As followers of Jesus, we have the right reason for not fitting in.

here are you from? Most of us have some place that feels like home—where we feel at ease and understood, no matter how long we’ve lived there or have been away. But from the time we trust in Christ, we become foreigners in this world. We might still have a place of comfort and loving relationships, but our citizenship is in heaven. Like a hungry traveler, we can appreciate a good meal, but there’s no place like home.

Matthew 6:9-33 

 BACKGROUND

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers how to live, grow, and cope with difficulty. He shared the Beatitudes in the previous chapter and now speaks of practical matters, such as our prayer life and physical needs.

REFLECT

God knows what you need most each day.

In Matthew 6:9, Jesus refers to something obvious but full of significance: God is in heaven—while we, or at least our physical bodies, are not. This can feel like various things: an obstacle, a cause for legitimate lament, a comfort, a guiding force, or a source of hope. What is it for you today? Describe how this acknowledgement affects you when you pray.

Matthew 6:10 deepens the awareness that right now, heaven and earth are very different places. What would life be like if God’s kingdom and will were fully manifested here? How do you experience His kingdom already, in ways great or small?

When we were saved, God rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col. 1:13). Through your birth in Christ, you dwell spiritually in God’s kingdom but are physically still in the world. This creates deep longing. Matthew 6:9-13 suggests Jesus sees our unbelonging as a defining characteristic of Christian life. Describe where your separation from the surrounding darkness is easy for you, and where it causes struggle. Take a moment to pray for grace and strength.

After establishing us as outsiders who seek the ways of heaven, the Lord’s Prayer makes several requests—Jesus’ recommendations for what we need on our sojourn here (Matt. 6:11-13). How do these help you understand your true needs and best focus for each day?

Christians dwell spiritually in God’s kingdom but remain physically in the world. This creates deep longing. CONTINUING THE STORY

Jesus gives advice on staying separate from the world.

Fasting, which is mentioned often in Scripture, was practiced by the Lord. (See Matt. 4:1-4.) It’s a powerful way to shift focus from the physical concerns of earthly life. It also carries spiritual rewards that we probably can’t imagine or understand until we try it (Matt. 6:18). Have you ever fasted as part of your prayer life? Consider whether God is calling you to this practice. If health or other concerns prevent fasting from food, ask Him to reveal another way of drawing near to Him.

Jesus encourages us to store up heavenly, not earthly, treasure (Matt. 6:19-21), and He makes a strong distinction: Serve God or worldly wealth (Matt. 6:24). Make a simple life assessment: Where is most of your treasure? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you correctly identify earthly and heavenly wealth.

 REFLECT

The Word of the Lord is a lamp for your feet (Psalm 119:105).

Walking between two worlds means yearning for home, resisting distraction, and making hard choices. But if you stay clear-sighted, the heavenly light within you will be strong as you journey to God’s dwelling place (Matt. 6:22). Follow Jesus’ words and you might help others see through the darkness, too.

 GOING FURTHER

Consider further aspects of the passage.

Fasting carries spiritual rewards that we probably can’t imagine or understand until we try it.

Seeing the profound differences between this world and heaven is helpful. But let’s also remember that after completing His vast creation, God declared everything He made was good. And despite being corrupted by sin, the world can still be enjoyed in a way that glorifies God (1 Tim. 6:17). Some tangibles, such as the bread and wine or waters of baptism, are beautiful spiritual experiences that keep our minds on things above (Col. 3:2) and draw us deeply into heavenly life. Others are simple bodily necessities or delightful aspects of God’s creativity. We find wisdom when we enjoy such blessings as they arrive, without becoming engulfed in desire for them.

Since the start of the church, some people have been misled into thinking material things are inherently evil, but that’s not true. In Matthew 6:25-33, how do Jesus’ words model appreciation for material goods, without greed?

Jesus is fully man and fully God (Phil. 2:7-8; Col. 2:9). Theologians call this the hypostatic union because it’s the union of two substances, or hypostases: the human and the divine. In a sense, it means Jesus also walks between two worlds. How does this mystery of faith affect your relationship with Him? Hebrews 4:15 says Jesus can sympathize with our weaknesses, though He never sinned. What, then, can you share with Him, knowing He will understand?

Citizenship in God’s coming kingdom is cause for joy and hope. Keep your heart set on the road to your eternal home. It’s better than anything you could ask or think

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