Summary: Tonight from this passage of scripture we will learn what God expects of us in our giving, keeping in mind again the overall theme of the sermon on the Mount, is distinctiveness, being different from the world, and it is no different in our acts of servic
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount Part 11
Serving with the right Motive
Pm Service January 11th 2009
I read about a person who went to a concert at a beautiful old art-deco theatre. At
the end of the concert, this person noticed two ushers standing near his seat who were
applauding harder than anybody else in the whole place.
The man said that he was thrilled with this particular concert because of the talent
and virtuosity of the musicians. It thrilled him even more to see these two ushers
standing there applauding more vigorously than the entire concert goers. His
experience was somewhat diminished when he heard one usher say to the other,
“Keep clapping. If we can get them to do another encore, we get overtime!”
It appeared that these two ushers were serious music lovers
It turned out they were only applauding so long and so hard because it would mean
a few more dollars in their pockets.
There are people who do good things for the wrong reasons. It might seem at the outset that they’re trying to do what is right but it ends up that they only do it for their own benefit.
Tonight from this passage of scripture we will learn what God expects of us in our giving, keeping in mind again the overall theme of the sermon on the Mount, is distinctiveness, being different from the world, and it is no different in our acts of service and giving, lets see what we can learn tonight from this portion of Jesus’ sermon on the Mount.
Read Scriptures: Matthew 6:1-4
I. Be careful when and where I do my acts of service.
Vs. 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.”
First of all we see form this passage that acts of service or good works, weather it is giving money or service, is not optional it is mandatory. Jesus says it four times, “Do your acts of righteousness.”
We all instinctively want to be liked. From the time we’re born we want approval and attention. Little children unashamedly say, “Watch me, Daddy!” “Look at me, Mommy!”
Teenagers want more than anything to be popular. They are careful to dress, talk, and act in whatever fashion is acceptable among their friends or peers.
As adults we worry, “What will the neighbors say if we don’t mow our grass?”
We care what people think of us and that’s not altogether bad. The Bible says we ought to be sensitive to our witness to others. The problem with people-pleasers is they become overly concerned with what other people think.
Jesus’ warning in this passage is not about doing evil but about doing good just to impress people. Be careful when and where I do my acts of righteousness, if I am only willing to do them when people are looking and I get noticed then I really need to rethink my motive for doing them.
II. The wrong motive for doing Good.
Vs. 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.”
Jesus calls those who do good things with selfish intentions hypocrites.
That word means “an actor who wears a mask”
A hypocrite in its simplest sense is someone who pretends to be something that in reality they are not.
Evidently the Pharisees, who craved the praise of men, sometimes made a big show out of what they gave to the temple treasury.
In the Jewish system of worship, they didn’t pass the offering plate and people didn’t give by anonymous envelopes or folded checks.
The treasury boxes were set outside the worship area and people gave their money as they came in.
What Jesus is teaching us tonight is that if you have to announce and need recognition when you do something or give something, then you are no better than a hypocrite, you call yourself a child of God, but you are not acting like one, because you are attempting to rob Him of the glory he deserves, so that you can have some for yourself, this is the wrong motive.
III. The right motive for doing Good.
Vs. 3-4 “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Notice Jesus assumes that if we’re subjects to the King of kings and want to live according to his expectations, we will be “givers”, He doesn’t say “if you give” but “when you give”.