 16:4, God gave the Israelites bread from heaven. 
  • I Kings 17:6, Ravens brought food to Elijah during a famine. 

There are many more examples. So because God is sovereign and He owns all the resources needed to supply our need for food and clothing, then why do we worry?

Perhaps it is because we forget how much He loves us, or we let our circumstances cloud our vision temporarily. Perhaps it is because we see many people in the world who do not have enough to eat, or safe water to drink, or clothes to wear, or a safe, warm and dry place to live. What do we do with that knowledge that many need necessities like clean water, enough nourishing food or a better home?

  • In Isaiah 58 true fasting and acceptable behavior for God’s people is described. Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter — when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?Isaiah 58:7 NIV. 
  • Jesus also addresses the need to help those who need food, water and clothing in Matthew 25:31-46. 
  • Worrying about our needs or other’s needs will not help us or anyone else. Instead, we need to do as Peter says, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” I Peter 5:7 NIV. 

Pray about it, give the worry to God, and leave it there. Then seek ways to share generously with those who have less than we have. Remember the God we serve; He has an abundance of resources, even if ours are limited. Even so, those of us who live in the western world all have money, time, talents and resources we can share with those around us who are in need.

Listen to this song “Hands of the Healer” by Brandon Heath who sings about leaving the worry with God, letting Him provide the answers, the solution, and the provision.  

 

Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

Scarcity or Abundance?2024-03-23T18:09:26-06:00

Trusting God’s Provision – the Best Way to Live

by Sherry Sommer

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body,
what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6:24-26

I love how Aaron took Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and described how differently those needs are met by the world’s system of economics versus God’s kingdom. In the world’s system, individuals are responsible for providing for themselves. In God’s kingdom, we can trust that God will provide.  We don’t need
to fear, even though the world is complicated and there are so many things that we can’t control. We can know God will take care of us. God’s  provision is a reminder of his presence.  I have lived according to the world system of economics as well as God’s system. God’s system, hands down, has been the most stable and fulfilling way to live.

I grew up in an industrious family, and I went to schools where the world’s view of economics was dominant. I remember finding it strange that the wealthiest people seemed haunted by concerns about maintaining their family’s place in the social and economic hierarchy.  My childhood was spent wondering how anyone could spend time slaving and worrying when…well, just look around!  The world was so magical.  I believed that God would provide and that the Holy Spirit would guide me. 

When I graduated from college, Colorado was in a recession, and I started to panic and to question my childhood beliefs. Those voices alerting me to adopt the world’s economic system were loud and overwhelming. Although I was a Christian, I spent too much of my young adult  years wavering between trusting God and relying on my own effort. This was definitely not a good way to live. On the positive side, making a lot of mistakes gave me plenty of opportunities to learn.

Jesus told us not to be afraid, because we can trust him

Life is, by nature, something we can’t control. This is scary for everyone  — those who live in the world economic system and those who live by the kingdom values. My experience has been  that living by the world’s system is painful, unpredictable, and exhausting. When I give my concerns to God, asking him for help, I can be calm and peaceful. The world is still unpredictable, but Jesus has given me resilience and confidence because I know he will never leave me, and that he can be trusted. 

Listen to the Holy Spirit as a way of life

The Holy Spirit is an essential guide to living in God’s economy. This doesn’t mean constantly asking if every last little decision can be confirmed by the Spirit.  God wants us to make decisions based on our own thoughts and sense. This means we need to tune out the voices that tell us we are not enough for the task or that God has abandoned us. It means meditating on his word and praying as a way of life. 

I have found that I make the best decisions when I am calm and sensitive to the Spirit, and when I’m reflective and peaceful, and not in problem solving mode.  Here’s one example:  In 2011 we lived in Boulder, and Louisville seemed like a much better place to raise children. This move seemed impossible financially but I spent time resting in God, meditating on his word and praying. In the meantime, I also worked hard to make our house in Boulder a good home for my children.  After many months, I felt prompted to try again to find a house in Louisville.  As it turned out, the timing was excellent.  The market suddenly shifted and prices went up several thousand dollars.  I am so thankful for God’s provision: Moving greatly improved our lives  because we  found a more suitable home because our faith grew.

Trusting God’s economy can encourage others

Trusting God can help others who witness how God’s economy works. Remembering back to my studies in Paris, I met a wonderful Christian training to be a missionary.  She loved music, and prayed that God would provide an apartment where she could enjoy it. I admit  to doubting her prayers would be answered. Well, within a short time she had located two wonderful possibilities — one that had a beautiful piano, and one with a stereo and collection of classical music records. It’s so sweet to remember her and God’s provision in her life as she was seeking His kingdom. 

 Praying for what we need gives us opportunities to be surprised and to thank God

I always tell my children, when we ask God to provide, we have someone to thank, and that  is wonderful in itself.  When my son was four, we had very little money and needed some basic necessities. I made a list of what we needed and asked Samuel if he’d pray with me that God would provide. Within a short time, we were surprised and delighted by the way God answered all of our prayers.  If we had been able to go to the store and buy what we needed, we wouldn’t have stories to remember together. If we had enough money, we wouldn’t have had the joy of thanking God for his provision.

Thank you God, for providing what we need when we trust you. 

Better    https://youtu.be/cgpvCVkrV6M?feature=shared

Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

Trusting God’s Provision – the Best Way to Live2024-03-24T19:24:26-06:00

Red Couch Theology Podcast

Sermon Conversations with Alex and Aaron

There’s only so much we can cover in a Sunday morning gathering!
Each week, you’re invited to tune into our LIVE podcast at 11 am on Thursdays – recorded (and sometimes prerecorded) for later, online viewing.

What can you expect? Pastors Alex, Aaron and the occasional guest, having a casual conversation diving deeper into ideas related to last Sunday’s teaching:

Sermon on Wall Street – Matthew 6:19-24

 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

(Conclusion,  II Peter 3:10-14)

Questions may be sent through
https://redcouchtheology.com/  

Blog sites:

Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCWnNSTN-6XA7oYy6TBfS0LAxqxPvxVjH

Apple Podcast:  https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/guys-drinking-tea/id1616539767 

Red Couch Theology Podcast2024-03-21T11:21:38-06:00

Are You a Shrewd Manager?

by Grace Hunter

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV


Jesus’ teaching topic was money one-fifth of the time. It was obviously a high priority for him.
 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money,” Matthew 6:24 NIV. 


Sometimes it is helpful to look at the parallel passages in the other gospels to get insight into the meaning of any particular verse. In Luke 16:1-15,
Jesus tells the parable of the shrewd manager. This is an interesting parable in which Jesus used several examples of cheaters and those engaged in unethical business practices to make a point about money, and being shrewd with the money we have. Jesus ended it with,No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money,” Luke 16:13 NIV. In this parable everyone was looking out for himself, was corrupt, and valued money and worldly security above all else.

Jesus is making the point in both Matthew 6:24 and in Luke 16:13, that we are to be shrewd with our money, with our talents, with our resources. The shrewd manager used the tools he had available to him to cause people to feel indebted to him, because he realized his job was gone and he was going to need help from other people in order to live. Jesus wants us to be shrewd with our resources — to use them for the Kingdom of God.  He wants us to be seeking ways to make eternal investments. Perhaps the questions we need to ask ourselves are, “how can I use my money, my time, my resources to further His kingdom?” What gifts do I have that I can share with others that could influence him or her to consider their eternity? Am I using my money and resources to spread the gospel in my neighborhood, in my country and in the world at large?


The Apostle Paul tells Timothy, 

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life,” I Timothy 6:17-19 NIV


If we are looking at money as means of security and safety, we will be disappointed. Jesus wants us to trust in him for our security and use our money for eternal, kingdom values.

 

Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

Are You a Shrewd Manager?2024-03-16T12:38:42-06:00

A Healthy Outlook

by Kathleen Petersen

The eye is the lamp of the body. If then your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! Matthew 6:22-23 NET


In this word picture, Jesus wasn’t addressing our physical eyesight, but the spiritual lens we use to evaluate and interact with God, other people and circumstances. 

The essential contrasts in this passage are health versus disease, and light versus darkness. Both eyes see the same things. But the healthy eye sees clearly, positively, where the diseased eye sees morbidly, negatively. Jesus adds an emphasis to the morbidity — ”how great is the darkness!” This emphasis suggests hell itself is the trajectory of one who fails to cultivate a sound spiritual eye.

Around 6th century B.C. an occult symbol called the “evil eye” appeared in ancient Greece, accelerated throughout the world, and has persistent influence today.  

The evil eye symbolizes envy and malice. Many cultures believe it comes from coveting another person’s position or possessions. From this jealousy comes negative energy that can bring misfortune and injury to others and oneself.

I’m certain Jesus’ audience was familiar with this symbol and its significance. Jesus’ image of the unhealthy eye was also likely to bring to mind the tenth commandment:

Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. Exodus 20:17 CSB

“Coveting”  (“envy”) is aggressive and corrosive. A dictionary search pops up this maze of synonyms: 

yearn to possess or have (something), be consumed with desire for, crave, have one’s heart set on, want, wish for, long for, yearn for, dream of, aspire to, hanker for, hanker after, hunger after/for, thirst for, ache for, fancy, burn for, pant for

greedy, avaricious, acquisitive, covetous, rapacious, grasping, venal, cupidinous, materialistic, mercenary, predatory, usurious, possessive, grabbing, hoarding, Scroogelike, money-grubbing, money-grabbing, grabby, pleonectic, Mammonish, Mammonistic, eager, avid, hungry, craving, longing, yearning, hankering, thirsty, pining, enthusiastic, impatient, anxious, desirous of, dying, itching, hot, gagging

What an unsavory list! Encourage yourself to actively cultivate a healthy spiritual and scriptural eye:

… let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB


Look at the life of
prolific hymn writer Fanny Crosby who suffered blindness at an early age. However, her spiritual eye was healthy. She considered the circumstances of her disability to be the avenue God used to enhance her musical gift as well as spurring her on to serve the underprivileged. 


Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

A Healthy Outlook2024-03-16T12:21:18-06:00

Freedom 

by Sherry Sommer


When my father, a native of Shiraz, Iran,
* passed away a year ago, he left me some Persian carpets made of wool.  The carpets are beautifully and intricately designed, and each of the countless knots they’re made of is individually tied by hand. These works of art took years to create, and It’s important to be vigilant and to take care that moths don’t destroy them.  On the anniversary of my father’s birthday,  I put the carpets outside to vacuum and refresh them in the sun. Because my father loved to work and take care of things, it felt fitting to remember him in this way.  As I worked, I thought about these verses:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 NIV 

While I worked, I thought about how our possessions can be treasured but that they may decay slowly or be gone in an instant.  I saw this very graphically during the Marshall Fire in Louisville when 500 homes were burned to ashes. 

Cleaning carpets brought Jesus’ point home to me in a graphic way. We need to keep in mind that accumulating possessions comes with a price.  One reason I  enjoyed my work that sunny day was that I don’t have too many rugs to care for.  My task was manageable and was a joy, not a burden. I love how Proverbs describes “enough” as being between wealth and poverty:  

“Two things I ask of you, LORD;
    do not refuse me before I die:

 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
    give me neither poverty nor riches,
    but give me only my daily bread.

 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
    and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’

Or I may become poor and steal,
    and so dishonor the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:7-9

Jesus isn’t prescribing the amount of possessions we need. He’s not saying that we make sure to get by with the very barest minimum to live. However,  possessions do become a distraction when we have more than we can use and can take care of. They can make us forget that we can only be secure to the extent that we trust in God alone.

I love that Jesus came to provide freedom. He is using a strong warning about possessions, not because he doesn’t want us to enjoy them, but because he loves us. He knows how easily people turn away from loving God and turn instead to things for security and satisfaction. He wants to provide for us, and wants us to remember that he is completely able to do so. In fact, as much as I treasure the gifts my father gave me, my life has been shaped much more by Heavenly Father’s consistent provision. I’ve rarely ever shopped for new clothing. God has provided what I’ve needed very inexpensively or for free. I enjoy what I have because I didn’t have to slave away to pay for expensive items. I wouldn’t lose too much if it was taken away (although I would be sad)!  When I get dressed, I am reminded of God’s constant provision. 

My favorite verses in the Bible  (Matthew 11:20-30,) describe the “unforced rhythms of grace” that Jesus promises we can walk in with him:

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.  But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.”  Luke 12:27-31

This is the freedom Jesus wants for us. Let’s pray that we as a body can live in this freedom. 

* Note: In 1959, the year my father immigrated from his country, Its ancient name of Persia was changed to Iran.  


Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

Freedom 2024-03-16T10:42:24-06:00

Matthew 6:1, Context for Matthew 6:19-24 

by Carolyn Schmitt


During our Devotional team discussion, it was agreed that the “context” for each of the scriptures in Chapter 6 referred back to
Verse 1 in various ways.  

It’s easy to say a word like “context” and have only a general idea of what it means, I have looked up the definition, both where the word originally came from and how it is used today:  The word “context” is derived from the Latin words, con which means (together) and tigere which means (to weave); so context means to weave together. 

My writing assignment was to find what connects with the verses Matthew 6:19-24, so I researched the word, “context”.  Frankly, my research was overwhelming, since words, their extended meanings and uses, change over the centuries.  

As I have pondered “context”, it seems to me that it “weaves together”  the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How questions we can ask ourselves as we study to live each day, “In the way of  Jesus, with the heart of Jesus.” 

 

“Be [very] careful not to do your good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1 AMP  

 

Each of the following sections has been well written about by one of our Devotional team members.  As you read each one, think about how it refers back to verse one and what it means in the “context” of your own life.

 

(Tuesday) “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store 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 [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also. Matthew 6:19-21 AMP

 

(Wednesday)  “The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear ([spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness! Matthew 6: 22-23 AMP

 

(Thursday)  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. Matthew 6:24 AMP

 

Note. To access scripture links that don’t appear in the email version, read the web version in your browser.

Matthew 6:1, Context for Matthew 6:19-24 2024-03-16T10:19:30-06:00
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