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Alms, Prayers and Fasting

Benjamin Ng

Recorded

  • April 10, 2020
    7:00 PM
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Father in Heaven, thank you so much for watching over US. Thank you for being with US this past week. And I want to thank you that you have brought US to this time we can study together online. And we're just asking for a blessing of your Holy Spirit that you please lead US and guide US. And I pray that you help US to, to understand your word that inspire our Hearts and minds. Now we pray in Jesus' name. Amen. So we are continuing our study in Matthew chapter 6 this evening. We finished Matthew chapter 5 already. We've been looking at the Beatitudes and the you have heard it have been said of all time. And then we ended last week with the therefore perfect, perfect, in what way? Perfect in love. And that was what Jesus was affirming to there. But now we are in the beginning of Matthew chapter 6, Matthew chapter 6. So Let's turn our Bibles then Matthew, chapter 60. By the way, let me share one more praise. I've been having this all for the past 2 days, and I just thank the Lord fall charcoal. I praise the Lord for this spray and spray. I just praise the Lord that I am still able to share with all of you. So display for me as, as we're going through the study together that the word of the Lord and His glory might not be handed from this week instrument. So let US tons of Matthew chapter 6, and we're going to start in verse one, Matthew chapter 6, starting in verse one. The Bible says, Take heed that you do not your arms before men to be seen of them. Otherwise you have no reward of your Father, which is in Heaven. Therefore, when thou do, if you do not sound it trumpet before the, as a hypocrite, hypocrites, do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have the glory of men. Verily I say and say you, they have their reward, but when thou do it, let not the left hand know what the right hand do with that arms may be in secret, and they father which see if in secret himself shall reward the openly. So what are we talking about here? Originally it's talking about arms, and what does the word mean? It means good works, your acts of pity, your compassionate. Notice that's what the concordance says. So your acts of compassion and look. This is a good text for US to look at in this time. Why so many people out there doing seemingly good works for all those are in the front lines of different people and you know, we just had a photo that was passed around and up passes. Chat this past week about a person who's giving food and then they're taking a selfie. You know, it's so easy to be out there and tell everyone, Hey, this is all my good works. But what does Jesus say here? You don't need to tell the whole World what you're doing for your acts of Mercy and look in context. What was he talking about in the previous chapter? He was talking about what loving your enemy, right, loving your enemy. So he's saying, look, you don't need to tell the whole World that you are loving your enemy. So when he's talking about these ARMs, these acts of love and kindness, you don't need to tell the whole World how good a person you are. But what group was doing this look at Matthew chapter 6 of US to who was it that was doing this, their fall when thou do is die in arms. Do not sound a trumpet before the as what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets. So these people, they were in the church, but they're called What, hypocrites, hypocrites. Let's turn our Bibles. So Matthew, chapter 23, Matthew 23, and we're going to reverse the scene to 15, Matthew 23. Let's have a look at these hypocrites. What those Jesus say about them. Matthew 23, verse 13. I hope you fall in with me. In your Bibles a lesson in Matthew 2313, the Bible says, but Whoa and to use scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men. For you neither go in yourselves. Neither suffer Ye. Them that are entering to go in. Whoa. And to use scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, There you go again before you devour woman with those houses and for a pretense make a long prayer. Therefore you shall receive the greater damnation and then verse 15 will unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for you, compasses, sea, and land to make one proselyte. And when he is made, you make him twofold wall, the child of Hell than yourself. It's so interesting that when Jesus was talking about the hypocrites, he very clearly in Matthew, the book of Matthew calls out who those hypocrites were. It was not just the person that says and doesn't do, but it was someone, even in the church, he is talking about someone religious. And we're going to see this in a minute. He's not talking about the Red Cross out. There are non-Christian organizations that a charitable charitable that don't know God at all when he comes to Matthew chapter 6. He's talking about those that know God. And this is very important for US to understand. So when Jesus is saying, don't let, do it, don't do your good arms before men. He's talking to the Christian, the Christian. And there's good reason behind this. Let's continue Mark Chapter 7, market Chapter 7. And we're looking at verse 5 and 6, Mark Chapter 7, verses 5 and 6. Look at what the Bible says here. Then the fairy season scribe asked him, why won't not the disciples, According to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed in hands? He answered a sentence of them. Well, I have prophesied of you hypocrites. As it is written, this people on Earth, me with their lips, but what their Hearts is far from me. So there is this group here that is doing all these seemingly good things. But what Jesus saying about these hypocrites says, even though you seemingly doing all these good things, your heart really is very far from Jesus. And so it's a matter of the heart. It's a matter of where Not via the Hearts. So when he's talking to this group of people, even in mock, he calls the Farriss and the scribes, as we saw in Matthew 2313 to 15, is talking about the religious leaders, the scribes and the Farriss. They were being called hypocrites. What is their problem? Their Hearts was far from Jesus, their heart was far from God. And so sometimes when we look at these people that seem to seemingly do good works, the thing that we have to talk about here is motive. How do we, how do we apply this text today? You know, it's so easy to advertise your good to US. It's so easy to tell people, Hey, I'm feeling feeding the homeless. I'm doing good works over here. I'm helping people over there and help in the front line is and we just have to stop and take a picture as if we're going to make sure that the whole World knows that friends in this day and age of Instagram and Facebook and people just pasted to their pictures, we just want to get a good like this person must be good because of what they do. But Jesus is saying, look, Don't tell anybody, do it in secret. And that is the underlying issue. When you do all these good things, what is the motive behind it? Because we can do good things for the wrong reason. You understand that we can do good things for the wrong reason. And so I ask you this evening, even as he's sitting here in the comfort of your home, or wherever, wherever you might be listening in the question I'm asking you is what motivates you to do the good that you do from a religious standpoint. Ok, when you come to church early, why the early are you there early? Because you have no choice. When you come to church, why you there? When you do what you do as a Christian, that is good. What motivates you? What drives you? And you see that when we look at the difference between Matthew 5, a Matthew 6, there is a very Big difference between what drives a person and Matthew 6 and Matthew chapter 5. So in Matthew 516, Let's look at this. Let's turn of, I was to Matthew chapter 5 and verse 16. Let's go there, Matthew 5 and verse 16. The Bible says let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and what glorify your Father, which is in Heaven. So they see your good works. Yes, people will notice people will see when you do good stuff, right? But the result is what they glorify the Father, which is in Heaven. What comes around from this when you do good works, is your father being glorified? Let's go to Matthew chapter 6 verse to review this Matthew chapter 6 and verse to look at what the Bible says. Therefore, when thou do is die in arms, do not sound the trumpet before the, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have what, glory of man. So on one side, people see the good works and that each of the 5 of what this person is doing and they glorify the Father, which is and Heaven. And then a person here in Matthew chapter 6, verse 2, they're doing good works as well. Seems hard to separate, doesn't it? But yet it says that they may have what glory of men. So the question that I'm asking again here this evening is what motivates you to do? What you do, what the intentions, what are the desires behind why you do it? Is it because it's your work? Is it because you don't have a choice? You see? And Yes, in this case, this people that they're doing all of these things to get the glory from men. Granted, some of US were not looking for that, but I'm taking it a step further this evening. My question is, what motivates you? Why do you do? What you do, remember the previous chapter, it ends with be there for Perfect. Be there for perfect in God's love. If you have God's love, you will do this, right? So the question is, once again, what drives you? What motivates you to do? What you do as a Christian but look at Matthew chapter 6 and verse 3. Look at what the Bible says. But when thou do is arms, let not by left hand know what the I right hand do with even those that are the closest to you. You don't need to let them know. You don't need to tell them about it. Why? What we see in Matthew chapter 5 is good, works will always produce a result somehow and somewhere. You don't have to have people praising you so that then you can keep going and doing good works. Do you see that? So we have to be careful how we publish good works. Friends, maybe selfies less. Selfies are better. You know, people are still taking pictures and I've gotten into the craze too, or rather my wife has our family chat, her family on that side. We were all sharing photos of what our food and that's what we're doing, you know? And we just love to take pictures in this generation. But all these selfies, it's just me, me, me, me, me. And we're trying to publish the goodness that we have and tell people about how good we are all what we're doing. And it's just so important in this connected generation. But Jesus says, Don't even let your left and know from your right hand, those that are closest to you, those that are in your family, those that are your relatives, those in your church, you don't need to let them know. Just go and do it. You see that and this is so important. Why? Because it shows the motivations behind why we're doing what we're doing. But Let's continue. Matthew chapter 6 of US fall that vine arms may be in secrets and I father which see if in secret himself, What shall reward the openly You don't need to worry. You don't need to worry if you do it secretly. God will reward you openly and look, some people go Ok God, you didn't remore me openly. So I'm just going to do it myself. No, we don't need self promotion. Friends. We don't. What we need is humility of heart. We do this because this is who we are. We don't need words of affirmation to continue doing what we're doing. We do this because that's who we are. Now look as a leader, you got to give words of affirmation, right? As children, when they do good things, Yes, we got to affirm them and as little children, they love to come and tell US what they've been doing and, and what they've, what they've been drawing and what they've been cooking or what they've been building. They love to come and tell US, but we as adults know, we don't need to tell everybody that don't need to tell people good works to get affirmation from them. Why God, at the right time, he will reward US openly and friends. That might be in Heaven. It might not be on the Earth. You understand that the reward might be in Heaven and you might not see the reward on this Earth. Let's not work for the reward, right? We do it because of love. Yeah. Just as children they, we provide for them, we feed for them, we clothe them, and when they get all that, we don't tell them exactly why we've been doing all of this. Just to get a thanks or to get support from them when they get older. No friends, what motivates you as a Christian? And that is the question that Jesus is asking all of US this evening. What is motivating you? What drives you to do? What you do? Do you still do it when no one else is around? You see that you don't need to do your good works to be praised of men. We have a different motivation that drives US, and Jesus does not stop there. Let's keep going, Matthew, chapter 6, Verses $5.00 and $6.00, Matthew 6, verses $5.00 and $6.00. And when thou pray, Thou shall not be as the hypocrites are, for they love to pray, standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets that they may be seen of men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward. But that hour when thou prayer, SED. Enter into the I close it, and when thou has shut the door, pray to the Father, which is in secrets and the father which see it and secrets shall What same principle reward the openly we don't have to prorated our religious activities. We don't have to tell everybody how long we are praying for and how long we are doing our devotions for and how much time we are spending with Jesus every day. These things are important, don't misunderstand me, but we don't have to parade all the things that should be in secret. There are things that will be done in public preaching is a public thing. There are things that are done in public playing the piano for church and singing, and leading and singing and singing special music. Those, those things are good and they're important. They enhance our music. But there are some things. Jesus says that should be left for the privates, and one of those he says, is pray. Look. You don't need to take a one minute prayer for praying for your food. Friends. 10 seconds is enough. It would be Blessed enough in 10 seconds, as it is in one minute. And if you think that you need to take one minute for your food prayer, you're not praying enough in secret. Are you with me? So you don't need to pray long. Go to your closet, it is there that you can wrestle with God and make sure that the 3 meals that you going to eat today are going to be Blessed and that God will be with you. That even if you do forget some hundreds of pray for your meal, God forbid, or Heaven forbid, but there's not sin in that. Right? There's no instruction saying you've got a prayer before every meal, right? We should be thankful. But if you are spending time with God in secrets, the way that you will live openly will be very different. You don't need to parade your good works. You don't need to prayed your good prayer is Ellen White says those that pray long in public are praying shorts in private. So we've got to be careful. Look at how the Pharisees prayed. Look 18, look 18 starting in verse 10. Look at the Pharisees, Pray. Look at 18 verse 10 to men went up into the temple to pray. The one a fair receive, the other, a publican, the ferrous, he stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank the that I am not as other men are extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican I Fost twice a week. I give ties of all that I possess, and the publican standing Afar off would not lift up so much as his eyes under Heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, a sinner. I tell you this man went down to his House justified rather than the other, for every one that exalt himself shall be what a based. And he, that humble Earth himself shall be exalted. The fairest see he did not go down to his House justified. Let's not take the glory from God, friends. This Guy, he was standing there where on the corner and telling everybody his good works. I am so glad that I do this and I do this. I find I give ties of all that I possess. And furthermore, I'm glad I'm not like this person. Friends, you've got to hold up the proverbial mirror to your heart and mind and life this evening. To make sure that the motive is that Dr. What you do are correct. Don't push people down to try to pull yourself up just to make yourself feel better. But Jesus, he is talking about our motivations. What drives your good works? What drives your prayers? You don't need to tell everybody that you pray. Why prayer will have its effect. Prayer will have effect from God. When you pray, God will begin to work. You don't need to tell people, you pray. You see that. So it's really important. Jesus says, Look, do these things in secret. You don't need to parade it all before your family before your friends before your church. But look, Let's keep going. Matthew, chapter 6 and verse 7. But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do for they think that they should be heard for their much speaking. So look, the hypocrite was talking about the religious leaders leaders, but here they repetitions, just like the heathen be not Ye therefore like unto them for your father know worth what you have need of before he ask him. Now there's a few things that we have to look at here because some people get confused about vain. Repetition. First, looking strictly from the concordance standpoint, Ok, concordant standpoint. The word of a repetition is one Greek word. It means a proverbial stammer to stutter. And then to Prate tediously. Ok. So the 1st is a proverbial stammer that some people they are not evil to even pray a complete sentence without falling over their words. This is all about public preference. Ok. So we got to be careful that when we pray that others are able to understand, we're able to finish a complete sentence, we're able to talk properly and not stumble over our words. So don't worry, Don't just pray prayers and then at the end the people really are funny, hard to understand you and they lose the, the emphasis of what you're trying to say. But then it says to Prate tediously, to talk tediously. You know what it means to talk tediously. You're wearing out the Saints frightens. Don't pray along prayers. There's not a sign of righteousness, not in public anyways. We've got to learn to wrestle with God long in the closet, a man with that's where we got to pray and be long on our knees, asking God to be with US to guide US to bless US, to make sure that he's with US. And that all that we say in New can give honor and glory to his name. That when we are able to pray the long prayers the short prayers it's doesn't take very long at least in public. You see that Elijah, when he was praying for rain He would pray and then to send the Guy, his servant. Go check, nothing, pray again. He didn't pray. One hour prayer was no use praying short prayer, but he would not stop until the prayer would be So we've got to be careful when we talk about vain repetitions of the vain repetitions, in what sense, look the word vain also means useless, right? So we've got to not keep repeating prayers uselessly as well. We got to be careful to not keep repeating forms of prayers that we just are used to praying without thinking about it. So there's got to be meaning. So once again I ask, what is the motivation that drives you to pray? What is the motivation behind it? Because we can be motivated for the wrong reasons and thinking Ok. I know that this is just what I got to do and then a pray. Look, it's good to get into habits, but we can not only just pray without thinking, we have to pray without the, with the understanding behind what we do. You see that? So there's this other aspect when it comes to repetition, that the prayers that we pray have meaning. And you know, I always tell people this, especially when it comes of a repetition, know, growing up in a Christian home, we always prayed for our meals all the time. And, you know, it came to a point when we're old enough parents with kids. Ok, you pray you pray you pray, and I always pray the same prayer Father. Thank you Jesus for the food and bless the food in. One day my brother looked over me and said, Ben, can you play something else? I thought about it for a minute and I can actually but sometimes we just have these vain repetitions that have no meaning to it. But it just flows out of our lips when we get on our knees. So we got to be careful not to have vain repetitions, like the heathen. We got to pray with the understanding. So there's one more section I'm going to skip. If you're following a Bibles and a skip of the Lord's Prayer, Ok. When it comes back to that next week, as we're still in Lockdown, we're going to have another carrier group online next week. I was hoping this will be our last, but hope you're not getting sick of me. But Matthew, chapter 6 and verse 16, Matthew 6, verse 16 will look at the Lord's Prayer next week. Ok? Matthew 6 verse 16. Moreover, when you asked be not as the hypocrites of a sad countenance for they disfigure their faces. Now remember, we were talking about people crits, who were the hypocrites, it was not the heathen, it was the religious leaders for they disfigure their faces that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say, and to that they have their own Ward. But the fastest annoyed I head and washed my face, that thou appear not in cement of fast, but on to their father, which is in secret. And my father, which see if in secret, shall reward the what openly. This is the 3rd time. The conclusion has been the same. The pattern that Jesus has given US is also the same as Well. 1st when you do your arms, your good works, your righteous works. Secondly, it's when you pray. And then now Thirdly, when you fast, when you do any of these 3 things, Jesus says, do it in private, don't need to let people know. Don't need to let people know the good things that you do. Don't need to let people know the present. You pray, don't need to let people know that you're fasting. Just fast, then are, you know, going to Find today. You're not to go. I'm fasting, You know, then that you don't need to tell people all the good that you are doing. And then Jesus says, the good things that you do in secrets, the things that you do in secret, God will what reward the open me friends there is reward for doing good works, the righteous. There is a reward that comes from the present. You pray. And there's a reward that comes from Fust thing you want to receive blessing you want to receive reward. Jesus says, focus on these 3 things. Arms, your good works, your charitable works, prayer and fasting. And it's very interesting. I sat here long and hard thinking about this. Why these 3 things? Why these 3 things? While, if you might allow me to just give you my spin on this Arms, good works is found in Matthew chapter 5. It starts off with the 10 Commandments, and then it goes on to tell you to be solved in light of the Earth. And then it says, don't hate your brother. Don't lust after woman in your Hearts. Learn to have your communication be Yea, Yea, and name a little be Don't lie, you know. Make sure that you love your enemy. These things that it talks about in Matthew chapter 5. Then Matthew chapter 6, it comes in with the good works. But why does Jesus talk about prayer and fasting? Let me say simply friends. If there are any of you struggling with hatred in your heart, if you are struggling with forgiving your brother or your sister, or you just don't like this person. And you can't just shake it, this is difficult, you know it's wrong. But you find it hard or you lusting after woman. Your Heart's, Let's call that cannot Graphy brothers. You know, if you're struggling with these sorts of things, what you need is secret fasting and secret prayer. Telling your neighbor to godly person on this Earth and asking them to pray for you. Will not help. It will help someone. I'm not saying it won't help at all. I'm not saying don't come to me any more and pray, but pray even more earnestly for yourself. People they like to go to others and sages please please please pastor Pastor, pray for me and I'm very happy to do that. But you know, I've been in meetings where I would do a 20 day event of this experience and the same person would come to me every evening. Pray for me, pray for me, pray for me, pray for me, pray for me, and those prayers are Ok. I'm not saying that I'm not really reluctant to pray is how hard are you praying for yourself? You understand that there is pain for one another. There is a need for United prayer, but my question is this. How hard are you praying and fasting for yourself? You know, we prayed and fasted for this Lockdown and the virus to be taken away. And we've, we've prayed, and many of US we were in this prayer chain g.c. that the World church has started days of prayer. And you know, we have certain times that we've all signed up from the leadership standpoint. If you haven't, you got to set one hour. One time aside, isn't to be an hour. But in that hour pray. So that God's people can be praying for the situation. For the uplifting of this Lockdown, so that we can go forward with greater power to do God's work. Beyond this, we realize that our freedoms to, to go out is taken away and we can't do much now. But Or if we are praying, rightly we would go forth with greater zeal and vigor when this is taken up. Because we are praying and fasting in secret. And we got to learn to pray in secret friends. So many people are not doing good works. So many people are not shining God's light and being salt to the Earth because we are not praying and fasting. You understand that I focus a lot on the Bible. I talk a lot about the Word of God. But Jesus hasn't touched it. He just said my 10 Commandments. They've not been done away with that in Matthew chapter 5. But it almost seems like Jesus saying here, if you want to do good works, you've got to pray. Secretly, you got to fast, secretly. Not only when your church tells you to fast, not only when you the church tell you to pray, but you've got to make prayer habit. Secretly. You don't need to tell me. You don't need to tell your neighbor. You don't need to tell the church. You don't need to tell your husband or your wife, you can get up in the middle of the night when everybody is asleep. That's probably the most effective time to pray when you have kids. But you've got to learn to pray secretly. Many parents, they're running on fumes because they get up when their kids get up. Or they get up just a little bit of time before their children get up. And they pray, week bellied prayers, and prayers that don't move the World. Prayers that are able to fight against the Temptations that the Devil throws at our children and we sit there, we scratch our heads. We Wonder what's going on with our children. And God is saying, I want you to pray. I want you to fast and you don't have to wait for the church program to run it. You don't have to wait for anyone to do it and teach you the principles behind fasting. It's very simple. Friends, don't eat. Are you with me? Don't go on these social media fasts. Don't go on this fruit fast, you should be eating well every single day. Are you with me? You should be eating healthy every single day. That's the fast that God has told US through the wife that God has given to US. It's a simple meal of you don't need to have 10 different spices in your food. We should be having that sort of fast all the time. But you want to know how to fast to skip a meal and get used to that Skip to. It's Ok. You don't need to tell anybody just do it. And it's people like you that will make gods Move on behalf of the whole World. So friends, what do we need today with the arms Jesus is dealing with the tip of the iceberg is what seem right. Our good works feeding the homeless, helping those around. Those are good things. But why do people like to parade their good works? The missing prayer and fasting. And we don't need to be appreciated of people who don't have to. If we kneel before God and learn to pray in secret and learn to wrestle with our Father in Heaven. And if we learn to find The works will be there, you don't need to tell anybody, God will reward the openly and you don't do it because of the reward. But you've seen prayer that moved People's lives to see that. You know, when a prayer parent prays for their lost son or daughter that's out in the World when they come back, they just go praise God, my son or daughter is back. They don't go praise the Lord because of my prayers that I prayed long and hard every night for 2 hours every night. You don't see the parents do that to you. Why? Because preachings, their heart before change their children. And so today, God, He wants to change you privately. As you pray secretly, as you fast secretly. Those are the prayers that will move the Almighty arm of God to work on our behalf. And we will see the reward. You know what the Christians reward is on this Earth. It's seeing those prayers And knowing that God is with you and working with you and working through you. It gives you even greater power to pray. It gives you greater assurance to continue in prayer. Then even when no one gives you praise for you, praying and doing God good works, you still persevere. Why? Because the Christians reward is found in those unsuppressed. And you don't need anyone's validation because you've been praying and God, he's been working. And so today, friends, Let's learn to pray privately. Let's learn to pray. The prayers that will change the World, and those are not done. At the end of a sermon, we're not done at the beginning of a sermon. They're not even done there at church during the pastoral prayer, the prayers that will change the World, those done in the secret Chambers in the closet when it's closed and nobody knows except you and God. And so as we fast, and as we pray you will see a reward. You will see your children change. You see your husband or your wife change. You will see your parents change. You will see your brother or sister change. You will see the community around you change, you will see everything change because as you are praying, God is working. And so let US learn to pray. Let's learn to struggle with God, pray with God. And as he sees in secret, he will reward openly. Let's bow our heads, Father in Heaven. Lord, we don't understand prayer as we ought to. Father. It's been too easy for US to just get up and do. Do do not realizing that the most effective work is done on a nice so Lord, forgive US for relying on our own efforts thinking that our works meant something. But Lord, help US to see that our righteousness is like filthy rags. There's nothing good that we can offer you except our willing heart this evening. And lot before we even change our mind, come in, take control clean up our Hearts and our lives and help US see the 1st thing that we have to learn and to do today is to pray and teach US a lot to enhance our prayers with fasting that as we learn to struggle with these 2 things in secret Lord, you are want US open the And so help US to look for the Christian's reward today. Continue to guide US to that and help US to proceed via and never give up. So watch over all of US a lot this evening. Help US to continue to be guided by the every step of the way. We pray in Jesus' day. This media was brought to you by audio verse, a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio, and much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse, or if you would like to listen to more sermons, lead to visit W W, W audio verse or.

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