Good morning! Here are the sermons from yesterday. For the next several days, I’ll be posting a book review every day as well as normal posting. If you’re subscribed through MailChimp, then you will still only get one email.
Morning Sermon: The Treasure Matthew 6 (audio)
I. Beware of practicing righteousness _____________
II. Do not give __________________
III. Do not pray to be heard _______
IV. Do not fast___________________
V. Store your treasure rightly and your ______ will follow
Evening Sermon: Romans 5:8 (audio)
Extended morning notes:
The Treasure 92744.75
Ever-fixed mark: The Treasure of Life is found in the grace-given relationship we have with God.
If I gave you 1 hour to load up and evacuate, never to return, how would you spend it?
A heart check: Where is your heart? Where does your heart lead you? Not sure?
Let me give you a different way to look at it: what do you treasure? Whatever your treasure is, your heart will follow it. If you treasure this earth, your heart will always lead you back to the things of this world.
I. Beware of practicing righteousness to be noticed
Why do we do what we do?
Jesus comes straight to the point: BEWARE!
Why do we do what we do?
II. Do not give to be rewarded
Giving? Press releases? Name plates on pews? (Mueller story?)
Giving? To earn something? Our salvation? The approval of others?
At times, it is tempting to suggest that one should have to give monetarily to the church to have a say in the business affairs…but if we do that, then what purpose are we asking people to give for?
We have to remember: giving, whether to the poor or to the work of the church, is done in response to the grace of God. Not to earn anything.
It is sometimes appropriate to allow others to make note of your giving—if the purpose is to bring greater glory to God and to inspire others. If you are not the one seeking it.
III. Do not pray to be heard by men
Prayer? Why do we pray? We’ve talked about this some of late, and one reason we pray is because it builds our relationship with God.
We are not building our relationship with God through prayer if we spend our time talking for the benefit of others. Or for their applause.
Prayer involves acknowledging His mastery and our weakness. His glory, our need. His purpose as above our own.
IV. Do not fast to gain attention
Fasting? Do we even do that, us food-loving Baptists?
We do—but we never talk about it. A person who tells you about their fasting is ignoring what Jesus says here.
A few side notes about fasting: the purpose of fasting is to focus the time spent on food on strengthening your relationship with God. It is not simply about skipping meals but about where the time and effort for those meals is spent instead. Further, one may refer to “fasting” from other things—from movies, TV, Internet, and so forth. These ideas are valuable but again: if you plastered your Facebook account with “I’m going off Facebook for Lent to fast” then all those “likes” you got? That’s it. You did it to be noticed.
Further, one CANNOT fast from sinful activity. Fasting is a temporary setting aside of something that is acceptable to focus on something greater. If your eating, social media, TV watching are sinful (destroying your body or your relationships with God and His people) then you are not fasting from these. You should be repenting.
Fast. It benefits us to take our focus off the earthly matters around us, to be dependent on God and reliant on Him.
But don’t moot the point by setting up a fasting support group. Further, consider Isaiah’s words about fasting:
6 “Is this not the fast which I choose,
To loosen the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the bands of the yoke,
And to let the oppressed go free
And break every yoke?
7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry
And bring the homeless poor into the house;
When you see the naked, to cover him;
And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Is 58:6–7.
V. Store your treasure rightly and your heart will follow
Overall—it must come to this decision: What Treasure do we seek?
Most of us spend so much time on earthly treasure.
Apart from a saving relationship with Jesus, we seek the earthly treasures—and sometimes heavenly ones, but we want to earn them.
We cannot. We must accept the gracious gift of God. Salvation is not found by how well we behave, nor how well we do religious things.
It’s not “attained” by impressing the people around us, either.
Only by the blood of Jesus paying for our sins can we be saved.
As we repent of our sins and follow Him.
And then? It’s our joyous opportunity to follow, trusting God with our treasure.
Where is your heart headed?