09 September 16, 2012 Matthew 6;1 18 Right Motives


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09 September 16, 2012 Matthew 6;1 18 Right Motives

  2. 2. ©2012 LifeWay ChristianResources of the SouthernBaptist Convention.Reproduction is prohibitedwithout the express writtenconsent of LifeWayChristian Resources SBC.
  3. 3. RIGHT MOTIVESWhen You Give Matt. 6:1-4When You Pray Matt. 6:5-13When You Fast Matt. 6:16-18
  4. 4. What This Lesson IsAbout: MOTIVESAs followers of Jesus, whywe seek to obey God is asimportant as what we do.
  5. 5. The truths taught in thislesson can help us:*do the right things*in the right way*for the right reasons.
  6. 6. When we Christians areliving out our faith, weneed to keep close tabs onour motivations.We should ask ourselvesthese tough questions:
  7. 7. *Are we seeking to pleaseGod or ourselves?*Is our aim more toadvance God’s kingdomor to build a reputation?*Is our service Christ-centered or self-centered?
  8. 8. Jesus’ words in Matthew 6can guide us to do theright things for the rightreasons.
  9. 9. When You GiveMatthew 6:1-4 HCSB1“Be careful not topractice yourrighteousness in front ofpeople, to be seen bythem. Otherwise, you
  10. 10. will have no reward fromyour Father in Heaven.2 So whenever you giveto the poor, don’t sound atrumpet before you, asthe hypocrites do in thesynagogues and on the
  11. 11. streets, to be applaudedby people. I assure you:They’ve got their reward!3 But when you give tothe poor, don’t let yourleft hand know whatyour right hand is doing,
  12. 12. 4 so that your giving maybe in secret. And yourFather Who sees in secretwill reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 HCSB
  13. 13. Jesus knew all of us arenaturally self-centered, soHe cautioned:“Be careful not to practiceyour righteousness infront of people, to beseen by them” (v. 1).
  14. 14. Jesus earlier had said weare to do our good works“before men, so that theymay see” them and glorifythe Father (5:16).
  15. 15. So in Matthew 6:1, was Hesaying the opposite?The greatest differencebetween the two verseslies in motivation.In 5:16, the motive is toglorify the Father, not to
  16. 16. be seen.In 6:1, the motive is to beseen, not to glorify theFather.The word translated “tobe seen” in 6:1 has thesame root from which we
  17. 17. get the English wordtheater.
  18. 18. If we make our acts ofrighteousness a theatricalperformance in which wehave the leading role, weneed expect no applausefrom the Father.
  19. 19. He has no reward for thatkind of service.
  20. 20. Last week in Matthewchapter 5 we saw whereJesus used six examples ofrighteousness that surpassedthat of scribes and Pharisees.Those examples had to dowith relating to people:
  21. 21. Practice mercy rather thanmurder, faithfulness tospouses in thought and deed,marriage building rather thanmarriage breaking, be knownfor truthfulness rather thandeception, forgiveness rather
  22. 22. than retaliation, and loverather than hate.Here in 6:1-18 He used threeexamples to illustraterighteousness in religiousdevotion that surpassed thatof scribes and Pharisees.
  23. 23. The first is giving, whichdoes relate to people.Giving also, along withpraying and fasting, wasconsidered to be an act ofspiritual devotion to God.
  24. 24. Jesus obviously assumed Hisfollowers would be graciousgivers, for He said,“whenever you give to thepoor,” not “if you give”.
  25. 25. Today, because taxesfinance numerous socialservices for lower incomepeople, some believersexcuse themselves frompersonal charitablegiving.
  26. 26. An excuse is the skin of areason.Highway patrolman andexcuses…
  27. 27. Others avoid giving bywrongly stereotyping allpoor people as unwillingto work, wantingsomething for nothing, orvictims of their own badchoices—addicted
  28. 28. poor stewards, beingsexually immoral, orcommitting crimes.When in reality, somewere downsized, laid off,crushed by medicalexpenses, deserted or
  29. 29. abused by spouses,scammed of resources, orare emotionally orphysically disabled.In either case, childrenoften are materially andemotionally deprived.
  30. 30. Granted, poverty seems tobe a puzzle society can’tsolve (26:11).Matthew 26:1111 “You always have thepoor with you, but you donot always have Me.”
  31. 31. That does not excuse usfor failing to help wiselyand generously wheneverwe can (6:2).“So whenever you give tothe poor …” Matthew 6:2a
  32. 32. Jesus warned againstusing giving as a means ofgaining people’sadmiration as some do.He called themhypocrites, pretenders,actors playing a role for
  33. 33. the acclaim of an audience(v. 2).
  34. 34. The reference to sound atrumpet before you isalmost certainly a figureof speech similar to our“blow your own horn.”
  35. 35. Some give in wayscalculated to winadmiration andrecognition from people.Jesus said that would betheir reward, a wordmeaning “paid in full”.
  36. 36. That is what they wanted,and that was all they’dget.“Don’t let your left handknow what your righthand is doing”.*The first filling I ever did.
  37. 37. Those words depictgraphically Jesus’ point:Giving that honors andpleases the Father is secretrather than showy (v. 4).People don’t see secretacts, but the Father does.
  38. 38. He rewards giving donefrom motives that glorifyHim.What kind of rewardsdoes God hand out?Remember, the Father’srewards are given by
  39. 39. grace, not by obligation.Jesus taught that giving tothe needy provides for us“an inexhaustibletreasure,” but Hequalified that by adding“in Heaven”.
  40. 40. Rewards of heavenlytreasures are spiritual innature.We do receive rewards onthis side of Heaven.Among them are a goodconscience, inner joy,
  41. 41. a clearer perspective onmaterial wealth, and acloser walk with the Lord.Although Jesus’illustration is abouthelping materiallyimpoverished people,
  42. 42. we should also recognizeour need for helpingspiritually impoverishedpeople as well.We can do that throughgiving tithes and throughour special offerings:
  43. 43. Margaret Lackey Offering For State MissionsFBCJ goal: $50,000.00Given to date: $26,256.00These funds go to:ChristianWomen’s/Men’s Job
  44. 44. Margaret Lackey Funds:College Outreach/B.J.FrewCriminal Justice MinistryNew Church StartsCentral Hills CampgroundCommunity MissionsCamp Garaywa
  45. 45. Margaret Lackey Funds:Port MinistriesCross Cultural EvangelismDisaster ReliefLanguage/Deaf MinistriesMission Volunteers
  46. 46. Lottie Moon(international),Annie Armstrong(national),Margaret Lackey (state),Mission First Inc. (local),&this Sunday School class.
  47. 47. These offerings meet bothphysical and spiritualneeds.May God help us to givegenerously from motivesthat please Him.
  48. 48. RIGHT MOTIVESWhen You Give Matt. 6:1-4When You Pray Matt. 6:5-13When You Fast Matt. 6:16-18
  49. 49. When You PrayMatthew 6:5-135“Whenever you pray,you must not be like thehypocrites, because theylove to pray standing inthe synagogues and on
  50. 50. the street corners to beseen by people. I assureyou: They’ve got theirreward!6 But when you pray, gointo your private room,shut your door, and pray
  51. 51. to your Father Who is insecret. And your FatherWho sees in secret willreward you.7 When you pray, don’tbabble like the idolaters,since they imagine they’ll
  52. 52. be heard for their manywords.8 Don’t be like them,because your Fatherknows the things youneed before you ask Him.
  53. 53. 9 Therefore, you shouldpray like this:Our Father in Heaven,Your name be honored asholy.10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done
  54. 54. on earth as it is inHeaven.11 Give us today ourdaily bread.12 And forgive us ourdebts, as we also haveforgiven our debtors.
  55. 55. 13 And do not bring usinto temptation,but deliver us from theevil one.For Yours is the kingdomand the powerand the glory forever.”
  56. 56. The second example isabout whenever you pray(v. 5), indicating Jesusindeed expects us to pray.He did not prescribepharisaical legalistic rulesabout when or how often
  57. 57. that should be.His personal example,however, presents goodguidelines for us.He often prayed early atthe beginning of the day.At times, He prayed all
  58. 58. night, especially beforemajor decisions orsignificant events.
  59. 59. Jesus cited three kinds ofprayer to avoid.First, don’t pray as thosewho loved to be seenpraying in synagoguesand on street corners(v. 5).
  60. 60. When Jesus was here thefirst time, the religiousauthorities believed it wasnecessary to pray atspecific times of the day,and would often makesure they were in large
  61. 61. crowds of people whenthose times arose so thatthey could be seen andheard by all.Jesus did not approve ofthis.
  62. 62. In Luke 18, we have thestory of the Pharisee andthe tax collector.Both men prayed out loudand in public: the taxcollector prayed earnestlyto God and was justified;
  63. 63. the Pharisee prayed tohimself and was not.
  64. 64. Scripture does not tell usto not pray in public.The Bible does tell us tonot pray in such a way asto try to exalt ourselves.
  65. 65. There are also manyexamples in the Bible ofgroup prayer or prayingin front of others:Solomon prayed publiclyin dedicating the temple(1 Kings 8:22-61).
  66. 66. Daniel prayed alone in hisroom, but by an openwindow where he couldbe seen (Daniel 6:10-11).The Church prayed forPeters miraculous releasefrom prison (Acts 12:5).
  67. 67. Jesus prayed in public“because of the crowdstanding here” so theymight believe that Godsent Him. (John 11:42)
  68. 68. John 11:41-4441 “So they removed thestone. Then Jesus raisedHis eyes and said,“Father,I thank You that Youheard Me. 
  69. 69. 42 I know that You alwayshear Me, but because ofthe crowd standing here Isaid this, so they maybelieve You sent Me.” 43 After He said this, Heshouted with a loud
  70. 70. voice, “Lazarus, comeout!” 44 The dead man cameout bound hand and footwith linen strips and withhis face wrapped in acloth. Jesus said to them, 
  71. 71. “Loose him and let himgo.” John 11:41-44
  72. 72. Matthew 6:5 warns ofpraying FOR publicattention not for prayingIN public.Hypocrites are reallypraying for personalattention from others.
  73. 73. They have their rewardwhen they get their publicattention.
  74. 74. Apparently, duringsynagogue worship,people considered it anhonor to be asked to cometo the front and lead thecongregation in prayer.
  75. 75. Evidently some observedthe times of the morningand evening prayerswherever they happenedto be.
  76. 76. Nothing is wrong withlifting praying hands inthe midst of otherworshipers or on streetcorners, and loving topray is certainlycommendable.
  77. 77. Jesus was cautioningagainst praying in publicwith the motive ofreceiving admiringglances and pats on theback for being so devout.
  78. 78. At least a few observerssaw through suchhypocrisy then as they donow.The Lord certainly did.
  79. 79. A second mistake whenpraying is to babble likethe idolaters (v. 7).
  80. 80. Jesus warned against ahigh word-to-substanceratio in prayer:Pagan prayers at the timebelieved that there waspower in continuousrepetition of words, that if
  81. 81. you said a word oftenenough, then you couldeventually own that objector claim that power foryourself.Jesus condemned this.
  82. 82. Word Study:Babble (Matt. 6:7)The word translatedbabble appears only herein the Bible.Because of the word’ssound, the basic meaning
  83. 83. has been suggested as “tostammer,” that is, torepeat words.A derived meaning cameto imply going on and onwithout thinking.
  84. 84. Various translations are:“use vain or meaninglessrepetitions,”“heap up empty phrases,”“saying things that meannothing” and the like.
  85. 85. Prayer that is “babble” isprayer in form only; it hasno substance.Jesus said idolatersprayed that way (forexample the priests ofBaal on Mount Carmel).
  86. 86. Layering on wordsdoesn’t impress God, nordo prayers offered withthe mind in neutral andthe heart focusedelsewhere. 
  87. 87. “In prayer it is better tohave a heart withoutwords than wordswithout a heart.” John Bunyan
  88. 88. Jesus was not forbiddingprayer for the same thingover and over.
  89. 89. Matthew 26:39“My Father! If it ispossible, let this cup passfrom Me. Yet not as I will,but as You will.”
  90. 90. Jesus prayed that sameprayer three times in arow.He even told parablesabout persistence inprayer (Matt. 7:7-11).
  91. 91. Nevertheless, we are notto stretch out our prayersas long as possible,erroneously thinkingmany words ensure God’spositive response (6:7).
  92. 92. Jesus stressed that theFather listens to earnesthearts, not endless words,especially when thewords are mechanical.Who among us hasn’toffered “good” public
  93. 93. prayers at church or at thetable with a disengagedheart?Haven’t we also foundour minds wandering aswe prayed privately or asanother prayed aloud?
  94. 94. The Lord hears heartfeltprayers but ignoresego-centered and empty-headed performances.
  95. 95. Third, we need not feelcompelled to inform Godof endless details aboutour needs.Jesus reminded us theFather knows the thingsyou need before you ask
  96. 96. Him (v. 8).That’s a comfortingthought, for we frequentlyhave an incomplete anddistorted picture of whatwe truly need.
  97. 97. This is not to discourageus from making specificrequests in prayer, for Heinvites us to do that.It does assure us that Hewill answer in ways thatbest meet our needs,
  98. 98. further His kingdom, and enhance our usefulness.Three kinds of prayer that Jesus warned us to avoid:• praying to be seen• babbling on and on• informing God of detail
  99. 99. Jesus instructed us to finda private place for prayerwhere thoughts ofpeople’s responses won’tdistract us.Thus in secret we canfocus on the Father (v. 6).
  100. 100. The greatest reward forpraying may be simplyhaving a personalconversation with God;He Whom we cannot seesees us and hears us aswell (v. 6).
  101. 101. Jesus even provided amodel prayer to show ushow to pray.We can pray it as is or useit as a guide for ourprayers.
  102. 102. It begins with a focus onGod and His purposesbefore moving to ourpersonal requests.
  103. 103. We don’t pray to theGreat Someone in theGreat Somewhere, but toour Father in Heaven (v9).Our view of Goddetermines how we pray.
  104. 104. Human fathers are notalways the loving andwise providers, teachers,and examples theirchildren need;but most of them want tobe and try to be.
  105. 105. God is the ideal Father—all-loving, all-knowing,all-wise, all-powerful, andalways present with us.At the same time, He is inHeaven, which tells us Heis greater than we can
  106. 106. comprehend;so we approach Him asour Father with duereverence.The pronoun our remindsus that a personalrelationship with the
  107. 107. Father brings us intorelationship with all whoare in the family of faith.Nowhere in the modelprayer do we find thesingular pronouns me,my, or I.
  108. 108. Love for God and concernfor others are bundledtogether for those who byfaith know God as Father.The first request is thatthe Father’s name behonored as holy (v. 9).
  109. 109. One’s name in Biblicalthought stood for theperson.The Father’s covenantname is Yahweh (Ex.3:14). This petition is thatGod will help all people
  110. 110. everywhere to recognizethe Lord God Almighty asHe revealed Himself inJesus Christ and honorHim accordingly.
  111. 111. Your kingdom comecould be translated:“Your reign come.”The kingdom has come inthe hearts of all who havesubmitted to Jesus asLord.
  112. 112. It also is coming as morepeople yield their hearts toHis reign. The kingdomwill not have come fully,though, until Jesus returnsand establishes itabsolutely and forever.
  113. 113. This petition asks theFather to bring peopleunder His reign.We want His rule and Hisreign to take place in ourhearts as readily as ittakes place in Heaven.
  114. 114. To pray for the Father tosee that His will be doneon earth as it is in Heavenfrightens some.They fail to distinguishbetween what God desiresand what He permits.
  115. 115. He desires all to be saved,but He permits many toturn from Him.9“God is not wantingany to perish but all tocome to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
  116. 116. He desires all of us tokeep His commands, butHe permits ourdisobedience and thedestruction it causes.We live, therefore, in aworld cursed by sin.
  117. 117. Even so, the Fatherweaves even sin’sconsequences into apattern that ultimatelywill achieve His good will(Rom. 8:28).
  118. 118. Presently, Heaven is theonly place free of sin andits painful effects.The more God’s will isdone on earth, the betteroff everyone will be.
  119. 119. The prayer’s focus shiftsfrom God’s eternalpurposes to our temporalneeds.We are to request what weneed to sustain life, such asdaily bread (Matt 6:11).
  120. 120. Daily may be understoodas “for today” or “fortomorrow,” in either casepointing to immediateneed.This prayer reminds usthat our Father ultimately
  121. 121. is our Provider (provision) pro = before vision = to seeAs a wise Father, Godprovides what we need,not necessarily what wewant.
  122. 122. We also are to ask forforgiveness.Debts are sins viewed asobligations to the Father(v. 12).We dare not take lightlythe rest of the verse:
  123. 123. as we also have forgivenour debtors.At least two Biblicalteachings about salvationseem in conflict with thewords forgive us … as wealso have forgiven:
  124. 124. (1) Salvation is by gracethrough faith in Christ,not by works (Eph. 2:8-10). That rules out earningforgiveness by forgiving.(2) Faith in Christ bringsforgiveness and eternal
  125. 125. security.John 10:28-2928 “I give them eternallife, and they will neverperish—ever! No one willsnatch them out of Myhand.
  126. 126. 29 My Father, Who hasgiven them to Me, isgreater than all. No one isable to snatch them out ofthe Father’s hand.” John 10:28-29
  127. 127. *Noah fell down in theark but he could never fallout of the ark.*If He is strong enough tosave you, He is strongenough to keep yousaved.
  128. 128. So what did Jesus meanwhen He said: forgive us… as we also haveforgiven?Perhaps He meant one oftwo possibilities:
  129. 129. (1) Believers who refuse to forgive will still be saved but penalized by losing their rewards(1 Cor. 3:10-15).
  130. 130. 1 Corinthians 3:12-1512 “If anyone builds onthat foundation with gold,silver, costly stones,wood, hay, or straw,13 each one’s work willbecome obvious, for the
  131. 131. day will disclose it,because it will be revealedby fire; the fire will testthe quality of each one’swork. 14 If anyone’s workthat he has built survives,he will receive a reward.
  132. 132. 15 If anyone’s work isburned up, it will be lost,but he will be saved; yet itwill be like an escapethrough fire.” 1 Corinthians 3:12-15
  133. 133. (2) Those who disobey theLord by refusing toforgive have not trulyexperienced God’sforgiveness (Matt. 7:21).Prodigal pigs.
  134. 134. The faith that fizzles at thefinish had a flaw from thefirst.
  135. 135. When we’ve beendreadfully harmed bysomeone, forgiving can bedifficult and seem almostimpossible.Perhaps that’s the reasonJesus included forgiveness
  136. 136. in His model prayer.*We cannot forgivewithout divine help.*Jesus made plain thatforgiving each other wasof paramount importance.
  137. 137. We should trust Him toenable us to forgive othersas we rejoice that He hasforgiven us.
  138. 138. The final petition haspuzzled many believers—
  139. 139. Do not bring us intotemptation, but deliver usfrom the evil one (v. 13).(“Evil one” also can betranslated “evil”; theessential meaning is thesame.)
  140. 140. We know God is goodand does not tempt us tosin (Jas. 1:13), so how arewe to understand this?A lot has been writtenabout this. The overallmeaning is obvious:
  141. 141. the prayer is for theFather to keep us on thestraight and narrow, thatis, to keep us doing Hiswill rather than being ledastray by Satan.
  142. 142. A good approach tounderstanding Jesus’words is simply to askwhat the Father’s answerto this request would be.Would it not be that theFather would lead us
  143. 143. away from temptation,thereby delivering usfrom the evil one?Follow Him!
  144. 144. For Yours is the kingdomcould tie it to the entireprayer or the precedingpetition for the Lord todeliver us from evil.
  145. 145. We can trust Him to leadus into paths ofrighteousness because Hisis the kingdom and thepower and the gloryforever. Amen.
  146. 146. Can we admit being ahypocrite in some ways isbreathtakingly easy?We should accept Jesus’challenge to spiritualintegrity.
  147. 147. For the Father’s sake, let’scheerfully give to helpothers materially andspiritually with nothought of recognition.Let’s pray with honest,open, and sincere hearts
  148. 148. for people to be saved andto grow in Christ withoutcalling attention toourselves.Let’s consider ourspiritual struggles orassignments that may be
  149. 149. signposts directing us tofast and pray, and let’skeep that private.Let’s seek to please Godby doing the right thingsin the right way with theright motives.
  150. 150. Biblical Truths of This Lesson in Focus• Guard against beinghypocritical in spiritualmatters by making sureyour motives are pleasingto God.
  151. 151. • Our motive for giving tothe needy and to supportChristian ministries isalways to honor God,never to gain recognition.
  152. 152. • Our praying, both inpublic and in private, is tobe an honest, heartfeltaddress to the Father, nota performance.
  153. 153. • Our prayers should firstreflect kingdom concernsand then personal needs.• Our prayers are futile ifwe harbor an unforgivingspirit.
  154. 154. • Our fasting should bedone as a private act ofdevotion to God, not toimpress fellow believers.We have an audience ofOne!
  155. 155. This lesson looks at someof Jesus’ words on giving,praying, and fasting.In which of these areas, orother areas, do you needto work on doing the rightthings in the right way for
  156. 156. the right reasons?
  157. 157. RIGHT MOTIVESWhen You Give Matt. 6:1-4When You Pray Matt. 6:5-13When You Fast Matt. 6:16-18
  158. 158. When You FastMatthew 6:16-1816“Whenever you fast,don’t be sad-faced likethe hypocrites. For theymake their facesunattractive so their
  159. 159. fasting is obvious topeople. I assure you:They’ve got their reward!17 But when you fast, putoil on your head, andwash your face,
  160. 160. 18 so that you don’t showyour fasting to peoplebut to your Father Who isin secret. And yourFather Who sees in secretwill reward you.” Matthew 6:16-18
  161. 161. Whenever you fast (v. 16)At its core, fasting is aspiritual discipline ofdepriving ourselves offood as an expression ofdevotion to God, ourdesire for Him being
  162. 162. greater than our desire forfood.(Some suggest the intentof fasting could includetemporarily deprivingourselves of television, theinternet, or a hobby.)
  163. 163. Scriptures neithercommands fasting forbelievers nor offersinstructions for fastingand its duration.(Indeed, healthconstraints prohibit or
  164. 164. limit some people fromfood fasts and those samethings should also limitthem from fast foods.)A fast could be omittingcertain kinds of food, allfoods, or perhaps
  165. 165. something else; anddurations mentioned inthe Bible vary from oneday (sunrise to sunset) toforty days.All that is well and good,but didn’t most of us
  166. 166. grow up with churchtraditions tilted moretoward covered-dishsuppers than fasting?The best way toencourage attendance foranything at church is to
  167. 167. announce “refreshmentswill be served.”Churches are famous foreating-meetings.Eatin’ and fightin’, thetwo things SouthernBaptists do the most.
  168. 168. Many of our churcheshave a Wednesdayevening meal associatedwith the mid-week prayermeeting.What do you think wouldhappen if members
  169. 169. showed up onWednesday to discover afasting-and-prayermeeting was replacing theeatin’-meetin’?
  170. 170. Jesus’ assumption that Hisdisciples would practicefasting ought to inspire usto take another look.The Bible has numerousreferences to fasting.
  171. 171. It is associated with ferventprayers of confession andintercession (Daniel 9:3).Jehoshaphat proclaimed afast when Judah faced anational threat(2 Chronicles 20).
  172. 172. Jesus fasted 40 days inpreparation for Histesting before beginningHis public ministry (Matt.4:2). The congregation atAntioch was at worshipand fasting when the Lord
  173. 173. led them to set apartBarnabas and Saul formissions (Acts 13:2).Paul and Barnabasappointed elders for newchurches and committedthem to the Lord with
  174. 174. prayer and fasting (14:23).Most Americans couldafford to fast from foodfor health reasons. Is theresomething in your lifefrom which you need tofast for spiritual reasons?
  175. 175. If so, identify it here.
  176. 176. Jesus, of course, alertedbelievers against the useof fasting to show off bydramatizing theirdeprivation, that is, beingsad-faced in public (v. 16).
  177. 177. Jesus wants those whofast to be well groomed.Personal fasting is to be asecret act of devotion tothe Father, and Hepromises to reward uswhen we fast with that
  178. 178. intent (v. 18).
  179. 179. NEXT WEEK:Matthew 7:1-12 RIGHTRELATIONSHIPS