【Bible Study】Matthew 06: Two Kingdoms And Two Pursuits
Bible Study: Matthew
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 01: God Is With Us
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 02: Our Powerful Jesus Christ Displayed in Human Weakness
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 03: Jesus is the one fulfilling all righteousness
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 04 Part 1: Overcoming Temptation and Living a Victorious Life
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 04 Part 2: Jesus' Ministry and Victory
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 05: Be Perfect, As Your Heavenly Father is Perfect
- 【Bible Study】Matthew 06: Two Kingdoms And Two Pursuits
Matthew chapter 5 and 6 are quite hard for me to interpret, but now I have found a good way for me to get the main point of each chapter. For Matthew chapter 6, I try to take out all the common points in each part to get the key points. So the main idea of this chapter is Two Kingdoms and Two pursuits.
We can see there are 2 kinds of pursuits in people's daily life in chapter 6, one is the Kingdom of God, the other is the kingdom of humans, which cannot be mixed together.
If anyone claimed themselves to be Christians, but they live a worldly life with a worldly mindset, they are just fake Christians. Some people have been fed up with my teachers, but they are far below God's standards.
A person's attitude determines which kingdom they belong to. Some people think they are good Christian just because they attend the meeting every week. But it doesn't mean anything. But how can we know which of the 2 different forms of logical system and pursuits people belong to? A person's attitude towards the necessities and needs of life, clothing, food, housing, and transportation determines whether they belong to the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the world. Why did some one's disease come back again after they had been healed by God? Because their values and mindset haven't changed yet. They may think they have changed a lot, but deep in their heart, they are still in pursuit of the worldly life. You will probably ask me how you know that. Very easy. Just see how they will react when what they value was taken away, time, job, salary, family, just to name a few. If they have a radical reaction, you will know what they do pursue and desire. But if one belongs to the kingdom of God, the person's reaction in such situations will be different.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:25)
What great verses! How many of us care about food, cloths more than life. I often have only a meal. People doubt, "How can you survive?" I tell you the truth, not only I survive, I have less heath problems.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Brothers and sisters, think about it, in which kingdom will you lead a better life. Of course, the kingdom of our God, right! We won't lack, we don't need to worry, but if we need to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to us. Many don‘t seek for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, will they get what he wants? One thing for sure is that they will stay in the kingdom of the world, which is ruled by the devil with God's permission.
Brothers and sisters, you must know all is authorised by God and all is from God. God allow the devil to rule over people who choose to live in the kingdom of the world. The pandemic, is from God. In Book Revelation, it mentions about the horses, one of which is a grey horse, to which God gave authority to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Some of us have experienced the great healing power from God. But once they were infected with covid, they fell into panic and forgot everything, even they looked so godly, so active in may ministries. I can see what are the truly logical system they have in their mind through their reaction under such circumstances. But what God have made it clear to us is that we cannot by worrying add one single hour to our life. Let me tell you the truth of life.
a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot.
The matter of death of life can never be proved. People like to count on medical treatment. But there are many who got cancer spend lots of money on doctors and medicine, but after that they still die from the disease; many who don't see the doctor survive and recover. If you have the worldly logical system in your mind, you will be confused, you will be at a loss and don't know what to do, to see the doctor or not to see the doctor, to take medicine or not to take medicine, to have chemotherapy or not to chemotherapy, which is always a question to you.
But if you have the godly logical system in your mind, you won't be bothered. Nothing can add a single hour to my life so I don't need to worry about it because my life is not determined by anything I did on purpose. What we can do is to seek after God's kingdom and his righteousness.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Chinese ancient intellectuals have great wisdom. As they said, not pleased by external gains, not saddened by personal losses. With a deep insight into life, they were not frustrated, upset and bothered by all the ups and downs. But as Christians, we are far behind compared with them who don’t know about God. I always hear the testimonies about increase in salary, getting a good job, being promoted in work, which actually don't mean anything but to prove that we pose so much attention and importance on this life.
I have never found these things mentioned in the Book Daniel. In the book, it didn't say that the kings of Babylon and Persia gave Daniel a house, increase his salary, promote him to a higher position, because all these things are not important at all! Today, we need to reflect what are our attitude towards these living things. What are the truly pursuit in our heart, the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of the world?
We can know if one loves money or not through this person's attitude towards money.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Brothers and sisters, do you know what money means to you? Please give me a little more room to boast that I am vey clear about the nature of money. I must tell you that there is no use for money, but I don't lack money because God make me rich.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
Many people take money as precious as their life. Can money make him live longer, live happier, live healthier? Absolutely not! I admit life will be tough without money, but it doesn't mean that money can buy us everything. To be honest, there are more disasters after people get more money. No one can serve two masters. If you love God, you will definitely despise money; if you love money, you cannot serve God. You cannot love and serve both. I didn't say that if you love God, you will live in poverty, but you won't be obsessed with money. God is the key to all our problems, so as long as we hold on to God, follow him, we won't depend on money, which actually do little use to solving the problems.
But sadly, the kingdom of world can make us blind. People go through life with lots of worries. Without money, they worry; with money, they also worry. Every day, every moment, they just keep worrying about these trivial and unimportant things, but they never realise all these things they are busy with are just meaningless in God!
People attitudes towards money can reflected if they are wise or foolish. People with godly logical system will live a blessed life and never lack because God knows what we need, but we need to seek after his kingdom and his righteousness first, and all these things will be given to us. What really matters is that whether we belong to the kingdom of God or the kingdom of the world. People ask me, 'why did my prayer never come true?' You are living in the kingdom of the world, so how could God listen to your prayer? Your prayer may work at the beginning because God want you to focus on him, want to lead you into the kingdom of God so he will give favours and grace to you at the first. But if you are so stupid as to take advantage of God and just keep your eyes on money, on worldly things, on living needs, all about this life instead of the kingdom of God, you won't live out a life with blessed life and your prayer will not be answered.
It is human nature to be a people pleaser and get the reward from people. But in the kingdom of God, we cannot care about merely human concerns.
What we should do is to please God and have the concerns of God in mind.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:1-8)
The purpose of what we do determines what the rewards we will get. If you pursue the rewards and benefits in the kingdom of the world, we won't get anything from God. But if we belong to the kingdom of God, we also need food, cloths, but they are not what we live for; instead, what we desire and pursue is the kingdom of God.
Brothers and sisters, you can ask yourselves, deep inside our heart, is the godly logical system or the worldly logical system? If you care so much about the living things, it will be impossible to expect your prayer to be answered and to be favoured by God. Our heavenly father knows what you need, but if you belong to the kingdom of the worldly, what will be your father? Pharisees claimed that Abraham was their father, but Jesus said their father is the devil.
Our heavenly father is our real father, and he knows what we need, he will reward us, and give us all we need, because we pursue the kingdom of God. The name of our church, Ming Ding, stands for the godly logical system, meaning that the purpose and destiny of our life is to live for God, die for God.
The way we live out Ming Ding is to keep God's commandments and rules. Are there anyone from us who are afraid of the boss, afraid of losing jobs so that you have to flatter one after another in your work place? If so, you belong to the kingdom of the world, which will get you into curses. Don't be hypocrites, who seem like a godly person but God doesn't even know him, because you are in the kingdom of the world.
To please God or to please people, you need to make your own choices. If you want to please people, you cannot serve Jesus Christ. Serving God requires us to please God only, to love God only and to seek after the kingdom of God and his righteous as the Lord's Prayer says,
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:9-14)
How to deal with interpersonal relationship, how to deal with people who offended us? A good attitude in such situations is also important.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)
If we can forgive people when they sin against us, that means what they did to us is no more important. Why are we get hurt easily? because it can make a huge influence when people did us wrong and we cared so much about it. Why is it so hard for us to forgive others if we are offended, and why are we feel so angry, so resentful, so bitter? Because all things are so much important to us. Do you want to live in freedom? Let us be crucified with Jesus Christ and we will have a unshakable and eternal kingdom, and the world and its desires will pass away.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)
Two days ago, I just heard of my friend's death. He got liver cancer. Life goes by in the blink of an eye. Every time I hear about some one passed away, it reminds me that all the things in the world are not important at all! What is most important is to love GOD, love God only and seek after his kingdom. If God says, 'tmr I will get you back", I will be on top of the world. Because we are just dwellers, and nothing can make me reluctant to leave.
When we talk about the Book Hebrew, it mentioned about those who had great faith in God were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, and finally left this world with humiliation, persecution and sufferings. But why are they willing to endure all these hardships? Because their only pursuit is the kingdom of God. They have seen through and looked down upon the worldly things. Nothing important; nothing matters. If we have this attitude towards our life, everything will become simple to us. We won't get frustrated over who hurt us, upset about what didn't work out, and more importantly, we can will be like men of war, crushing down the devils completely.
Ask yourselves, what do you belong to, the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of the world. You will know that from the attitude towards the living things, the attitude towards money and the attitudes towards people. Whether you please people or please God, whether you can easily forgive or easily be offended, all of which will determines the kingdom we belong to.
Death or life, curse or blessings, all up to us. If you we choose to live for God, we won't die so easily because God may let us to fulfil the destiny he has given to us. But if you are the person who love your life so much, so care about the living things, but it is of no use to protect your life and add one hour to prolong it. You must know there is nothing you can do to determine your life.
I cannot understand why people pursue so much in this world and they created lots of problems and worries for themselves without knowing that one day they will definitely die and all what they have accumulated will become meaningless. I hope you can understand what I shared with you, stop being obsessed with your worldly desires and start off the pursuits of the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and trust me, God will provide you what you need and you will never lack any good thing.
Watch those faithful persons, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Joseph, and you will find they are all rich men. They started from scratch, and they became wealthy, but they never chase and love money because they desired a better country, an unshakable kingdom of God, an eternal life.
If you follow what I have said, if you want to live out the image of God, you will definitely be prosperous because this is God's promise and his will. May the kingdom of God will come upon on all of you, may we experience all the amazing things in his kingdom, and may God fulfil all his promises for us!