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The Genuine Follower – Part 2 (Matthew 6:5-18)

First Baptist Church http://fbcbartow.org

“The Genuine Follower – Part 2”

(Matthew 6:5-18)

Series: God’s Fulfilled Promise [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

January 13, 2019

Introductory Comments:

In Kentucky, there is a local dish called burgoo. Has anyone heard of burgoo? Burgoo is normally cooked in a big kettle and it has two essential ingredients: vegetables and some kind of smoked meat. When cooked, it looks like a Brunswick stew of sorts. When I first moved to Western Kentucky I had a hard time figuring out what the ingredients were. Later I learned you can put nearly any vegetables in there and nearly any smoked meat: deer, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel, possum, whatever. It’s sort of a clean out the freezer meal. Two essential ingredients, vegetables and smoked meat, made into a stew. 

In today’s passage, Jesus is going to give us some essential ingredients, or a formula, for a genuine prayer to God. 

We’re picking up part two of a two-part sermon this week. 

So, let’s look at our passage again, Matthew 6:5-18. 

Read the Passage

Read Matthew 6:5-18

“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. When you pray, don’t babble like the Gentiles, since they imagine they’ll be heard for their many words. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows the things you need before you ask him.

“Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

your name be honored as holy.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And do not bring us into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

14 “For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, your Father will not forgive your offenses.

16 “Whenever you fast, don’t be gloomy like the hypocrites. For they make their faces unattractive so that their fasting is obvious to people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that your fasting isn’t obvious to others but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Let’s pray together.

(Prayer)

Let’s do a little review from last week. Remember, this is a two-part sermon. You can review last week’s sermon online if you missed it. 

First, we learned this last week:

I. Don’t be a faker [on screen]

Jesus gives us four examples of hypocritical or disingenuous worshippers.  

First, the one who prays in order to show off. 

Second, the one who prays in a ritualistic, babbling manner. 

Third, the one who doesn’t forgive. 

Fourth, the one who fasts to get attention for themselves. 

Rather than being a faker, we learn to:

II. Do be a follower [on screen]

Jesus gives us four examples of genuine followers.

First, the one who prays in secret for personal prayer. 

Second, the one who speaks directly and openly to God the Father, rather than in a ritualistic fashion. 

Third, the one who forgives as he or she has been forgiven. 

Fourth, the one who fasts in order to gain intimacy with God and not the approval of man. 

Ask, “Does anyone remember that from last week?”

Well, today, we’re going to look at the prayer that Jesus gives us as a model for how we should pray. 

Aren’t you thankful that Jesus gave us this model?

This model prayer is famously known as “The Lord’s Prayer.”

What’s ironic is that this prayer is not actually the Lord’s Prayer. In other words, it’s not for Him. It’s for us! This is the Lord’s model prayer for us. 

I like to refer to this as, “The Lord’s Model Prayer.”

Some of you may get annoyed by my clarifying the names of things. You might say, “Pastor, you changed the Sermon on the Mount to the ‘Sermon on the Mountainside,’ you changed the Beatitudes to the ‘Blessings,’ and you changed the Lord’s Prayer to the ‘Lord’s Model Prayer!’ What’s your deal?”

Well, I’m glad you asked and I’m sorry to annoy you.

First of all, remember that these are not names from the Bible. These are names that we added throughout history. So, I’m not changing the Bible. 

If I start to change the Bible, you should get your feathers ruffled, for sure!

Second, some of these names are confusing, particularly for Christians that are young in their faith.

It’s important that we are as clear as possible about the Bible so that we might have a proper understanding of the Bible, so that we might properly worship the One True Living God. 

Do you know I went all of my childhood, and part of my adulthood not knowing what the word Beatitudes meant? That shouldn’t be. 

So, that’s why I clarify these things because it’s crucial for us to understand what God is teaching us. 

So, in Jesus’ model prayer, He is giving us the essential ingredients for what’s in a prayer. He gives us this formula. 

That’s our third point in this sermon (points one and two were from last week):

III. Follow this prayer formula [on screen]

Before we get into the formula, let’s observe a few aspects of this prayer.

First, as has been mentioned, this prayer is for us, not for the Lord. It’s from the Lord, not for the Lord. We know this because Jesus directs the prayer to us as a model. He says, “Therefore, you should pray like this.” Further, there are aspects of the prayer that Jesus wouldn’t have to pray, such as asking for forgiveness. Jesus didn’t sin, so He didn’t need forgiveness. 

Second, this prayer is not intended to be repeated verbatim. 

Remember, Jesus has just warned us against repeating meaningless, repetitious, ritualistic prayers, as the Gentiles do. This prayer is meant to be a model for us, showing us some ingredients of a genuine prayer. 

This is highly ironic because so many people indeed just repeat this prayer and don’t really think about the meaning of the words. 

Third, you’ll notice in some of your Bible translations that there’s a tag onto the end of verse 13, which I didn’t read. It says something like, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” How many of you have that in your translation?

Well, the reason this is not in the Christian Standard Bible, and some other translations, is because the earliest manuscripts we have of the New Testament don’t include this part. 

This is not really problematic for our faith, because this extra line doesn’t change any aspect of our faith or theology. The Bible elsewhere supports the fact that God the Father is worthy of all the glory, all the power, and all the kingdoms of the world.

This line was simply omitted by some translators to be sure not to include something that wasn’t originally in the Gospel of Matthew. In fact, most of your Bibles probably have a footnote in verse 13 to indicate this. 

Ok, with that said, let’s look at the three ingredients of Jesus’ prayer formula. 

First, . . .

Pray for God’s purposes. [on screen]

Look again at verses 9 and 10. 

“Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

your name be honored as holy.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Verses 9 and 10 are about God doing what God is supposed to do. 

The follower of God should take delight in God’s purposes being done. 

Our requests matter tremendously, as we’ll see in just a moment. However, our desires and requests should never matter more than God’s purposes and will on the earth. 

When praying, we set the tone and direction of our prayer by fully submitting ourselves to God and acknowledging that we desire for His purposes to be done on the earth. 

Remember, He has the wisdom, power, and sovereignty to do all things; and He’s the best to do it. 

Also, we pray to our Father. 

He’s not just our God, He’s our Father. 

He loves us and we submit to His loving authority in our lives by acknowledging Him as Father. 

His name is holy. 

Many of your translations say “hallowed.” To be hallowed means to be declared holy or to be made holy. 

We acknowledge that God’s name is holy. 

He is the holiest entity in all existence. He is worthy of praise for His holiness. 

We want God’s kingdom to come. 

We’ve talked about the kingdom of God before in the book of Matthew. 

Here’s the idea: we want God’s purposes to be worked out on the Earth. 

In the same manner, we pray that His will be done. 

The hypocrites were all about their agenda and their purposes. The genuine follower is all about God’s agenda and God’s purposes. 

We pray for God’s purposes. 

Second, . . .

Pray for God’s provision. [on screen]

Look at verses 11 and 12. 

11 Give us today our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

We see that we are dependent upon God. 

We need Him! We need His provision, both for our physical and spiritual needs. 

Jesus says to ask God for our daily bread. This would refer to the amount of food and sustenance that is needed for the day. 

This doesn’t mean that we’re asking for Ferrari’s and mansions, but that which we need. 

We need God to supply us with what we need. 

He often gives us far more than what we need and that’s a blessing for sure. He deserves all the thanksgiving and praise for that. 

When we ask God for provision, the model that Jesus gives us involves asking God for what we need physically. 

Further, we need God’s provision for forgiveness. 

We are utterly dependent upon God for His forgiveness. We need it from Him and He’s the only one that can give it to us. 

We ask God to forgive us of our debts, not in the sense that we owe Him money, but in the sense that we have utterly sinned against Him. 

We need Him to forgive us. 

We need His forgiveness not only in the ultimate sense of our forgiveness through Jesus Christ but also through our daily relationship with Him. We ask God to forgive us for not living daily as He’s called us to live. 

He’s our Father, so we seek forgiveness to maintain our intimacy with Him. Not that we have lost our relationship with Him, but because we love Him. 

Additionally, we seek God’s provision for us to forgive others, as we discussed last week. The genuine follower of God forgives others as we’ve been forgiven. God can help us do that. 

We seek God for physical provision and spiritual provision. 

Finally, . . .

Pray for God’s protection. [on screen]

Look at verse 13. 

13 And do not bring us into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one

We need the Lord to protect us both from evil and temptation. 

Now, we must remember that God is not the one tempting us. 

James 1:13 tells us:

No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. [on screen]

However, God can help us avoid temptation, so we ask Him to do so.

Temptation is when we have an opportunity to sin and we must choose whether we will or will not sin.  

At times, God may allow us to come into temptation, and therefore we must ask Him to deliver us from evil. 

Listen to what Paul tells us concerning this in 1 Corinthians 10:13:

No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it. [on screen]

Remember that God has all the power and all the wisdom. He can see what’s ahead of us, what’s behind us, and what’s right in front of us at the time. He is King, He is Creator, He is Sustainer, He is Deliverer, and He is Lord. 

He can deliver us from evil and keep us from temptation, so we go to Him in prayer asking Him for His protection. 

Concluding Thoughts:

Remember, in the Sermon on the Mountainside, Jesus is telling us how to truly live as a follower of God.

This is a formula for how we can pray and seek God as a true follower, not a faker. 

Here’s our bottom line this week:

Bottom Line: Use Jesus’ model prayer as a formula for genuine prayer  [on screen]

(repeat)

Will we follow Him?

Will we seek genuine prayer as we genuinely follow Him?

Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

  1. Examine your prayer life. [on screen]

How are things?

Prayer is a basic function of following Jesus. Are you doing it?

  1. Commit to a prayer formula. [on screen]

Pick something. There are other formulas out there. 

I like this one because Jesus gave it to us.

Pick a formula and commit to it. 

  1. Practice praying this week. [on screen]

If you don’t have a healthy prayer life, now’s a good time to start praying. 

Put what Jesus said into action. 

Closing:

Are you a genuine follower?

Do you need to recommit yourself to Jesus?

Do you need to start following Jesus for the very first time?

(Gospel Presentation)

(Closing Prayer)

Invitation Song – All to Thee

Benediction:

If you have any sort of spiritual decision that you would like to make, you can contact me or Pastor Richard and we would be glad to talk to you anytime.

Join us tonight at 5:30 as we start a new series on world religions. Tonight we will be learning about Islam.  

Let’s dismiss by singing the Doxology. 

(Sing Doxology)

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