This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our series “Becoming Real” on the Sermon on the Mount by looking at Matthew 6:1-18. This passage builds on the earlier teaching by Jesus about surpassing righteousness (see “Real Righteousness”) by exploring three vital practices for spiritual growth: almsgiving, prayer, and fasting.
You can find the message video and outline below. You can also view the entire “Becoming Real” series here, as well as the devotional that accompanies the series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.
“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.” (Matthew 6:1)
Who Are We Living For?: The Audience of Our Righteousness (6:1)
- Practicing, or doing, righteousness
- The assumption: “When you give to the needy…and when you pray…when you fast” (6:2, 5, 16)
- The hypocrites and their audience: “in front of others to be seen by them”
- The real righteous and their audience: the Father
- A word about “reward”
Giving to the Needy (6:2-4)
- The way of deficient righteousness: announcing it for honor
- The way of surpassing righteousness: secrecy in giving that gives for the Father
- The way of deficient righteousness: public prayer to be seen by other or babbling prayer in hopes of being heard
- The way of surpassing righteousness: secrecy in prayer and few words in prayer that rests in the Father
- A pattern for prayer
- Forgiveness and prayer
- The way of deficient righteousness: looking somber so others see it
- The way of surpassing righteousness: secrecy in fasting that hungers for the Father
Practicing Real Spirituality as Disciples of Jesus
- Disciples put real righteousness into practice with real spirituality
- Disciples practice real spirituality with secrecy and hiddenness
- Disciples practice real spirituality for an audience of One
This week dig deeper into Jesus’ teaching on real spirituality in one or more of the following ways:
- Consider memorizing Matthew 6:1 this week
- Put Jesus’ guidance on secrecy, almsgiving, prayer, and fasting into practice this week. Journal or talk with a trusted friend about what you’re learning through these spiritual practices.
- Consider digging deeper into spiritual disciplines or practices through one of the following books: Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline; Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook; Donald Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.