Faithlife Sermons

Kingdom Principles for Worship

The Sermons of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:01
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Introduction

How well do you follow instructions?
How well do you follow instructions?
Washington Biological Survey
Wash. Biol. Surv.
The US Department of the Interior once funded a study of migratory birds called the Washington Biological Survey. Each bird in the study was carefully tagged with a metal ring around its foot bearing the mark “Wash. Biol. Surv.” so that they could track the birds’ migratory patterns.
Some time later, the tags had to be changed after a farmer wrote to Washington. His later stated, “Dear Sirs, I shot one of your crows, that was eating my corn. My wife carefully followed your cooking directions—she washed it, boiled it, and served it. It was the worst thing we ever ate.”
Jesus left us a set of instructions for righteous worship. How well can you follow His instructions?
We’ll continue today with our series on the Sermons of Jesus. We are continuing with the Sermon on the Mount in chapter 6 today, beginning in verse 1.
What is Worship for you?
Matthew 6:1–4 NASB95
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
We come to “worship” week after week on Sundays. What do we do here? We sing songs, we pray and praise God. We listen to insightful and meaningful messages pulled directly from God’s word and applied to our daily lives...
But how do you worship once you leave this place? Does worship even enter your mind on Monday morning?
Proverbs 8:34 NASB95
34 “Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.
We’ll look into this a little bit more in just a few minutes, but once scripture that I absolutely guarantee that you have memorized is ...
Matthew 6:11 NASB95
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread.
I want to see your hand if you eat every single day.
How many of you ever go a single day without thinking about eating something?
You eat daily, right? Why not go before God daily and worship His name daily as if you depend upon Him daily like you depend upon your daily bread?
Don’t we need God in our lives every single day, like we need food to eat, water to drink, air to breathe?
Why not go before God daily and worship His name daily as if you depend upon Him daily like you depend upon your daily bread?
Jesus Himself said for us to deny ourselves and take up His cross daily...
Luke 9:23 NASB95
23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.
Jesus Himself said for us to deny ourselves and take up His cross daily… NOT take up His cross daily and parade it around town making sure that everybody notices how great a guy you are for carrying such a heavy burden.
[Have you noticed this cross I have on my back? Boy, is it heavy!]
Daily Worship Disciplines of the Pharisees
Matthew 6:1–8 NASB95
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
There were several worship disciplines for the Pharisees during Jesus’ time. Jesus chose to highlight a few of these disciplines and put them in the perspective of righteousness.
Matthew 6:5–8 NASB95
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Gifts
Prayer
giving alms to the poor
Fasting
praying publicly
Our Wealth
fasting weekly
I realize that “wealthing is not a word...
Jesus did not condemn any of these practices, but he did speak to each of them in such a way that we could see that people will corrupt the intent of these elements and make them self-serving rather than God-serving. Of course what the Pharisees were doing lacked this true righteousness that we’ve been looking at in recent weeks...
because he knew that people could corrupt the intent of these elements and make them self-serving rather than God-serving.

Righteousness

As we’ve been working through the Sermon on the Mount, we have keyed in on the theme of righteousness that runs through the entire message.
Matthew 5:20 NASB95
20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Pharisees had a way of doing things so that they would gain the attention of man rather than doing things to please God.
Jesus makes that point in verse 1 of chapter 6...
Matthew 6:1 NASB95
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
It’s no great surprise that this is exactly what Jesus was calling out the Pharisees for… But it might surprise you to hear me say that Jesus could just as easily have been calling out Baptists or Methodists for practicing their righteousness before men… because we all still catch ourselves doing this from time to time. This is built into our DNA… it is our human nature.
because we do
PRAY
still see this practice in today’s modern world.
PRAY
And here we go, right here in the introduction as we’ve barely gotten started with today’s message, is the first principle:
Father,
PRINCIPLE Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them.
Father God, we praise Your righteous and holy name. We thank you for allowing us into Your presence, God. Father please forgive us for being Pharisees. Forgive us when we put our pride and arrogance before You. Forgive us when we are so focused on the bustle of activity around us that we forget You and what You did to draw us back in Your presence. God, we thank You for the supreme sacrifice that Jesus accomplished on the cross. May we ever lift Your name on high and praise You before the eyes of man.
Father please forgive me of my sins that might not grieve Your Holy Spirit and impede the proclamation of Your words before this gathering today. God, please give me precision of speech, clarity of mind, and a heart for Your people as I bring Your word today.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen

I. Giving -

As a reminder, we never see Jesus condemn any of these practices that he addresses. These are all still valid forms of worship for us today. What we will see today is that Jesus is condemning HOW these are practiced.
Matthew 6:2–4 NASB95
2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Giving to the poor is called almsgiving in scripture.
As I said earlier, almsgiving (that is giving money to the poor) is not a form of worship that we practice today. When we give, we give to the church through our tithes and offerings.
Alms - charitable gifts
Almsgiving is not a form of worship that we practice today.
In the Old Testament, almsgiving implies an expression of compassion in the presence of God. In fact, the Hebrew word for “almsgiving” is tzedakah and this word is used interchangeably in Hebrew for “righteousness.”
The connection between righteousness and almsgiving is made because God commanded His people, the Israelites, to care for those who were less fortunate: the widow, the orphan, the refugee, the prisoner, those who lived in poverty.
During Jesus’ time the Pharisees had developed the pretentious practice of drawing attention to themselves so that all those around them could see when they were giving money to the poor. The practice of blowing the trumpet may likely have been a metaphor, much like our saying “Don’t blow your own horn.” It is possible that the Pharisee’s were dropping their coins into the collection boxes ostentatiously or doing something else that might draw attention to themselves. But no matter what they were doing, Jesus counted it as hypocrisy because of the motive of the heart on the part of those who would give in this way.
During Jesus’ time the Pharisees had developed the pretentious practice of drawing attention to themselves so that all those around them could see when they were giving money to the poor. The practice of blowing the trumpet may likely have been a metaphor, much like our saying “Don’t blow your own horn.” It is possible that the Pharisee’s were dropping their coins into the collection boxes ostentatiously or doing something else that might draw attention to themselves. But no matter what they were doing, Jesus counted it as hypocrisy because of the motive of the heart on the part of those who would give in this way.
Matthew 6:2–4 NASB95
2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:1–4 NASB95
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
I should note here that Jesus makes an assumption here that WE will give to the poor. But his primary point is to say that the practice of calling attention to our giving is not truly righteous, but self-serving. This is because acts of worship are intended for Father God in Heaven, not for the purpose of gaining the attention and respect of man. Our motive for giving should always be centered around our service to God as we seek to love Him and please Him. When the attention of other men is our motive, then we unravel any good that we might be doing with the good work. Jesus says that when we work for our reward, then the attention of man IS our reward. When we perform good works to serve God, then the reward is still yet to come.
Ephesians 2:10 NASB95
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
Jesus tells us later in Matthew’s gospel that when we help those in need, it is just like we have done it for him...
Jesus tells us later in Matthew’s gospel that when we help those in need, it is just like we have done it for him...
Matthew 25:35–40 NASB95
35 ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 26:11 NASB95
11 “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
Matt 25:
Mark 14:7 NASB95
7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me.
Proverbs 14:31 NASB95
31 He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.
When we give today, we give to the church through our tithes and offerings. And we actually accomplish this in multiple ways here at First Baptist Church through your tithes and offerings:
Deuteronomy 15:10 NASB95
10 “You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.
And we actually accomplish this in multiple ways here at First Baptist Church:
through your tithes and offerings
Mary Hill Davis offering, which our church participates in through our fund annually. At the end of this month, we’ll send a check to the Baptist General Convention of Texas for the Mary Hill Davis offering. This fund serves to accomplish missions work throughout Texas, and much of that work is accomplished right here in the Rio Grande Valley. You can still donate to this mission effort by making a donation with the memo Mary Hill Davis, or .
is a fund that was established a number of years ago in this church. Many of our members make a donation to this fund monthly. These funds are split up and given to our annual offerings: Lottie Moon, Annie Armstrong, and Mary Hill Davis. You could participate in this by writing a check designated . As I said, most people do this on a monthly basis.
Church Benevolence Fund - we have a designated fund in our budget that allows us to assist people in need right here in our own church and in this community. If you have ever needed financial help from a church or received a gift from another believer, then I would challenge you to give to this fund. If God leads to to help through this fund, you may designate a check by writing “benevolence” in the memo line.
Additionally you may help people individually when you hear of a need. We have members who work quietly to help whenever they are able and become aware of a need. The personal practice of helping others in a time of need is probably the closest that one person can get to righteousness and doing God’s will.
All of these things please God greatly and are considered acts of worship even by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

II. Praying -

Matthew 6:5 NASB95
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
If one can gain the accolades of man for giving to the poor, it can be no great surprise that one can defile the most holy act of worship, prayer.
Matthew 6:5–8 NASB95
5 “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Prayer is
The Pharisees did exactly this by standing and praying quite loudly for the purpose of attracting attention of those passing by. But Jesus says the same thing about them, that they have their reward in full… that is to say, the praise of man has become their entire reward.

Instructions for Prayer -

Jesus goes on to teach them HOW they must pray in verse 6...
Matthew 6:6–8 NASB95
6 “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
Matthew 6:
And if one can gain the accolades of man for giving to the poor, it can be no great surprise that one can defile the most holy act of worship, which is prayer. The Pharisees did exactly this by standing and praying quite loudly for the purpose of attracting attention of those passing by. But Jesus says the same thing about them, that they have their reward in full… that is to say, the praise of man has become their entire reward.
In this section of text, Jesus teaches that private prayer with God, the Father is the most sincere form of prayer. He also teaches us to make our prayers simple, direct and sincere rather than meaningless repetition.
The Greek word here for “meaningless repetition” is βατταλογέω battalogeō, which means literally to say “batta.” It may have referred to the pagan practice of reciting magical incantations full of meaningless and purposeless nonsense syllables. In our context it could refer to long-winded prayers full of flowery jargon or reciting orations instead of prayers.
This sectioSeveral instructions to take note of here:
Private prayer is your priority to be able to communicate directly with God
Jesus follows with a sample prayer which we all know...
Make your prayers purposeful communication with God
Repeat it with me...

The Lord’s Prayer -

Matthew 6:9–15 NASB95
9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ 14 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Matthew 6:9-
One commentator noted that it is ironic that many have come to depend upon reciting meaninglessly the Lord’s Prayer, which appears just after Jesus gave the command not to recite prayers meaninglessly...
Matthew 6:7 NASB95
7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.
Matthew 6:7–8 NASB95
7 “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
For some believers, unique prayer is so uncommon that the Lord’s Prayer is the only prayer they know how to give publicly. I personally believe that it is much better to have an ongoing conversation with the Father that is unique in speech and reflective of the moments of life that we go through daily. Still, this prayer serves its purpose well as a model of how we might learn to pray.
If You Are Still Learning How To Pray
Take this prayer and put it into your own words
Use everyday language
Make it reflect what is going on in your life today
Make it personal
Jesus moves onto fasting in the next section, beginning in verse 16...

III. Fasting -

Matthew 6:16–18 NASB95
16 “Whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do, for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face 18 so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Fasting is simply abstaining from certain foods. Most of you have probably had to fast in order to have a blood test taken at your doctor’s office. But fasting has a spiritual purpose as well. The Pharisees considered fasting an element of Jewish piety. In fact, Jewish fasting was only required in preparation for the day of atonement, the high holy day in which all the sins of the people of Israel were to be forgiven. However, the Pharisees kicked fasting up a notch by practicing fasting on Mondays and Thursdays. They practiced this in such a way that everybody could tell they were fasting just by their appearance alone. They openly advertised their religious piety by displaying an attitude of suffering.
Fasting is not as common for us today. In addition to the restriction of food, one might see Christians today fasting from certain activities, such as watching television or possibly taking a break from Facebook.
In the Old Testament, the spiritual fast was an act of self-renunciation designed to mollify the wrath of God or to move Him into a gracious disposition. We see examples of people fasting in order to persuade God to spare them from impending calamity. Others fasted in the hope that God would liberate them from some trouble in their circumstances. Fasting was often associated with prayer as a way of ensuring that God would hear and answer their prayers. Fasting was connected with a state of mourning before God.
Jesus practiced fasting in a much different way. He fasted in the wilderness as a way to increase His dependence upon God. He specifically quoted ...
Deuteronomy 8:3 NASB95
3 “He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
This implies that the natural, physical emptiness that is created by fasting can be filled by God.
The Apostle Paul spoke of running a race, like an athlete. Specifically he spoke of disciplining his body...
1 Corinthians 9:27 NASB95
27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
The spiritual discipline of fasting is still a powerful act of worship today.
But the fasting that Jesus was referring to was a very different practice that had been corrupted by the Pharisees. As with almsgiving and prayer, Jesus urged His disciples to practice fasting secretly so that they could not be considered practicing their religion for the praise of man rather than God.
As with almsgiving and prayer, Jesus urged His disciples to practice fasting secretly so that they could not be considered practicing their religion for the praise of man rather than God.
Matthew 6:19–24 NASB95
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. 23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

IV. What Is the Heart of the Matter?

In order to answer this question I go back to verse 1...
Matthew 6:1 NASB95
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.
Clearly the righteousness that we discussed in is still the central theme here...
Matthew 5:20 NASB95
20 “For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus is in search of true righteousness rather than a righteousness meant to gain the attention of other men. Our good works should be done for God alone rather than men.
Better Question: What is our heart in the matter?
Conclusion
What is your heart when you come before God? Are you contrite and repentant? Do you seek the true righteousness of God, or are you really seeking the praise of mankind?

Conclusion

Let’s close in prayer...
Father God, I thank you for your presence and your power here with us today in the form of the Holy Spirit. God we thank you for giving us this message today and we thank you for empowering us to take action on it by worshiping you in ways that we can take action on every single day. Amen
I would ask you all to take a moment of quiet reflection as I ask you a few questions… Please close your eyes… If you need to make your way to the altar to pray or to kneel here at the front row, please go ahead and do that quietly. We have prayer counselors in the room who will be available to pray with you and give you encouragement.
Are you here today hearing about this Jesus in a new way for the first time in your life? We believe and teach directly from the Bible that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth in order to reach mankind, who was lost in sin… that is to say lost in a position that they were cut off from God. Jesus died, taking our sin upon himself, that we might be reconnected with and live out an eternal life with God.
We believe that Jesus is the first step to being rightly connected to God.
If you have never believed in Jesus… believed in His sacrifice on the cross… believed that He could save you from a condition of sin that would send you to Hell...
I would encourage you to take a step to accept Jesus as Lord. That is the absolute first step.
If there is anyone here today in that condition, please raise your hand to let me know you are here.
[pause]
Maybe you are here today and you have accepted Jesus but you realize that you don’t give worship a second thought as you move through your busy work week… I would encourage you to pray quietly to God… Ask Him for forgiveness and begin working toward making some space in your schedule to have a regular time every day to focus on God. This is a powerful step for any believer to take.
If that describes you, please raise your hand so that I can pray with you...
[pause]
Maybe you’re one of those who is struggling in life… Is your burden heavy? Are you weighed down with depression and anxiety? I would encourage you to release it back to God again.
We’re going to sing in just a moment. If you are doing business with God, please continue your prayers.
If you raised your hand a moment ago, I would ask you to come to me and make your decision known. If you are receiving Jesus Christ for the first time, please come. If you are turning back to God after a time away, I encourage you to come.
If you have never been baptized and would like to be baptized and become a member of this church, now would be the time to respond.
If you have been looking for a church home and God is calling you to unite with this church, now is the time to respond. Come as we sing together.
Father God, I thank you for your presence and your power here with us today in the form of the Holy Spirit. God we thank you for giving us this message today and we thank you for empowering us to take action on it by worshiping you in ways that we can take action on every single day. Amen
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