THE IMPORTANCE OF RECIPROCITY

reciprocity

At the end of June 2021, we began a series about prayer starting with the followers of Jesus asking to be taught how to pray. (See Teach us to….)

We then turned our attention to Matthew 6:5-13, taking a verse per week of Jesus’ instruction, first on how not to pray, that is then followed with an example of how to pray.

Today we turn our attention to Matthew 6:14 where Jesus elaborates on one of the petitions within the sample prayer we refer to as the Lord’s prayer. (See Matthew 6:12.)

We will learn a surprising principle of the importance of reciprocity applied to forgiveness.

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NAVIGATING LIFE

navigation

When was the last time you used a compass for navigating?

Are you someone who is naturally gifted at navigating without the use of an external compass?

I have never been in a situation where a compass was critical for navigating.

Compass use for me has been more recreational than a necessity.

Navigating streets and trails is one thing.

  • What about navigating life in general?
  • How do you know you are on the correct path for your life?
  • Who is leading you in navigating life?
  • What does Matthew 6:13 share about navigating life?
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SOMETHING OWED

forgiveness

What does a picture of two children hugging have to do with the phrase “something owed”?

  • Did you notice the expression of the visible face is sad?

The phrase “something owed,” is frequently used to define a debt of some kind.

It is common to connect the phrase “something owed” with financial debts.

  • Do you agree that the “something owed” in the picture above is likely not financial?

We are going to study what Matthew 6:12 has to say about a broader concept of “something owed”.

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SUPPLIES FOR BREADMAKING

daily bread

What is your favorite bread?

Have you ever made that bread yourself?

Have you ever grown the ingredients needed to make that bread for yourself?

If you’re not into bread for some reason, what do you use instead?

What are the supplies you need for your “breadmaking”?

Could “supplies for breadmaking” refer to things other than food provisions?

Clothing? Shelter? What else?

What does this have to do with Matthew 6:11?

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KINGDOM

kingdom

What type of kingdom do you imagine could develop if the castle above was more than a sandcastle?

The dog looks like a giant horse in this kingdom so maybe this is a kingdom for people of small stature?

Have you ever built a sandcastle kingdom?

How long did it take you to build your sandcastle kingdom?

Was your sandcastle kingdom as detailed or as large as the one above?

Why or why not?

What does a sandcastle kingdom have to do with Matthew 6:10?

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THE DANGER OF MANY WORDS

Depending on who I am with and what my role is I may be a quiet person of few words or someone who always contributes to the discussion.

Often, the larger the group I am in, the quieter I will be and the smaller and more comfortable I am with the people around, the more talkative I may become.

  • How about you?
  • Are you a person of many or few words?
  • What situations encourage or discourage you to talk freely?
  • What about when you pray?
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PRACTICING SECRECY

While I was still in my undergraduate studies, I was busy practicing secrecy.

The reason I was practicing secrecy resulted from a desire along with my siblings to plan a surprise 25th anniversary party for our parents.

We decided the best way to keep our parents unaware of the party would be to secretly invite extra guests to a party our parents had already planned to host for family on the 4th of July.

Their wedding anniversary is near that date, so this was a great cover in our minds.

Since I lived the closest to our parents, I was tasked with sneaking photos out of their house to put together a photo album and manage the secret invite responses.

My siblings and I were practicing secrecy because we intended to bless and honor our parents.

We all laugh about how our parents hosted their own 25th wedding anniversary surprise!

And yes, I especially receive some ribbing because of frequently calling them before the party to say I had invited some more friends that they had to feed. 😊

The reward for practicing secrecy in this case is we did bless our parents, family, and friends with a great memory to share with each other in celebration of their marriage.

Did you know practicing secrecy is also encouraged by Jesus in Matthew 6:6?

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