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6
Giving to the Poor and Prayer
1 “Be [very] careful not to do your #Lit righteousness before men.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.
2 “So whenever you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored and recognized and praised by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full.3 But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy],4 so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
5 “Also, when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to pray [publicly] standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets so that they may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full.6 But when you pray, go into your most private room, close the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 So do not be like them [praying as they do]; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
9 “Pray, then, #I.e. as a model or pattern.in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
#I.e. as a model or pattern.Hallowed be Your name.
10#A plea for God’s kingdom to be inaugurated on earth.Your kingdom come,
Your #A plea for God’s kingdom to be inaugurated on earth.will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 ‘Give us this day our #I.e. life’s essentials.daily bread.
12 ‘And forgive us our #I.e. sins, moral failures.debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment].
13 ‘And do not #I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested.lead us into temptation, but deliver us from #I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested.evil. #I.e. lead us away from situations where we are vulnerable and have the opportunity to sin. God does not tempt man (see James 1:13) but does allow man to be tested.[For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’
14 For if you forgive #Gr anthropoi.others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses.
Fasting, The True Treasure, Wealth (Mammon)
16 “And whenever you are fasting, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they put on a sad and dismal face [like actors, discoloring their faces with ashes or dirt] so that their fasting may be seen by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head [as you normally would to groom your hair] and wash your face18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by people, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal;21 for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.
22 “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].23 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!
24 “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].
The Cure for Anxiety
25 “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, as to what you will wear. Is life not more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow [seed] nor reap [the harvest] nor gather [the crops] into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?27 And who of you by worrying can add one #Lit cubit, here probably applied metaphorically to a lifespan.hour to [the length of] his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothes? See how the lilies and wildflowers of the field grow; they do not labor nor do they spin [wool to make clothing],29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory and splendor dressed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive and green today and tomorrow is [cut and] thrown [as fuel] into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!31 Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’32 For the [pagan] Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; [but do not worry,] for your heavenly Father knows that you need them.33 But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right--the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
6
Giving to Needy People
1"Be careful not to do 'good works' in front of others. Don't do them to be seen by others. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you.
2"When you give to needy people, do not announce it by having trumpets blown. Do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They announce what they do in the synagogues and on the streets. They want to be honored by others. What I'm about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward.
3"When you give to the needy, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. 4Then your giving will be done secretly. Your Father will reward you. He sees what you do secretly.
Prayer
5"When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by others. What I'm about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward.
6"When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can't be seen. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly.
7"When you pray, do not keep talking on and on the way ungodly people do. They think they will be heard because they talk a lot. 8Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.
9"This is how you should pray. " 'Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
10May your kingdom come.
May what you want to happen be done
on earth as it is done in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our sins,
just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
13Keep us from falling into sin when we are tempted.
Save us from the evil one.'
14"Forgive people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive people their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Fasting
16"When you go without eating, do not look gloomy like those who only pretend to be holy. They make their faces very sad. They want to show people they are fasting. What I'm about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward.
17"But when you go without eating, put olive oil on your head. Wash your face. 18Then others will not know that you are fasting. Only your Father, who can't be seen, will know it. He will reward you. Your Father sees what is done secretly.
Put Away Riches in Heaven
19"Do not put away riches for yourselves on earth. Moths and rust can destroy them. Thieves can break in and steal them. 20Instead, put away riches for yourselves in heaven. There, moths and rust do not destroy them. There, thieves do not break in and steal them. 21Your heart will be where your riches are.
22"The eye is like a lamp for the body. Suppose your eyes are good. Then your whole body will be full of light. 23But suppose your eyes are bad. Then your whole body will be full of darkness. If the light inside you is darkness, then it is very dark!
24"No one can serve two masters at the same time. He will hate one of them and love the other. Or he will be faithful to one and dislike the other. You can't serve God and Money at the same time.
Do Not Worry
25"I tell you, do not worry. Don't worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don't worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn't there more to life than eating? Aren't there more important things for the body than clothes?
26"Look at the birds of the air. They don't plant or gather crops. They don't put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren't you worth much more than they are?
27"Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They don't work or make clothing. 29But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon in all of his glory was dressed like one of those flowers.
30"If that is how God dresses the wild grass, won't he dress you even better? After all, the grass is here only today. Tomorrow it is thrown into the fire. Your faith is so small!
31"So don't worry. Don't say, 'What will we eat?' Or, 'What will we drink?' Or, 'What will we wear?' 32People who are ungodly run after all of those things. Your Father who is in heaven knows that you need them.
33"But put God's kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do. Then all of those things will also be given to you.
34"So don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.