OF THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM
IN THEIR GOOD DEEDS
In Matthew 6 the Lord Jesus told us what our attitude should be toward giving, praying, and fasting. We should give in a secret way so that we will not receive the glory of men. We need to pray in a private way so that our Father who sees in secret may repay us. Furthermore, when we fast we should anoint our head and wash our face so that we may not appear to men to be fasting. These seeds are developed in several verses. Galatians 5:26 says, "Let us not become vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another." We should not be desirous of vainglory, that is, of making a show. Philippians 2:3a says, "Doing nothing by way of rivalry nor by way of vainglory." Concerning prayer, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing." Then Romans 12:12 says, "Rejoicing in hope, enduring in tribulation, persevering in prayer." Concerning fasting, Acts 13:3 says, "And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away." These verses may be considered as the growth and development of the words spoken by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 6.
OF THE CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM
Concerning riches the Lord Jesus told us in Matthew 6 that we should not lay up for ourselves treasures on the earth, but that we should lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. Furthermore, He said that we cannot serve two masters. Either we will hate one and love the other, or we will hold to one and despise the other. We cannot serve God and riches.
The Lord also said that we should not be anxious about our life, what we should eat and what we should drink, and what clothes we should put on. Our Heavenly Father knows that we need all these things. There is no need for us to be anxious about them. If we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be added to us. We can see a development of this seed in Acts 4:32: "And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common." It continues in verses 34 and 35: "Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need." From these verses, it is clear that the believers in the early church were not anxious concerning material things. Their attitude toward their riches was so liberated, so free. On the contrary, people in the world anxiously grasp everything they possess. We Christians should not be like that. We need to be liberated from the possession of material things.
Paul then quoted the Lord Jesus when he said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). Our attitude should be that we love to give rather than receive. First Timothy 6:8-10 says, "And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." We should not love money, but be content when we have something to eat and something to wear. Verses 17-19 continue by saying, "Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." Finally, let us read Romans 12:13a: "Communicating to the needs of the saints." This means that whenever there is a need among the saints and we have the ability to give something, we should do so. We all must keep such a proper attitude toward riches.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 43, by Witness Lee)