• Matt Beaney

#350 – THE FATHER WILL REWARD YOU (14/5/21)



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)

Jesus promises that the Father will ‘reward’ those who give with the right heart. What is this reward? God encourages us to act out of what Randy Alcorn calls, ‘Enlightened self-interest’! As we live generously we are also storing for our own present and eternal good.


Eternal life

Jesus promises entry in the ‘Kingdom of heaven’ to those who will, among other things, give righteously,

‘Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 5:20)

We are not saved by our secret generosity, but doing things for the Father over and against self-interest is a fruit of salvation. Those who serve the Father will be ‘rewarded’ with eternal life because they have received new life by faith in Christ. (See Romans 2:6-7).


Greater love for God

A reward in this life is surely the joy of treasuring Jesus and the Kingdom of God as we should. What we treasure reveals the condition of our heart. However, what we invest in changes what our heart treasures. As we serve the Father in generosity, we will be rewarded with the Joy of love for God.

‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ (Matthew 6:21)

Seeing people in eternity

Surely a wonderful reward for us will be the joy of seeing people in heaven whom we have helped to come to faith in Jesus.


Rewards

Jesus promises greater rewards to those who are faithful with the gifts and opportunities that He gives to them. I don’t think that we can be completely sure as to what these rewards are, but here are two scriptures that point to rewards for faithfulness,

‘Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.’ (Ephesians 6:7-8. See also Luke 19:17)

God’s Acclamation

A supreme reward for serving the Father will be His acclamation of our service. Paul in 1 Corinthians 3, reveals two options: we can build in a shoddy fashion and arrive in heaven as one ‘escaping through the flames’ (1 Cor. 3:15). Alternatively, we can build carefully and reap a reward,

‘The fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward.’ (1 Co. 13-14).

Don’t you want to hear Jesus say over you?

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)

RESPONSE

Surely our response should be to have Paul’s attitude,

‘Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.’

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?




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