The First 15

Wednesday November 11, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.

God of rescue and restoration, thank You for Your great and beautiful mission in the world. Here I am Lord, fill me with Your Spirit and send me.

Scripture Reading

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:16-18


Jesus began this chapter with an overarching idea: Practice your righteousness for God, not for others to see you. Jesus then illustrates his point with examples of secret generosity (v. 2-4), prayer (v. 5-15), and fasting (v. 16-18). What is the point? Jesus defines being a Christian in a particular way. Our motives must be pure, motivated by God alone. If we are in any way hoping others will see our acts of righteousness or acts of faith, we must ask ourselves if it is truly God we are following.

What spiritual disciplines or acts of faith are you participating in on a regular basis? Do you find yourself wanting “credit” for them? What is your motivation for prayer, fasting, generosity, serving, and other spiritual disciplines?

Closing Prayer

When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.

Father, help me to live this day to the full,
being true to You in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,
being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost,
proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.

The First 15

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