Authentic Love

Sermon Series:Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 6:1-8; 16-18 Mt 6:1 “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.” Jesus had rather harsh things to say about the Jewish religious leaders of His day because of their hypocrisy; their lines, their techniques and forms for following God had very little to do with what was going on inside of them. For them, the acts of charity, prayer, and fasting were indeed an “act,” unattached from their heart. They were after the praise of others rather than the praise of God, and therefore (according to Jesus), that was the extent of their “reward.” He is saying that giving and serving, praying and fasting can actually be consumeristic when the intended goal is the immediate gratification of self-glorification. Jesus assumes that we will and must give, pray, and fast because these mimic the generosity of God and become a posture of alignment, intimacy, and trust with our Heavenly Father; the One who sees what is done “in secret,” in the depths of our affections and motivations, and then “rewards” in the reciprocity of warmth and relationship and deep abiding. William Blackaby: “The single greatest reason to pray is to take the focus away from us and turn it to God. It is a relationship, not an activity. It’s not about what is on our heart but what is on God’s.” Elton Trueblood: “At the profoundest depths of life people talk, not about God, but with Him.” Psalm 40 Nothing and no one comes close to you! I started talking about you, telling what I know, And quickly run out of words. Doing something for you, bringing something to you- that’s not what you’re after. Being religious, acting pious – That’s not what you’re asking for. You’ve opened my ears So I can listen. *See a case study on Giving in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9.Sermon on the Mount - The Call to Authentic Faith Matthew 6:1-8; 16-18