Summary: Mature disciples live only to honor God and not to be seen by men.
LIVING FOR THE AUDIENCE OF ONE
(Be Perfect series)
"Be careful not to do your `acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Matthew 6:1 (NIV)
"God wants us to be so supernaturally transformed that our main objective is no longer the applause of man but that we live only for the approval of God."
Mature disciples of Jesus live as if they stand before an Audience of One. They carry on their lives as if the only one whose opinion mattered were God.
1. Jesus does not prohibit being seen doing good works by others.
“When you give alms”
“When you pray”
“When you fast”
God wants His disciples to do good works.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Pe 2:11-12 (NIV
2. Jesus warns about doing good works to be seen by people
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:22-24 (NIV)
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.” Ephesians 6:5-8 (NIV)
“When their eye is on you” is the Greek word
“ophthalmodoulian” (“eyes” and “servant”), “a slave of the eye” or “eye-slaves”.
Slaves to the opinion of others
Seeking people’s approval and applause
Seeking recognition – wanting for “superlatives”
3. God rewards us according to our motive.
Reward in full – Mat 6:2, 5, 16. That is all you will get. You can’t expect for anything else. You got it all.
“God moves aside and away”
You Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you – Mat 6:4, 6, 18
1. Our first reward is God Himself.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 (NIV) AV- SECRET PLACE OF THE MOST HIGH GOD
2. The joy of glorifying and pleasing God.
3. Freedom from the slavery of the eyes; from living for the approval and applause of people.
4. Growth into Christlikeness
5. God’ favor: Giving; Prayer; Fasting
6. Future Reward
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
The Good Methodist
“His one desire, is the one design of his life, namely, “not to do his own will, but the will of Him that sent Him.” His one intention at all times and in all things is, not to please himself, but Him whom his soul loveth. He has a single eye. And because “his eye is single, his whole body is full of light.”
“Indeed, where the loving eye of the soul is continually fixed upon God, there can be no darkness at all, “but the whole is light; as when the bright shining of a candle doth enlighten the house.” God then reigns alone. All that is in the soul is holiness to the Lord. There is not a motion in his heart, but is according to His will. Every thought that arises to Him, and is in obedience to the law of Christ.” John Wesley