Sep 2/3, 2023

From the Pastor’s Desk: Pastor Jeanie Auyueng

Dear brothers and sisters of RCAC,

Matthew 6 is part of Jesus’ teaching known as “Sermon on the Mount.” In this chapter, Jesus contended against the teachings of his contemporary scholars (scribes) and religious pietists (Pharisees). Judaism in Jesus’ time advocated three things as demonstrations of one’s piety: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. Jews at that time made every effort to do these things, sometimes just for the sake of showing off. Jesus spoke on the same three things. Nevertheless, he instructed us not to be content with those outward religious conducts, but to seek for a genuine relationship with God (righteousness which exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees). The essence of being a Christian is not to get familiarized with religious rituals or observe religious regulations. It is by no means concerned only with a set of ceremonial rites, but is to pursue a close relationship with God the Father.
“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” (Mat 6:6 NIV).
This verse says, “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (some manuscripts read ‘will reward you in public’).” “in secret” and “in public,” in other words, are “seen” and “unseen.” Our lives consist of aspects which are seen and aspects which are unseen. This verse is the most important verse in Matthew 6. It reminds us that we should focus on those unseen aspects of life and have a genuine communion with God the Father.
“go into your room, close the door and pray…” This teaches us that when we pray, we should separate ourselves from the outside world, putting aside all worldly thoughts and things so that we can enter into a state to be focused on our communion with God. It is the hardest thing to do in our multitasked daily life.

“Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” The most precious thing to a Christian is God’s willingness to have a close relationship with us. The Father’s reward does not stop at his granting us what we ask for. One way to experience his reward is that when we draw near to him, we receive grace from him, have genuine satisfaction and strength, and are enabled to face all the challenges of life.
What is internal has an impact on what is external. What is “unseen” has an impact on what is “seen.” This is the most important admonition to a Christian. It is the Source by which we overcome temptations and are empowered to live a victorious life. The reason that many times in our lives we fail to live like Jesus is usually that we depart from the Source from which we receive power. Jesus said, “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4 NIV).

Let us get into the habit of drawing near to God through prayer each day before we start our mundane work. It is truly rewarding!

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Jeanie Auyueng