Living the Righteous Life – Matthew 6:1-4

Jesus, in Matthew 6:1-4, in His Sermon on the Mount, said…

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

2 “When therefore you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing 4 that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

This is a subject that, I think, is most problematic for Christians—how to live a righteous life before the world. It is problematic because our sinful pride seems to always creep in so that we want to be noticed by others in order that they will think well of us.

Here are four supporting principles of the theme of this passage:

1. Knowing the balance between Matthew 5:16 and Matthew 6:1. In Matthew 5:16 Jesus tells us that we are to let our light shine before men. But then in 6:1 He tells us, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them. So, at first glance it seems to be a contradiction. But really it is not if we are careful to look at all the details. It is clear in the first passage that we are to let our light shine before the world. But the motive is clearly that God would be glorified. And this is made clearer in 6:1, but stated differently. Hence, we are not to practice our works before men “to be noticed by them.” That is, that they would think well of us. We must shine before them in such a way that they will see Christ in us. And that attitude of the Christian is most important—because, if we do not have this attitude, we will lose our reward; and the non-Christian is also misled.

2. We are always to do our righteousness to please God not self. And we will always end up doing one or the other. In the flesh we will do to please self, and in the Spirit, we will do to please God. Now the question before us is this: Do we do things for others so that they will please us back? Or do we do things for others so that they will see us as a Christian and move closer to God.

3. Do we live the righteous life for a closer relationship with Him?  In all our righteous acts, we should be seeking to be closer to Him and to please Him. And if we do this, we will be constantly realizing that He is always present with us.

4. It is always good to desire to see Him and be rewarded by Him. Do not seek to be pleased by others or that they will think well of us. But it is always good to seek His rewards; and we should know that He sees everything we do, and He plans to reward us for every good deed.

Also, do not take pride in your unselfishness. Some people keep a journal and they record all the good things they do each day. Don’t do that! Forget about them. God keeps a record of it and He will reward you. Think instead about what God has done for you and how thankful you are.

Source: Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

My Update: A New Book, Carb Counting, Book I’m Reading

Here is my update: three things going on with me.

My Latest Book

Pictured above is my latest book. I just finished it. It’s not really out yet, but if you want to buy it I can get it for you. Let me know by email and I will send you a copy. My address is: painterguy@usfamily.net. I have already blogged most of the info in this book on my prophecy blog, but I can at least give you my outline now.

INTRODUCTION

JUST BEFORE THE RAPTURE

PART ONE: ON EARTH AFTER THE RAPTURE

  1. Immediate Effects of the Rapture
  2. Different Theories Emerge
  3. Collapses
  4. Setting up A Global Government
  5. A New Global Religion
  6. A New Global Religion — Part Two
  7. The Rise of the Antichrist
  8. The Rise of the Antichrist — Part Two
  9. The Ezekiel Invasion
  10. The Third Temple

PART TWO: IN HEAVEN AFTER THE RAPTURE

  1. The Judgment Seat of Christ
  2. The Marriage of the Lamb

Carb Counting

My VA doctors say I am a type 2 diabetic, so I need to keep my carbs down to at least 150 a day. If I do that I am fine and I feel good. If not, I’m in trouble. Anyway, though its not fun, I find that it help not only my physical being but my spiritual life as well. Suffering in the flesh always helps a Christian. (read 1 Peter 4:1)

A Book I’m Reading

I just started reading Lincoln’s Last Trial, by Dan Abrams. I’m loving it. I’m finding out a lot about Lincoln that I didn’t know before. He was a great lawyer and an honest one. Anyway, it is a great read and I may read more of Dan Abram’s books.

The Problem with Listening to Science

So many people these days are saying, “We need to listen to the science.”  I’m all for science, but sometimes science isn’t too scientific (or true); and sometimes we use science as an excuse to not do what is right or practical.

Evolution I think is the best example. Most of the world has chosen (or even is forced) to believe in evolution instead of creationism, because of science—because of all the science Darwin used to prove his theories. But did you know that there are many Christian scientists that reject Darwin’s theories and don’t believe they are scientific at all.

Or how about the science of climate change. How many times have those scientific theories been wrong? Now they are saying that we only have twelve years left on this earth—unless we do something about it, like “the new green deal.”  Give me a break! Is it really science? Or politics! Is it science? or someone’s desire for global government!

What about this pandemic we are in? We are hearing so many voices, especially from Democrats, that we need to listen to science. Dr Fauci? Is that who we should listen to? Or maybe the WHO (World Health Organization)? Give me a break! They are just people with there own opinions. And as we have heard from Dr Fauci, those opinions have changed from day to day.

Again, I’m all for a science, but I’m all for a using common sense too. If science is telling us to close our schools and our churches, but its okay to open tattoo parlors and strip clubs and to allow people to protest and riot, then I doubt your science.

I think it is time to just use common sense and stop using science as an excuse to move your political agenda.

Will Sudan Really Be Israel’s Friend?

Recently, both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have entered into a peace agreement with Israel. Now, just a day ago, Sudan has done the same. However, I have a good reason to think that Sudan, at some point, will back out of it. The reason I am doubting their peace commitment is because of bible prophecy. In the Ezekiel war, recorded for us in Ezekiel 38 and 39, Sudan is one of the invading countries, along with Russia, Turkey, Iran, Libya, Tunisia, and parts of Algeria.

Other nations, because of what is says in Ezekiel 38:13, will be at peace with Israel. These are closer nations: mainly Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Somalia, Qatar, UAE, and Bahrain. These are the nations that at the beginning of the invasion will question why the other nations are invading. They will say, “Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?”

So, they will do nothing more than question them. They will not try to stop them from invading? However, as it turns out, they won’t need to, because God will cause a great earthquake to come on them, and also torrential rain and hail, and in the great confusion they will fight against each other, and most of them will be killed. But Israel will not be harmed. God will protect them.

Anyway, I think Sudan will back out of the peace agreement. As an article in Behold Israel points out, “When the prophet speaks of Ethiopia [in Ezekiel 38: 4-6], the location being spoken of consists of what he knew as Ethiopia of his time; modern-day Ethiopia and Sudan. The Hebrew word is “Kush,” which was a territory that included what is now Sudan.”

Sources: Behold Israel, also, in my blog, Why the Peace Plan between Israel and the UAE is prophetical.

Who Is to Blame for the Coronavirus?

Much of the media places the blame on Donald Trump, and even has called the virus “Trumpvirus.” But let’s get real. China is to blame. It was manufactured in China.

But if we look at it more broadly, I think we can call this virus a plague. And if we recall from the bible, plagues were always brought on people who sinned against God. Therefore, from a biblical perspective, plagues are a result of our sins of disobedience to God, and they are sent from God to punish our sin.

I took the time to do a little bible study. I found the word plague over 50 times in the bible.

In Exodus 11: 1-3 God brought plagues on Egupt for enslaving Israel.

In Lev. 26:2, Nu. 11:33, 14:37, 16:46-50, and 25:9 (and many more ref.), God brought plagues on Israel for sin and disobedience.

In Zech. 14:12-15, Rev. 11:4-7, 16:21, God, in the future, will bring many more unimaginable plagues for the sins of all people.

I find it so interesting that the media is blaming President Trump for the virus, even though we know it came from China. Also, I don’t know what more President Trump could do to prevent it from coming or to slow it down. As early as Jan. 31st he declared the virus a public health emergency and issued a travel ban from China. And he has taken so many more steps to protect Americans: like buying some 500 million respirators, putting in place national guidelines, giving us 2,000 ventilators, restricting nonessential boarder traffic, and much more. How much more can a president do? And he has been doing this at the same time that these George Floyd riots have been going on. No other president could do more.

Conclusion

Donald Trump is not to blame for the coronavirus. And though the virus was hatched in China, they alone cannot carry the blame.  No. I think we should put the blame on all sinners, particularly on those who are blatantly disobedient to God. Yes, I think God has released this plague on the entire world because of our disbelief and disobedience. And He has used China to do it.

But there is hope. If we repent and turn to Him, He may stop the plague. No, we humans will not be able to stop it by waring a mask over our faces, or by separating ourselves from each other, or by any other means. The only way to stop it is by our repentance and by prayer—asking Him to save us from our sins and from the virus.

If you remember, in Egypt, when God sent a plague on the land and the people, He spared the Israelites by telling them to put lambs’ blood on their door posts. That blood represented Christ’s blood. And now, if we believe in Him, His blood will save us from our sins—and no plague will come near us (Ex. 12: 13). Though some, even believers will get sick and die from the coronavirus, if they believe in Him and His blood, they will meet Him in heaven and share eternal glory with Him.

Psalm 91:9-16

9 For you have made the Lord, my refuge,

Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you,

Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you,

To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands,

Lest you strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra,

The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 “He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him, and honor him.

16 “With a long life I will satisfy him,

And let him behold My salvation.”

The Purpose Of A Prayer Ministry

What the world could use most is prayer.  But for some reason most of us don’t understand the value of prayer.  We come up with all kinds of solutions to our problems, but we miss the most important one—prayer.  Prayer is the best solution because it brings us directly to God and gives us the power of God.

God is calling us to prayer.  He invites us to His throne, and He says to us, “Call on Me and I will answer you,” “Come to Me and I will give you rest.”  Moreover, He searches continually for the faithful, like Abraham, Moses, and Daniel who will sacrificially stand in the gap before Him (Ezek. 22:30).

But there are so few these days that are faithful in prayer.  And there are so few preachers who preach and teach and model prayer.  Peter Wagner, in his research, has found that 80% of the meaningful intercession in the average congregation is provided by only 5% of its people.

What is wrong?  Why don’t we see the need for prayer?  Why don’t our preachers preach on it more?

Well, one of the things we can do in our churches and fellowship groups to help people learn about prayer and how to pray is to provide a prayer ministry.

Two Purposes of a Prayer Ministry

A prayer ministry is simply a ministry having to do with prayer.  A prayer ministry I think has two purposes:

1.  It serves those who need prayer.  This is its primary purpose—to see that people are prayed for, as many as possible.

2.  It serves those who desire to pray.  To accomplish the first and primary purpose, a prayer ministry must service the needs of those who desire to pray.  This second objective I think is the main task of the prayer ministry—so that the primary purpose can be accomplished. 

The prayer ministry, then, as I see it, is a vehicle to help people pray: to teach them about prayer, and to motivate them to pray.  It may also provide for them people to pray with, people to pray for, a prayer atmosphere, and prayer tools.  Overall, a prayer ministry will help people to develop a desire for prayer, to feel the call of God to pray, and to gain a sense of responsibility to pray and intercede for others.

So, the prayer ministry covers a lot of ground.  It is a big service.  But we must be careful that we don’t get off track so that we lose our focus.  A prayer ministry should not be so focused on all the activities of its ministry, that it loses its focus on helping people pray.

I think this occupation with activities is what happens when leaders are more concerned with how the ministry looks then with people.  Leaders sometimes get so caught up with getting people to events to hear grand messages on prayer, and they get so enthused about their prayer breakfasts and prayer charts and prayer chains and prayer walks, etc., that they forget about how their people are doing, whether they are learning how to prayer or not.

The heart and focus of the prayer ministry is being involved with people, not events.  It exists to serve people—to counsel them and teach them and to help them grow in the Lord.  If all our prayer activities and prayer tools distract us from our focus then we must get rid of them.  They do us no good.  Likewise, if we as leaders spend most of our time at our desk making plans and writing sermons, etc., and very little time with our people, that is just wrong!  Jesus spent most of his time with His disciples.  They learned by being with Him.  They learned how to pray mainly by watching Him pray and by praying with Him.  Let us as prayer leaders seek to do the same as Jesus did. 

Source: My book, Prayer A to Z, pp. 293-294.

My Autumn Adventure

I take a short cut on a narrow path up the hill.

Walking through the fallen leaves down the sky trail.

Looking down from above at the winding creek.

On the main trail. A biker ahead.

There are resting benches all along, but I pass them by.

A gorgeous day, trekking along on the winding trail.

I especially like the white birch trees, adding contrast and beauty to the picture.

News Sources Spin Hunter Biden Laptop News

The most recent Hunter Biden news is that Hunter abandoned his laptop at a Delaware repair shop in 2015, and only now we are hearing that the FBI has retrieved the very damaging information; and the shop owner also gave copies of the emails and intimate photos to Rudi Giuliani. I can’t go into any detail about what was in those emails, only that it is very damaging to the Biden’s. But I want to say here that this…

News that recently came out in the Washington Post, wouldn’t be that reliable if it wasn’t for the following reasons:

1) The obvious coverup by Facebook and Twitter.  Almost immediately they shut down the Washington Post story, broadcasting to the world that there was definitely something very damaging that they don’t want the world to discover about the Bidens, and really the entire Biden family, headed by Joe Bidden.

2) The obvious deception (the spin) by the News Media. Though very reliable investigations are telling us that the emails are true and untouched, most Dems and the media are saying that Giuliani can’t be trusted and that Russia has hacked the emails. I just heard today that recently Adam Shift is saying publicly that the Russians together with Trump are behind the damaging emails and videos—that they manufactured it all. Here we go again. The Dems and the media are once again putting their lying spin on the News and putting the blame on Russia and Trump.

They want Trump out of office so bad that they are willing to go to any evil lengths to do it.