• Matt Beaney

#349 – THE NEEDY (13/5/21)


On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. This week we are looking at Jesus’ teaching regarding generosity that’s pleasing to the Father.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4)

The term ‘needy’ is repeated twice in these verses. Jesus teaches how not to give to the needy (for a show) and how to give to the needy (for the Father). Who are the needy? Who are we to give to? In short, we are to give to needs that are of concern to God as we are led by the Spirit.


The local church

Our community needs a great local church and this requires finances. It’s in the local church that people are loved and nurtured in their faith. People need a church where they will hear the gospel be taught how to live for Jesus. My principle is to treat tithing as a starting point in giving to the church. Giving here is my priority because I believe that this is God’s priority.


Our family

Another priority is to be generous to our family and those whom God has put in our lives. God teaches,

‘Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.’ (1 Timothy 5:8)

Other needs

We are to be ready and willing to be generous to needs as we are led by the Father. However, let’s be careful not to waste our resources on people who are not willing to listen to advice and take steps toward wiser choices. We must also be wary of evil people who want to manipulate and take advantage. Generosity does not mean ‘throwing our pearls before swine’! God says to us,

‘For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.’ (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12)

RESPONSE

I’d love you to pray for the church’s finances. As we come out of Lockdown, pray for the Father to provide for yourself and the members of CCP.

Please also pray that the income of the church would increase so as to meet our budget.

If you’d like to start giving to the church, please go to,

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/giving

A helpful book on biblical generosity is,

The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving ...by Randy Alcorn.




COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - USE MONEY LIKE GOD IS YOUR FATHER

Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.


Suggested opener/Ice-breaker

Have you had any experience of someone giving you an unexpected gift?


Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group

On Sunday we continued with our series on discipleship from The Sermon on the Mount. This week we are looking at Jesus’ teaching regarding generosity that’s pleasing to the Father.

“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 6:1-2)

Jesus warns us to be "Be careful". Like the religious leaders in Jesus' day, our spiritual lives can become external - for a show.


Throughout this chapter, we see that the truly righteous person relates to God as Father. ‘Father’ (Patér) is used 12 times in chapter 6. Healthy Christians know God as a Father. Knowing God as Father give us a healthy relationship to giving (6:1-4), prayer (6:5-14), fasting (6:16-18), storing ‘treasure’ (6:19-24) and fear (6:25-34).


I love the often overlooked but profound truth that our praying is to address God as “our Father…” What a difference it would make if we simply followed Jesus’ model of addressing God!


Lloyd-Jones wrote,

‘The theme of this section of the Sermon on the Mount is, you remember, the relationship of the Christian to God as his Father. There is nothing more important than this. The great secret of life according to our Lord is to see ourselves and to conceive of ourselves always as children of our heavenly Father. If only we do that we shall be delivered immediately from two of the main temptations (Pride and fear) that attack us all in this life.’

Knowing God as Father transforms the way that we give. Through knowing His love and power, we are released into generosity.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4)

Jesus is teaching us that our giving is to be in love and obedience to the Father. We are to give in response to His love and revealed will. In so doing there is great reward.


Discussion questions

1. Did God speak to you about anything in particular from Sunday's message or the blogs this week?

2. How often do you reflect on God being your Father and how does this affect your life?

3. How does knowing God as Father free us to be generous?

4. Jesus promises that the Father will reward those who give out of genuine love. What do you think these rewards are?

5. Have you learned any lessons about giving that might help others in the group?



Serving, Investing and inviting

1) Have you got any encouraging stories of serving, investing and inviting that you'd like to share?

2) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?

2) How are you planning to serve invest and invite?




16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All