Welcome to River Market Community Church!
Notes from WALK AWAY FROM THE STAGE: Giving & Living w/o Applause
--PRAY first, PRAY now--
...And because we all struggle and fall in seeking applause to satisfy us here on earth, this may be hard to hear and work through, God please help us now! God you work miracles, please work one now in our minds and hearts. Set us free from ourselves. Amen.
Matthew 6:1-4(please note that there are many questions that were discussed during the message, most of the answers were recorded.)
The Sermon on the Mount Continues
GOD IS A GIVING GOD! JESUS IS ALL about giving. He has been teaching and wraps up His expansion of the oral traditions and then began giving instructions concerning worship and the attitudes that were to characterize His followers.
THIS ENTIRE CHPTR: 1)warning against superficial, external righteous behavior; 2) encouragement to build treasure for the kingdom of heaven; and 3) prohibition against anxiety.
LOOK AT CHILDREN-
Have you ever seen a child go through the "Watch Me" stage of childhood. Before whatever they do, it is prefaced with a "Mom/Dad/Uncle Jim- Watch This"....expound... This last week, I went the week on mission with a group of teenagers and was surrounded by 1,500ish teenagers at the camp where we stayed. They are on the next stage of "Watch Me"...expound...
Many people stay in this way of living. It doesn't matter if you are Christian or not...today, Jesus challenges us in our childish ways of living:
-here we see Jesus teaching his disciples, giving them intellectual knowledge so that they may begin to try and live it out growing in experiential knowledge(faith in action).
-We see Jesus revealing Religious Hypocrisy and daring the people to overthrow it in the way they live.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 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. (Matthew 6:1-4 NIV)
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 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. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:1-4 ESV)
TAKE CARE not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven. Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be recognized and honored and praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already. But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:1-4 AMP)
“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. “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. (Matthew 6:1-4 MSG)
1) Question: What are your scripture objections? Intellectual, moral??
-If you believe: a) God doesn't exist & b) the Bible is just a story book not Gods words. Please be patient and keep an open mind with us tonight.
2) Question: What does it tell you about God? (If you don't believe there is a God, use your imagination, hypothetically if there was a God.)
3) Question: What does it tell you about people? (If you don't believe there are people, let's talk about that.)
V1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1 NIV)
Jesus cares and is giving...
-The word "beware" ("be careful" NIV) means literally to turn one's attention to something(prosecho). "be aware of this attitude of desiring other people to notice your righteousness."
Leading Question: 2) Can you remember a time when you had ulterior motives when meeting a need, sacrificing time, or giving?
V2 “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 others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. (Matthew 6:2 NIV)
HOW NOT TO GIVE(v2-4)
-Jews- Most sacred of all religious duties
tzedakah- used both for righteousness/almsgiving
-giving which saves from death ->"when the recipient/giver don't know each other."
CHAMBER of the SILENT- In Temple- People leave $ for sins; others in need received.
BUT- PRACTICE FELL SHORT OF KNOWLEDGE(Glory to Man)
Pharisees' great weakeness was that they loved men's praise more than God's praise(cf. John 5:44:12:43)
-Synagogue Services- collect $ for poor. givers made it known how much.
-Easter Custom- men would pay water carriers to go to market place & giver would stand by him and say, "Bless me, who gave you this drink"
JESUS CONDEMNS- hupokritēs->greek, an actor
--put on and act of giving bringing glory to themselves
JESUS SPEAKS OF REWARD(re-read v1-2)
REWARD Motive(v1-18) v4, 6, and 18. 3 times in section.
We forget-> Jesus Believed & taught rewards(Matt 5:12; 10:41; 25:14-30, 31-46)
CHRISTIAN IDEA OF REWARD.
(i) JESUS WAS NOT THINKING OF MATERIAL REWARD
O.T. ->goodness & prosperity are closely connected.(Job battles)
--Jesus promised- trial and tribulation, suffering, persecution, and death
(ii)HIGHEST REWARD NEVER COMES TO HIM WHO IS SEEKING REWARD
-that thinking and living is being under the law(DO This=receive that)
--Grace- giving to someone what they don't deserve with no motive of receiving anything in return
---GREAT Paradox- person living in LOVE->lives never thinking of reward and they recieve it.
V3-4 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. (Matthew 6:3-4 NIV)
-Note: 3 times: v4, 6, 18- Jesus repeats the phrase "your Father who sees in secret will repay you."
There is several things here--
Jesus reminds and challenges us: God sees all things(Hebrews 4:13). What is before man and in secret.
REWARD Motive(v1-18) v4, 6, and 18. 3 times in section.
We forget-> Jesus Believed & taught rewards(Matt 5:12; 10:41; 25:14-30, 31-46)
Jesus uses figure of speach(left/right hand) to reveal MOTIVES OF GIVING- What are the different motives of giving?
(i)A Sense of Duty
-Not b/c he wishes to give, but out of duty.(superiority & condescension)
-from a pedastal, w/ certain calculation
-may give generously of things BUT NEVER gives himself
(ii)Motives of Prestige
-give to get himself the glory of giving(for vanity & power)
--Person would not give if no one is to know bout it, no publicity attached to it)
(iii) b/c He Has To...
-Overflow of Love & Kindness In Heart(from God)
-If you behave in such a way(people will look at you weird and be suspicious of your character)
JEsus hits on THE CHRISTIAN REWARD
(i) Only reward to the spiritually minded person(only makes sense).
(ii) Satisfaction- doing the right thing/obedience -> may lead to loosing everything But Gain Satisfaction @ Inner Being
(iii) More Work To Do-
- Paradox of Reward ->task well done doesn't give rest, comfort and ease.
BUT greater demands & strenuous endeavors. (Matt. 25:14-30)
(iv) Vision of God- Here on Earth & Eternally Face to Face
"Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"
-figure of speech is intended to communicate that giving should be so intuitive that it is done without planning or preparation, a matter so private that even in one's own action there is no premeditated statagem.
'The right hand is normally the active hand. So jesus assumes we shall use it when handing over our gift. Then he adds that our left hand must not be watching. There is no difficulty in grasping his meaning. Not only are we to not tell other people about our Christian giving; there is a sense in which we are not even to tell ourselves. We are not to be self-consciousness will readily deteriorate into self-righteousness.' -Stott
Giving and receiving are the 2 sides of the same coin.
SO, IF THERE IS A GOD, IF HE IS THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, IF HE IS ABLE AND WILLING TO REWARD AND A REWARD FROM GOD IS AVAILABLE AND IT IS TRUE THAT IT EXISTS...THEN-->
Leading Question: 1) Would you rather be rewarded by men or by God? Why?
THE BIG PICTURE and gospel application- this is very applicable teaching but boiled down comes back to the gospel and is gospel centered...& it is because the entire Bible is about Jesus from beginning to end...so when we look at the Bible and any teaching from it should seek to return to Jesus...because their is hope in the message of Christ, their is hope in the Gospel of Jesus.
IF WE LOOK AT this section of Scripture, Jesus challenges us a new way to live. He challenges us that here on this earth is not just what will exist for us. All of this is just temporary. There is an eternity that exists for us all. Jesus says do not live your life like the Creator of the Universe made you for your own little stage to get as much applause as possible with the limited amount of time you are given. Jesus challenges us saying that you
CONCERT w/ multiple stages? You have possibly several stages beside the main stage.
From a young age, we as people believe that we are the main stage of the concert of life(man that is corny, but true).
As a Baby: Waaaa-Waaaaa, feed me, hold me, change me, waaaa-waaaa-waaaa
As a child-Hey Mom/Dad: Look at me play with my toy, look at me jump in the pool, watch me dress this barbie, watch me build something, etc.
Growing up-Hey Friend: Look at me score this goal on the field, watch mme jump faster, watch me get good grades, watch me hold this fire cracker longer than you, check out my expensive clothes, great joke-watch me tell a funnier one, watch me drink more beers, watch me sleep with more people than you, watch me drive faster, etc etc
An Adult-Hey Co-Worker: Watch me buy this more expensive car, watch me buy this bigger house, watch me get this promotion
Hey All People: Watch ME World!- I'm successful, I have an attractive spouse, I travel more than all other people I know, I have a great family I have built, I'm always happy and have it together, I have a huge savings account-- I'm deserving of the biggest stage to exist on this world!!
Look at me, look at me, i'm dying.
And Jesus says the biggest stage you can find on Earth? In truth and reality: You never made it to the the big time show, you are still 1st band playing on the line up of the 3rd or 4th stages of an much inferior concert at an inferior venue. And you can play on your own temporary stage as much as you want but if you do you will receive everything here on the Earth and nothing more. Your own stage that you build and perform on will lead to death. No matter how good you perform and how many followers you have you will never make it Big.
There is a cosmic, supernatural, spiritual concert or festival with one headlining stage. God has decided to put on the concert to benefit all of humanity and bring glorty to himself. God is the Source. God built the stage and is the event coordinator. He is the planner and promoter and the stage hand. He has all the venders and merch tables setup. He is the ticket master who has made the tickets and who gives the tickets away freely to all who will ask for them. He is the security agency which keeps order. At this concert, on this stage, God is eternally the head-liner. But God, in incredible fashion allows the least likely performers to take the stage and perform for Him.
So, There is a much bigger stage: Jesus says if you want life you must walk away from your own stage that you have been building. Jesus says walk away from the stage. And get a ticket to the concert God has going on. I will make the ticket available for you.
I(Jesus) will give myself up for you so that you can live and give the way you were created to. I will make the way for you to have relationship with my Father, myself, and the Holy Spirit.
I(Jesus) will teach you, show you how and empower you to live and give.
You will be rewarded beyond your wildest imagination. I gave myself for all of humanity and God, my Father lifted me up above all things.
JESUS IS EXAMPLE(2 Corinth. 8:9)
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV)
-Jesus was the most giving person to ever exist. He gave himself so that we could live.
-here we see Jesus teaching his disciples, giving them intellectual knowledge so that they may live it out and grow in experiential knowledge. They have walked with him and watched how he lives, He now shows them why He lives the way that He does and challenges them that if they are to be His disciples and also be children of the Father, God they will should live the same way.
SO, while on this earth, you are to step down from your stage and live to bring God glory. You are to live not for the applause of other people but for the applause of God.
Jesus says believe me, follow me, live and give with reverence of God and respect of people, give and live for applause from God(the way I taught you)and show others how to follow me, usher them into the kingdom. You aren't alone; I, my Spirit, will empower you to do so.
Making It Real:
BECOMING GOSPEL CENTERED-
The Church exists both through the gospel and for the gospel.
The gospel is a word; so the church must be word-centered.
The gospel is a missional word; so the church must be mission-centered.
The gospel is people focused; it creates the Church and the Church is a family that is community-centered.
We the Church are to be gospel centered.
WHAT is the gospel? Simply, the gospel of grace: Sinner saved by Jesus works and not your works for relationship with God.
YOUR GOAL IS TO FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWING OVER THE NEXT 1-2 WEEKS
Jesus was the most giving person to ever exist. He gave himself so that we could live. Jesus showed that living and giving and dying without seeking applause can lead to eternal life for His people. If people would just believe in Him they would have life. He taught that if his people, His family would follow him not seeking applause that God's will would be done on Earth. It would lead to people being freed, becoming who they were created to be and experiencing life as they were meant to.
Being word-centered, mission-centered and people focused/community-centered:
Spend time in the following scriptures. Ask yourself, "How am I to apply my life to match these scriptures?"
Our focus text: Matthew 6:1-4
Old becoming New: Jeremiah 31:31-34 in conjunction with Ezekiel 36:25-27,
Old Testament scripts: Deuteronomy 15:11; Isaiah 58:2
Perfect example is Jesus: 2 Corinthians 8:9
& check out living as those made alive in Christ: Colossians Chapter 3 in its entirety.
Answer this Leading Question: How would you summarize the Matthew 6:1-4 passage in one sentence?
-1st, Allow God to become missional in your life by prayerfully asking God to convict you and show you what your next step is to allow the Holy Spirit to change you from old to new in the way you view giving and living. Ask God to reveal where you have been trying to place yourself on a stage seeking applause from others. Ask God to shift your heart and mind to desire and focus on the eternal instead of being stage centered. Ask God to be rooted in His love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. If God, prompts you to act in your personal relationships, then choose to follow that leading.
-2nd, We all have someone in our lives that needs our help. The gift that we give will be different from person to person. Identify someone in your life that needs a gift from you. Seek God and counsel from friends on the gift that could benefit them most. Then offer the gift knowing that God has called you to give it.
Answer the Leading Question: 5) Does this passage cause you to pray? About what?
People focused, community-centered
Living in community:
-get coffee with someone and share about the above things. Ask for prayer and for help in needed areas and share what steps God wants you to take, commit before God with that person to move in the direction God has made clear, and ask for the other person to hold you accountable to travel your God given path.
So, I hope we all have a little better understanding of this section of Scripture. And that you have gotten answers to questions you may have or at least were able to refine your questions.
Stages so big- Celebrities- no matter how big you are or successful. A generation from now, no one will care.