New International Reader's Version

Matthew 6

Giving to Needy People

1“Be careful not to do good deeds in front of other people. Don’t do those deeds to be seen by others. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you.

“When you give to needy people, do not announce it by having trumpets blown. Do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They announce what they do in the synagogues and on the streets. They want to be honored by other people. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. When you give to needy people, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your giving will be done secretly. Your Father will reward you, because he sees what you do secretly.

Prayer

“When you pray, do not be like those who only pretend to be holy. They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners. They want to be seen by other people. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. When you pray, go into your room. Close the door and pray to your Father, who can’t be seen. Your Father will reward you, because he sees what you do secretly. When you pray, do not keep talking on and on. That is what ungodly people do. They think they will be heard because they talk a lot. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need even before you ask him.

“This is how you should pray.

“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be honored.
10 May your kingdom come.
May what you want to happen be done
    on earth as it is done in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our sins,
    just as we also have forgiven those who sin against us.
13 Keep us from sinning when we are tempted.
    Save us from the evil one.’

14 Forgive other people when they sin against you. If you do, your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive the sins of other people, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Fasting

16 “When you go without eating, do not look gloomy like those who only pretend to be holy. They make their faces look very sad. They want to show people they are fasting. What I’m about to tell you is true. They have received their complete reward. 17 But when you go without eating, put olive oil on your head. Wash your face. 18 Then others will not know that you are fasting. Only your Father, who can’t be seen, will know it. Your Father will reward you, because he sees what you do secretly.

Gather Riches in Heaven

19 “Do not gather for yourselves riches on earth. Moths and rats can destroy them. Thieves can break in and steal them. 20 Instead, gather for yourselves riches in heaven. There, moths and rats do not destroy them. There, thieves do not break in and steal them. 21 Your heart will be where your riches are.

22 “The eye is like a lamp for the body. Suppose your eyes are healthy. Then your whole body will be full of light. 23 But suppose your eyes can’t see well. Then your whole body will be full of darkness. If the light inside you is darkness, then it is very dark!

24 “No one can serve two masters at the same time. You will hate one of them and love the other. Or you will be faithful to one and dislike the other. You can’t serve God and money at the same time.

Do Not Worry

25 “I tell you, do not worry. Don’t worry about your life and what you will eat or drink. And don’t worry about your body and what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than eating? Aren’t there more important things for the body than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air. They don’t plant or gather crops. They don’t put away crops in storerooms. But your Father who is in heaven feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? 27 Can you add even one hour to your life by worrying?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work or make clothing. 29 But here is what I tell you. Not even Solomon in all his royal robes was dressed like one of these flowers. 30 If that is how God dresses the wild grass, won’t he dress you even better? Your faith is so small! After all, the grass is here only today. Tomorrow it is thrown into the fire. 31 So don’t worry. Don’t say, ‘What will we eat?’ Or, ‘What will we drink?’ Or, ‘What will we wear?’ 32 People who are ungodly run after all those things. Your Father who is in heaven knows that you need them. 33 But put God’s kingdom first. Do what he wants you to do. Then all those things will also be given to you. 34 So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.