DO NOT ANNOUNCE IT WITH TRUMPETS: In the Mishna it is
said that "there were thirteen horn-shaped chests in the Temple", receptacles
for contributions. Each was labeled for specific contributions and evidently set
up on the Court of the Women, where all contributors were in public view. It is
at these trumpet-shaped chests, which Mark and Luke call "the treasury", that
the widow of Mar 12:41,42 and Luke 21:1,2 contributed her "mites" (Temple
RECEIVED THEIR REWARD: Gr "apecho", lit "paid in full"!
A commercial term for full payment made and receipt given (Sw Luk 6:24; Phi
DO NOT LET YOUR LEFT HAND KNOW WHAT YOUR RIGHT HAND IS
DOING: Do not even "congratulate" yourself by telling the "old man" inside
you! ("Left hand" = baser instincts; "right hand" = higher
Charles Spurgeon and his wife, according to a story, would
sell, but refused to give away, the eggs their chickens laid. Even close
relatives were told, "You may have them if you pay for them." As a result some
people labeled the Spurgeons greedy and grasping.
They accepted the criticisms without defending themselves, and
only after Mrs Spurgeon died was the full story revealed. All the profits from
the sale of eggs went to support two elderly widows. Because the Spurgeons were
unwilling to let their left hand know what the right hand was doing, they
endured the attacks in silence.
GO INTO YOUR ROOM: By "room" is meant a "closet" (AV).
Jewish men wore a garment called a "talith", "talis", or
"prayer shawl", all the time, not just at prayer. "Talith" consists of two
Hebrew words; "tal" (tent) and "ith" (little). Thus, each man had his own little
tent. (The apostle Paul was a Jewish Pharisee, but also a tentmaker. Some
believe that he made prayer shawls, not tents to live in. Since all Jews could
not worship in the Tent of Meeting at one time, God gave to each Jew his own
private sanctuary where he could meet with God. In prayer, the man would pull it
up over his head, forming a tent, where he could retreat to cali upon Yahweh. It
was intimate, private, and set apart from anyone else -- enabling him to totally
focus upon God. It was his prayer closet.
With this may be compared the words of God through Isaiah:
"Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves
for a little while until his wrath has passed by" (Isa 26:20).
Open doors: for restored communion (2Ch 29:3); deliverance
from prison (Act 5:19); surrender (Rev 3:20); service (1Co 16:9); and
opportunity (Rev 3:8). Shut doors: for safety (Gen 7:16); privacy and communion
(Mat 6:6); faith and prayer (2Ki 4:5,21,33); self-sufficiency (Rev 3:20); and
separation and rejection (Mat 25:10).
DO NOT KEEP ON BABBLING LIKE PAGANS: "Use not vain
repetitions" (AV): cp Pro 10:19; Ecc 5:2. He who knows all things does not need
detailed information bulletins.
Vv 9-13: OT refs in Lord's prayer: Deu 1:31; Exo 4:22; Hos
11:1; Isa 63:16; 1Ki 8 (8x); Psa 115:1,3.
"Whilst commenting upon the Lord's prayer, it is worth
pointing out that the Lord repeated the essence of each phrase at various points
during His life. When facing his ultimate struggle of the cross, he asked that
the Father's Name would be glorified (Joh 12:28) -- quoting his own words from
his model prayer. It hurt and cost him so much to pray that prayer -- the prayer
we may have known for so many years that we can pray it almost at no cost. But
to truly ask for the Father's will to be done is in fact a commitment to the way
of the cross (Joh 6:38; Heb 10:7-10; Mar 14:36). So let us pray the prayer --
but putting meaning into the words" (DH).
"Our Father in heaven" (Mat 6:9); "Father of glory" or
"glorious Father" (Eph 1:17); "Father of compassion" (2Co 1:3); "Father of
spirits" (Heb 12:9); "Father of the heavenly lights" (Jam 1:17); "a Father to
you" (2Co 6:18); "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Rom 15:6).
Things for which to pray: (1) that God's name be honored and
respected; (2) that God's kingdom be completed; (3) that God's will be
implemented; (4) for physical needs -- daily bread; (5) for social needs --
forgiving and being forgiven; (6) for spiritual needs -- temptation and
HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME: This phrase uses an aorist
tense, which implies that it will be accomplished as a one-time act, at the
coming of the Lord. Indeed, the aorist tenses in the Lord's model prayer are
arresting; each phrase of the prayer asks for something to be done in a one-time
sense. This alone suggests an intended "answer" in terms of the final
establishment of the Kingdom.
YOUR KINGDOM COME...: "To desire the Kingdom merely as
an end for ourselves is to desire not God's Kingdom but our own" (LGS). See Jer
3:17; Dan 2:44.
YOUR WILL BE DONE: That is, NOW! See Mar 14:36; Psa
40:7; Mat 12:5a; Isa 2:2-4.
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN: May be read to modify all
3 previous clauses.
DAILY: Gr "epiousion" (also Luk 11:3) = a daily
allowance of food.
A man can no more take a supply of grace for the future than
he can eat enough today to last him for the next 6 months, nor can he inhale
sufficient air into his lungs with one breath to sustain life for a week to
come. We are permitted to draw upon God's store of grace from day to day as we
"Back of the loaf is the snowy flour,
And back of the flour the mill;
And back of the mill is the wheat and shower,
And the sun and the Father's will."
Belief of gospel, baptism, and forgiveness of sins: Mar 16:15;
God's guidance in life; the power of prayer.
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: More lit, "Do not carry us
INTO [eis] temptation" -- ie, 'and leave us (or abandon) us there'.
DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE: Or, simply, "evil" (AV;
RSV). In the sense of Gal 1:4; 2Ti 4:18. And in temporary sense also: Mat 24:20;
8:26; Psa 18:48.
FROM EVIL: "Apo" = away from.
FOR YOURS IS THE KINGDOM...: Cp 1Ch 29:11; Dan 4:30,34.
AND THE GLORY FOREVER: Eternal life, on earth (Rev
5:9,10). Greatest theme: the glory of God (Isa 11:9).
" 'I cannot forgive an offender till he seeks forgiveness, or
I make myself as great an offender.'
"There can be no doubt that acknowledgment is the natural and
prescribed condition of forgiveness in all cases of unquestionable personal
injury in word or deed. Nothing admits so clear and sweet and lasting a
reparation. It is the lesson of Moses' Law throughout, and continually
exemplified in God's dealings with Israel.
"But in the confusions of human intercourse, in the present
state of weakness, there arise hundreds of cases in which it is impossible to
apply this law in any strict manner: first, because it usually happens that
there are faults on both sides; and second, because it nearly as often happens
that where one side may be clean-handed enough, the other side is the offending
side not through any intention or desire to do injury -- but through a wrong
understanding of things.
"In such cases, no wise man would insist on the unconditional
surrender implied in the request for forgiveness. Even in a clear case, he is
too conscious of his own shortcomings to take an imperious attitude. He would
run more than half way to meet his offending brother if he saw the least
disposition to concede the point.
"But as for the idea that forgiveness cannot be granted
without confession, and that such forgiveness would be sin, the brother
broaching such an idea will be likely to abandon it on full reflection. We are
commanded to forgive if confession is made, for this was the point in question
when Jesus spoke (Mat 18:21; Luke 17:3,4).
"But we are not forbidden to forgive in the absence of
confession. We are at liberty to forgive without it if we like, certainly. Jesus
gave us this example: 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'
(Luke 23:34). Paul also: 'I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge'
"Stephen also (Acts 7:60): all this without confession on the
part of the offenders, for they were too dark-minded to know their need for
forgiveness. This is the magnanimity which belongs to the children of God, who
can even return good for evil. A man may be within his rights who says, 'I will
not forgive him unless he ask me' -- though he is marking himself thus as the
feeblest of the children of God (if indeed he be of the children, showing thus
he hath not the spirit of Christ).
"But there is nothing to hinder a man soaring far above his
rights, and saying -- 'This man who has wronged me is too ungifted from God to
see what he has done. I will let the matter pass. I will pray God to forgive
him; and if He forgive at the judgement seat, the man will gladly see and own
his fault: I can wait.'
"The man who applies the rule of confession before forgiveness
too strictly is in danger of having the same measure applied to himself. So
Christ says (Mat 18:35). And how then? WE CANNOT BE SAVED, for we are too
dim-eyed to know all our sins. And if those only are forgiven that we see and
admit, the unforgiven balance must sink us to perdition.
"Another point the offended brother should consider is whether
his state is due to wounded pride or violated righteousness. If he is expert at
self-examination, he will probably find it is the former three times out of
four, at least -- for he discovers that other offenses against the law of God do
not hurt him at all if they do not touch HIM. If so, he will act wisely to hold
his hand, and be as little exacting with the offender as possible.
"On the other hand, the offender should be frank and gracious
in his acknowledgments. He rarely is so. As a rule his concession is tardy and
ambiguous, and generally takes the shape of an insulting hypothesis -- 'If I
have given offense, I am sorry for it.'
"This is not acknowledgment at all, my friend. It may even be
an insulting implication to this effect 'I am sorry my neighbor has been such a
simpleton as to take offense where it was perfectly unwarrantable he should do
"If you mean confession, let it be fair and square and
handsome: 'I have done this: I ought not to have done it: I am sorry for it.'
"Graciousness on one side will lead to graciousness on the
other, and love will flow. But that good time has to come! But it will come and
the children of mercy will prosper and rejoice" (RR).
"An unforgiving spirit means there is no pardon for your other
sins. A rift fostered when it could be healed is a curse upon the life of faith.
Neglect hardens the conscience. The mind becomes morbid and multiplies the
ill-will. Grace is deferred and guile expands. The need for pardon is calling
every disciple to examine at the altar his feelings towards God's other
children. An unforgiving spirit means that the desolation of unforgiven sin
abides and grows. Here there is no room for negligence. It is too serious and
the resulting failure too solemn. We cannot win pardon; we can only receive it
gladly and gratefully. Let every troubled heart remove the impediments to pardon
and receive it joyfully and find peace" (GD).
"When one sees the way in which wealth-getting enters as an
ideal into the very bone and marrow of our generation, one wonders whether a
revival of the belief that poverty is a worthy religious vocation may not be the
spiritual reform which our time stands most in need of... we have grown
literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to
simplify and save his inner life. There are thousands of situations in which a
wealth-bound man must be a slave, whilst a man for whom poverty holds no terrors
becomes a free man... it is certain that the prevalent fear of poverty among the
educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers"
Vv 19,20: Daily work: 1Ti 5:18. Paul's example: 2Th 3:8. To
aid others: Luk 8:3; Act 11:29. But work not to be rich: Mat 6:19; Pro 23:4; Mat
19:24. Our foremost goal: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what
is ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus" (Phi 3:13,14).
WHERE THIEVES BREAK IN AND STEAL: "Dig through", ie,
walls of earth or mud bricks, implying the houses of the poorer
Treasures in heaven are laid up only as treasures on earth are
TREASURES IN HEAVEN: "We must move out of the changing,
passing fantasies of the present into the realm of unchanging, eternal reality.
We must transfer all our affections and possessions there. This is 'laying up
treasure in heaven,' where it will be eternally abiding" (GVG).
"Seek not wealth and pleasure and power. Pray fervently for
the real treasures: the treasures of character and personality and relationship
to God -- for deeper, clearer, stronger faith and vision. Pray for compassion
and love and patience and zeal. Pray for knowledge and understanding and wisdom:
seek them constantly in the Word. Labor for the imperishable treasures that
enrich the mind and the heart, the treasures that become part of yourself
forever. External relationships and circumstances are nothing, except as they
help to relate us to God and to eternity. Build your character by constant study
and self-discipline. Lay up the true riches. Every spiritual thought we think,
every spiritual fact we learn, every spiritual deed we do -- adds to our true
wealth and inner value. We begin life as useless, valueless, empty shells. Most
end life as useless, valueless, empty shells: a once-for-all eternal opportunity
frittered away in stupid folly. They only are rich who fill themselves with
God's freely offered riches of spiritual instruction and transformation. Let us
be rich" (GVG).
A preacher was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy
man in Texas. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a
good view of the surrounding area. Pointing to the oil wells punctuating the
landscape, he boasted, "Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you
can see, it's all mine." Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling
fields of grain, he said, "That's all mine." Turning east toward huge herds of
cattle, he bragged, "They're all mine." Then pointing to the west and a
beautiful forest, he exclaimed, "That too is all mine." He paused, expecting his
guest to compliment him on his great success. The preacher, however, placing one
hand on the man's shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said,
"How much do you have in that direction?" The man hung his head and confessed,
"I never thought of that."
Look well to your motives; do not "whittle down" Christ's
GOOD: "Single" in AV: 2Co 8:2 (liberality, or
generosity) is sw. Cp Pro 22:9: "A generous man will himself be blessed, for he
shares his food with the poor." See also 2Co 9:11; Rom 12:8; Pro
IF YOUR EYES ARE BAD: Vision distorted by wealth: Deu
15:9; Pro 23:6,7; 28:22: "A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that
poverty awaits him."
NO ONE CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS: "We claim, and often tell
God in prayer, that it is our 'sole desire to serve Him in immortal strength
throughout eternity.' Some say 'humble desire' -- though we always wonder at the
depth, or even the understanding, of 'humility' of those who tell God they are
humble (doubtless we do it ourselves too, as in many other things we wonder
about in others). But about this claim to desire to serve God totally and
forever, We can show right now whether this is sincerity or just fancy words. If
we really do desire to 'serve God throughout eternity,' we shall be serving Him
now with all our present mortal strength and life, and mind and goods, or else
all our fine words are froth. We shall recognize that we have no time to spare
-- yea, we shall have no desire -- for anything else except providing the bare
necessities of life so that we may wholly serve Him. Does our way of life
confirm or belie our so noble protestations? Do we think God is deceived by mere
YOU CANNOT SERVE BOTH GOD AND MONEY: "God in mind at
every moment: that is the ideal. Be satisfied with nothing less. We shall
forget, and wander, and fail a million times, but we must keep on roughly and
doggedly pulling our minds back, over and over and over, until it becomes second
nature. This is the only way anything is learned, and this is the greatest of
all learning: the only true learning at all. Accept nothing less of yourself,
for nothing less is acceptable. Eternity of joy with God is a mighty, glorious,
incomprehensible destiny. It is not for the half-hearted, the wavering, timid,
double-minded devotees of half-measures and divided interests. 'Ye cannot serve
God and mammon... Choose ye this day whom ye will serve!' The present life is
the briefest of moments in the vast sweep of endless time. Its only value and
meaning is its once-for-all opportunity of seizing the glories of eternity.
Would you stop to play with baubles on a rapidly sinking ship? You have but the
briefest of moments to decide, the smallest of gifts to offer to God in
thanksgiving for His goodness: trade it all -- gratefully and without hesitation
or regret -- for the infinite wealth of eternity" (GVG).
"The moment we make up our minds that we are going on with
this determination to exalt God over all we step out of the world's parade. We
shall find ourselves out of adjustment to the ways of the world, and
increasingly so as we make progress in the holy way. We shall acquire a new
viewpoint; a new and different psychology will be formed within us; a new power
will begin to surprise us by it upsurgings and its outgoings. Our break with the
world will be the direct outcome of our changed relation to God. For the world
of fallen men does not honor God. Millions call themselves by His Name, it is
true, and pay some token respect to Him, but a simple test will show how little
He is really honored among them. Let the average man be put to the proof on the
question of who is above, and his true position will be exposed. Let him be
forced into making a choice between God and money, between God and men, between
God and personal ambition, God and self, God and human love, and God will take
second place every time. Those other things will be exalted above. However the
man may protest, the proof is in the choices he makes day after day throughout
his life" (AWT).
MONEY: Or "Mammon" (AV). Sig riches in a bad sense;
poss derived from Heb "cause to trust".
Examples of personification: riches (Mat 6:24); sin (Joh 8:34;
Rom 5:21; 6:16); spirit (Joh 16:13); wisdom (Pro 3:13-15; 9:1); Israel (Jer
31:4,18); people of Christ (Eph 4:4,13; 5:23; Rev 19:7; 1Co 12:27; 2Co 11:2; Col
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR LIFE...: But we must not tempt
God (Mat 4:7); we must work nevertheless (2Th 3:10; 1Ti 5:8).
It is a revolutionary concept, totally foreign to our natural
inclinations. But Jesus does not bid us obey him without reasons. He gives, in
fact, seven good reasons (vv 25-34) why this philosophy makes sense: v 25: Life
itself is more important than those things that sustain it. If our lives come
from God and are held in His hand, then certainly, when we do our part
faithfully in the great adventure of dedication and service, the lesser matters
will be taken care of.
The birds do not make frantic provision. They do not worry or
scheme or plan. And you, Jesus says, are much more important than they are (Mat
10:29-31). Even the unclean ravens are cared for by God (Luk 12:24; cp Mat
10:29; Luk 12:6; Psa 147:8,9,11). God even gives laws to benefit the birds (Deu
BARNS: Ct Luk 12:18: "This is what I'll do. I will tear
down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my
Better, "Which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to
his span of life?"
LIFE: Or "age": Joh 9:21,23; Heb 11:11; Luk
Vv 28-30: If God takes such care for the flowers that will
soon shrivel in the heat, will He not provide much better for you, His children,
made in His image?
LILIES OF THE FIELD: "The flower, beautiful in
The bird, beautiful in motion and melody.
Merely by being themselves,
by living the only life they can live,
they manifest the God that made them beautiful.
So will it be at last in the liberation
of the spirit from the bondage of the flesh" (GbS
NOT EVEN SOLOMON: When the queen of Sheba came to see
Solomon, she marveled at even the garments of his servants (1Ki 10:5). Yet
Solomon himself must have been arrayed far more splendidly than they! But the
wildflowers of Galilee, like the anemone in its matchless loveliness, were
arrayed far better than even Solomon! Thus Jesus rebukes alike the poor and
anxious, and the rich and self-indulgent. The garment of righteousness which God
provides outmatches them all -- queen of Sheba, king of Israel,
clothes-conscious moneyspender of our age!
Finally, does this imply that Solomon was NOT clothed with the
righteousness of Christ?
EVEN SOLOMON IN ALL HIS SPLENDOR: "Only the very young
or the very foolish would wish to ape the luxury of a wholly different class of
society from their own. Yet Jesus pricks the bubble of all such comparison by
taking as example the extreme of magnificence -- Solomon enthroned in regal
array. For such comparisons differ only in degree: every step up leads only to
emulation of the rank above. We attain with much struggle a level of comfort or
standard of appearance which for the moment seems to fulfil our ambition. Ten
years later the bloom has rubbed off our prize; that which gave us a glowing
satisfaction is viewed almost with distaste: we must go on to get something
more. Jesus saw that there was no limit to human vanity, and no final standard
but the pinnacle of splendour" (TM 220).
THE GRASS OF THE FIELD: "All men are like grass, and
all their glory is like the flowers of the field" (Isa 40:6).
SO DO NOT WORRY: "Difficult times have helped me to
understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every
way and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance
whatsoever" (Isak Dinesen). "Worry is interest paid on trouble before it falls
due" (William Ralph Inge).
V 32a: The nations that do not know God worry and hoard
riches. Surely you will not be like them!
V 32b: Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. He will not
Nevertheless, cp 1Ti 5:8; 2Th 3:10; Act 18:3; 20:34 on the
necessity to work.
SEEK FIRST HIS KINGDOM: Which it is your Father's good
pleasure to give you (Luk 12:32).
AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS: God's righteousness, and not our
own (Phi 2:13; 3:9; Joh 15:4; Psa 37:3,4)!
Do we have the COURAGE to put God first in all
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is
unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2Co
"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and
the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that
our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted
creatures, fooling around about drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is
offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum
because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We
are too easily pleased" (CSL).
"I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, 'No. It is not for me to take away, but for you to
give it up.'
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, 'No. His mind is whole, his body is only
I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, 'No. Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; It
isn't granted, it is learned.'
I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, 'No. I give you blessings; Happiness is up to
I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, 'No. Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares,
and brings you closer to me.'
I asked God to make my character grow.
God said, 'No. You must grow on your own, but I will prune you
to make you fruitful.'
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, 'No. I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all
I asked God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said, 'Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.' "
"One day at a time": The world is such an evil place that we
need as much of our mental resources as can be spared to face the spiritual
trials of today. To borrow worries from next week is to overburden our
capabilities and risk failure in spiritual pursuits.
"This is the NOW we are living in; do not be distracted by the
claims of tomorrow, or the worries of yesterday."
"For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope."
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW: "One day Dwight Morrow and
his wife, the parents of Anne Lindbergh, were in Rugby, England. After wandering
through the streets they realized that they had lost their way. At this moment
an incident occurred that entered into Morrow's philosophy and became a guiding
principle in his life. He stopped a little Rugby lad of about 12 years. 'Could
you tell us the way to the station?' he asked. 'Well,' the boy answered, 'You
turn to the right there by the grocer's shop and then take the second street to
the left. That will bring you to a place where four streets meet. And then, sir,
you had better inquire again.'
This answer came to symbolize for Dwight Morrow his own method
of approaching complicated problems. It implied in the first place a realistic
skepticism regarding the capacity of human intelligence. It was in the second
place an object lesson in the inevitability of gradualness. And in the third
place, it was a parable of how, when the ultimate end is uncertain, one should
endeavor to advance, if only a little way, in the correct, rather than the
There are two days in every week that we should not worry
about. Two days that should be kept free from fear and apprehension.
One is "Yesterday"...
With its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its
aches and pains.
Yesterday has passed -- forever beyond our control.
All the money in the world cannot bring back
We cannot undo a single act we performed, nor can we erase a
single word we've said...
Yesterday is gone!
The other day is "Tomorrow"...
With its impossible adversaries, its burdens, its hopeful
promise and poor performance.
Tomorrow is beyond our control.
Tomorrow's sun will rise either in splendor or behind a bank
of clouds... but it will rise. And until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow,
for it is yet unborn.
This leaves only "Today"...
Any person can fight the battles of just one day.
It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow
that we break down.
It is not the experience of today that drives people mad, it's
the remorse for something that happened yesterday and the dread of what tomorrow