Thursday, July 27, 2006


Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18 The Academy Awards

θεαθναι To be beheld.. Theatre
Hypocrites : actors who wore masks
Arthur Miller wrote about that. He called his famous drama "Death of a Salesman." It's the story of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman, who hits a mid-life crisis. He begins to feel the wear and tear of the years. And then he finds out that all he's lived for, all he's spent his life doing, is a sham, a hypocrisy, a foolish lie. He's pretended to be something he never was. He's pretended to believe in things that were never real. And when he looks at his children, he knows that they can see right through him. And in the end, that's more than he can bear. And what does he do about it? He kills himself. He commits suicide. His children found him out. They rejected his hypocrisy. And now he has nothing more to live for. That's the way it is sometimes. (3)
Daniel Defoe [Robinson Crusoe] wrote:
Wherever God erects a house of prayer, The devil always builds a chapel there;
And 'twill be found upon examination, The latter has the largest congregation.

A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavoring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. “Why do people call me a Christian?” the man asked. After a moment's pause, one youngster said, “Maybe it's because they don't know you.”
1. The Shameful Display Of Hypocrisy
We live in a phoney world. We are surrounded by makebelieve. TV , average teenager has seen 15,000 hours of make believe. And you and I?
Cardboard Christians, pseudo saints, plastic preachers, playing the game of Christianity.
The Lord reserved His most severe words for these: In biting language He called them,
Wolves in sheeps clothing, whitewashed graves, clean and bright on the uitside but filled with dead men’s bones.
They had everything in the showcase, but nothing in the warehouse.
A. You May Be Dealing With Hypocrisy In Your Deeds
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
Psalm 41:1 Happy is one who cares for the poor; the Lord will save him in a day of adversity. Matt 5:42 Give to the one who asks you, and don’t turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
The Lord calls us to consider the motive behind our giving.
Small silver trumpet of Pharisees was to notify the poor that alms were available.
It also served to get attention for the giver. Give in an uncalculating, gracious way.
B. You May Be Dealing With Hypocrisy In Your Devotion
And when thou prayest, thou shalt 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. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Not against public praying or giving.
Don’t Pray To Impress God. Its not the logic or the language or the Length
Moody, while a long prayer prayed for all to hear, “While our brother catches up on his prayer life, lets stand together and sing a hymn.”
Don’t Pray To Inform God. We pray to Invite Him and enjoy Him.
He can do it without us, but we can’t do it without Him. He teaches us dependency and offers us fellowship.
Helping fly the simulators at Qantas. Geoff could have done it on his own, but he wanted me to help, to be part of his life.
C. You May Be Dealing With Hypocrisy In Your Discipline
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
It has been said that each church has its symbols... The Roman Catholic church ahs its statues. the Greek Orthordox church has its ccrystal chandelliers, the Presbyterian church has its robes, the Baptist church has its fried chicken! Fasting may be very unusual to us Baptists!
i. The Purpose Of Fasting To bring our hearts and minds into submission to the Lord.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
ii. The Practise of Fasting
If you are diabetic.. its not a good diea to fast.
iii. The Profitableness of Fasting when ye fast The Lord expects you to fast.
2. The Sinister Danger Of Hypocrisy
a. Hypocrisy Deceives Matt 23:9 Do not call anyone on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called masters either, because you have one Master, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You lock up the kingdom of heaven from people. For you don’t go in, and you don’t allow those entering to go in. 14 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and make long prayers just for show. This is why you will receive a harsher punishment.15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as fit for hell as you are!
b. Hypocrisy Defrauds “rewards” They have their reward here on earth. None in heaven!
c. Hypocrisy Destroys Matt 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only]the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’
3. The Suspicious Discernment Of Hypocrisy
Matt 6:1 “Be careful”, “Take heed” Searching: “Is there some Pharisee in me?” “Have I failed to obey God, fearful of what others might think?”
The Queen Mary was the largest ship to cross the oceans when it was launched in 1936. Through four decades and a World War she served until she was retired, anchored as a floating hotel and museum in Long Beach, California.
During the conversion, her three massive smokestacks were taken off to be scraped down and repainted. But on the dock they crumbled. Nothing was left of the 3/4 inch steel plate from which the stacks had been formed. All that remained were more than thirty coats of paint that had been applied over the years. The steel had rusted away.
When Jesus called the Pharisees "whitewashed tombs," he meant they had no substance, only an exterior appearance.
Address it! How does that new life in Christ begin? IT BEGINS WITH THE RECOGNITION OF WHO WE ARE. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a poem shortly before his execution by the Nazis. "Who am I?" he begins. Then he recounts the perceptions of others: "They tell me I bore the days of misfortune equably, smilingly, proudly..." But his following verses describe the person he knows within: "Restless and longing and sick," he describes himself, "...faint, and ready to say farewell to it all." "Am I one person today and tomorrow another?" Bonhoeffer closes, "Am I both at once? A hypocrite before others, and before myself a contemptible woebegone weakling? Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine."(1) We are faced with the same haunting question. Who am I, really? Some of us don't know.
Confess it! 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Replace It!

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