Kingdom People and Personal Piety – Ivan Weaver

This sermon – Kingdom People and Personal Piety – was originally preached 2013.09.26 by Ivan Weaver.

Scriptures used: Mathew 6:1-18, Romans 8:26, Mathew 23:14, Deuteronomy 16:19.

Preface: The Sermon on the Mount is our Magna Carta (magnificent letter) – its our constitution

Message Theme: Considering the need for private and personal devotional experiences (focus not on formal worship but on private)

  1. Giving of Alms
  2. Prayer
  3. Fasting

Alms – Giving to the Poor

Verses 1-4: “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Jesus assumes that all kingdom people give alms…

What motivates our giving? Is it inspired by the opinions of others? Motives are to be taken into consideration. If we seek the recognition of men, in giving, we rob ourselves of the blessing of giving…the blessing of God.

Giving of Alms is a private act of devotion

Our righteousness is in JESUS Christ – not in our performance.

Don’t restrict yourselves to man’s praise, but open up to God’s blessing.

Prayer

Verses 5-15: “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus assumes that all kingdom people pray…

What motivates our praying? Is it inspired by the opinions of others? Again, motives are to be taken into consideration.

We need a private place of prayer to meet with Jesus… to talk with him heart to heart.

The Lord is not looking for eloquence. He is looking for prayer that springs from the heart. Our prayers in public, are a condensation of the burden we carry in our closet.

Jesus is not condemning long prayers (example his prayer in the garden). He is pointing us to the motivation behind prayer. Our prayers are of intercession, petition, and of thanksgiving.

Verses 10-13 The Model Prayer – Exposition

  • This prayer is largely spiritual
  • We as north American’s often fail to pray for our daily bread! Have we forgotten that God is the provider? He cares, and He will provide for us…but he wants us to lean on him for this provision.

Unforgiveness is a big hindrance in answered prayer from God. If we can’t forgive others their little mistakes, how can we expect God to forgive our little mistakes.

Fasting

Verses 16-18: “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

Jesus assumes that all kingdom Christians fast…

What motivates our fasting? Is it inspired by the opinions of men? Once again, motives are to be take into consideration.

Here in this passage fasting appears to be a completely voluntary, spontaneous act of personal piety. It’s a form of self denial and spiritual discipline.

Fleshly satisfaction tends to stifle the Spirit of God.

Fasting appears to be a personal matter…something not to be broadcasted to men. Expressed personally – not corporeally.

Conclusion

Upshot of these three things is that we need to refrain from advertising our spirituality, lest we become hypocrites. We are not to be concerned about “doing” but instead “being”.

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