Summary: Are you doing your spiritual disciplines for the pat on the back? Giving to the needy, praying, and fasting is to be done in secret not so all can see your spiritual works of righteousness. It’s about giving not getting! It’s about God getting the glory n
Series: Cliff Hangers
These teachings were risky, some would even say very dangerous, they would be teachings that would be opposite of what the religious leaders of the day were teaching, and they would become points of dissension and points of exhilaration. Some people would rejoice and others sigh. Some would be happy and others angry. What Jesus was teaching them he put them all on the edge of their seats. His teachings made people nervous and yet it changed the way people of His day thought or perceived what the Kingdom of Heaven was. Jesus’ teaching along with their acceptance by the crowd would change the course of history between God and mankind. The people would be blown away by what Jesus taught and the religious leaders would pick up a spirit of offense against Jesus and seek His life for these teachings.
1. Matthew 5:1-12 – “Who does God Bless?”
2. Matthew 5:13-16 – “Salt and Light”
3. Matthew 5:17-20 – “Old vs. New”
4. Matthew 5:21-26 – “Really bad Sin”
5. Matthew 5:27-30 – “Bulging Eyes”
6. Matthew 5:31-37 – “Who me Divorced?”
7. Matthew 5: 33-42 – “Divorce, Oaths and Revenge”
8. Matthew 5:38-48 – “Break the hate”
Sermon: Quit prancing around!
Scripture Text: Matthew 6:1-18
Giving to the Needy
1“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.
2“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
5“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
7And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us today our daily bread.
12Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
16“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face,
18so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Thesis: Are you doing your spiritual disciplines for the pat on the back? Giving to the needy, praying, and fasting is to be done in secret not so all can see your spiritual works of righteousness. It’s about giving not getting! It’s about God getting the glory not about your spiritual image.
Video Illustration: From Ground Hog Day and of Barney on pride and vanity.
Jesus continues to address the crowd on the Mountain and challenges them to make sure that when they do their spiritual disciplines that they are done from the heart and not for the purpose that others can see how righteous they are. Image or outward appearance means nothing To the Lord it's the heart that God the Father is looking at. Do you do good works just for an audience of One? Or is it for others to see?
The question being asked this morning is: “Do you do spiritual acts of discipline for the sake of your ego or for the sake of others opinion of your spirituality? Do you do them for an audience of one God the Father? Or do you do them to draw attention to yourself - to puff up your self-image? So why do you do what you do?