Mat_6:1. Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
Our blessed Lord does not tell his disciples to give alms, but he takes it for granted that they do that. How could they be his disciples if they did not so? But he tells them to take care that they do not do this in order to get honour and credit from it. Oh! how much is done in this world that would be very good, but it is spoilt in the doing through the motive done to be seen of men. “Ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”
Mat_6:2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you. They have their reward.
So that they will never have another. They have been paid once for it by the approbation of their fellow-men. They will never have any further reward.
Mat_6:3-5. But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest,
He does not tell his disciples to pray, but again takes it for granted that they do so, and he cannot be a Christian who does not pray. “A prayerless soul is a Christless soul.” “When thou prayest.”
Mat_6:5. Thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
All they will ever get. People say, “What a wonderfully pious man he is to pray up at the street corner.” Ay, but that is the reward. The prayer will die where it was offered.
Mat_6:6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet,
Get into some quiet nook — some secret place, no matter where.
Mat_6:6. And when thou hast shut thy door,
So that nobody can hear you — not wishing anybody to know even that you are at prayer. “When thou hast shut thy door.”
Mat_6:6-8. Pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
Prayers are never measured by the yard in heaven. They are estimated by their weight. If there is earnestness in them, truth, sincerity, God accepts them, however brief they are. Indeed, brevity is often an excellence in prayer. Let us never, therefore, use vain repetitions.
This exposition consisted of readings from Mat_5:41-48; Mat_6:1-8