Summary: In this message, Jeremy asks the question: "Do you want to be famous?" -- And then powerfully backs it up with a greater one..."who is your audience?"
Matthew 6:1-7 (Message)
1 "Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. 2-4"When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—’playactors’ I call them— treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.
5"And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?
6"Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
7-13"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.
Many people remember old William Hung for his antics on American Idol.
He became famous, although not in a good way for his terrible voice, his karaoke like songs, and his lack of pitch. He was flat, sharp, and just plain terrible. One of the worst that American Idol has ever seen.
Hung became famous…but not because he was good, because he was terrible.
Tonight, we’re going to talk about auditioning for fame.
And I want to center this message around this thought…”Who are you auditioning for?”
*WILLIAM HUNG VIDEO*
Tonight, we’re going to talk about how to be famous…not in the eyes of your peers, your youth pastors and staff, and your church, but how to be famous in the eyes of God.
1. Be a good friend, not a good actor
People are looking for those who are going to genuinely love and care for them.
Luke 5:17-25 (Message)
17One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and religion teachers were sitting around. They had come from nearly every village in Galilee and Judea, even as far away as Jerusalem, to be there. The healing power of God was on him. 18-20Some men arrived carrying a paraplegic on a stretcher. They were looking for a way to get into the house and set him before Jesus. When they couldn’t find a way in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, removed some tiles, and let him down in the middle of everyone, right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their bold belief, he said, "Friend, I forgive your sins." 21That set the religion scholars and Pharisees buzzing. "Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemous talk! God and only God can forgive sins." 22-26Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking and said, "Why all this gossipy whispering? Which is simpler: to say ’I forgive your sins,’ or to say ’Get up and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . ." He now spoke directly to the paraplegic: "Get up. Take your bedroll and go home." Without a moment’s hesitation, he did it—got up, took his blanket, and left for home, giving glory to God all the way. The people rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then also gave glory to God. Awestruck, they said, "We’ve never seen anything like that!”
Lately at the mix, we’ve been talking about relationships, and attitudes, but let me tell you something. There are far too many people who are great actors and don’t care enough about the needs of others. If you see someone in need, pick the person up and take them to Jesus. However you can get them there, whatever obstacles you need to fight through…get them to the person who can help them.
2. Pray, don’t play
Jesus said it, and I believe it. He said that when you go to pray, don’t stand on the street corners trying to impress anyone, but get to a quiet place…so it’s just you and Him.
Emotions impress people…but God can see right through to the heart of man.
Have you ever seen someone worshipping and just crying? Or seen someone so happy and wished you had that too?