There are three disciplines that we learn from the passage in Matthew 6: Giving, prayer and fasting, John van de Laar says that they are connected to three temptations we all face:
- Prayer confronts our temptation to power, since you can’t pray when you think you’re in control.
- Giving confronts our temptation to accumulate wealth for its own sake.
- Fasting confronts our temptation to allow our bodily appetites and addictions to control us.
- Reflect on these three disciplines in the light of the above? Do you agree?
GIVING – Matt 6:1-4
The key to giving is TRUST, and trust is the key to successful living?
- Can you briefly explain Proverbs 3:5 and v9,10 in the light of trust. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
OWNERS AND MANAGERS – God has made us managers over all that He has created and owns and like the manager in the parable Mt 25, God appreciates creative management.
3. Do you agree that the creative manager was good after all? Would you have treated him this way? —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
4. What stops us from tithing to God? How do I understand this as part of my commitment? —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
PRAYER – Matt 6:5-6
5. Rev Tim Rist taught on prayer giving a format after Jesus’ method, describe this? ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
6. Can we change our way of prayer to be more meaningful following this method? What action is needed? ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
FASTING – Matt 6:16-18
What masters us has become our God; and Paul warns us about those “whose god is their appetite” (Phil 3:19)
7. Can we identity those things that are our appetite for living? ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
8. Jesus said “the desires for other things that enter in and choke the word” (Mark 4:19) – can you identify the ‘other things’? —————————————————————————————————————————————-
9. In fasting what things can we cut down on that hinder our walk with Christ? ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
10. Look at Phil 3:8 – Paul’s statement on ‘gaining Christ’ – what ways or circumstances in your life are you able to say with Paul that ‘I may gain Christ.”——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
11. How can fasting draw us closer to God? ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————