Matthew 6: 1-4
Memory Verse: Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them, otherwise ye have no reward of the Father which is in heaven Matthew 6:1
CAUTION AGAINST HYPOCRITICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS: Acts 9:36-39, 10:1-4, Matt 26:6-13, Mark 7:6-9
The Lord cautions us and condemns doing any act of righteousness with the motive or desire to be seen of men and praised by them. Merely being seen of men is not what He condemns, but doing any good thing mainly and deliberately to be seen of men, to be praised by men, to draw attention to ourselves. Some good deeds cannot be hidden but they are still recognized and will be rewarded by God if the motive is only to glorify God.
There is no reward from God for those who seek the praise and recognition of men. God knows all things. He does not only see the actions of men, He sees the motives and the desires too. We cannot judge others, we can only judge and examine our own hearts to make sure that our motives and desires are right and acceptable before God.
True righteousness, the righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, aims at doing all things only for the glory of God. The desire of the righteous is not to seek the praise of men or to please and exalt self, his desire is to please God and glorify Him in all things. Such act of righteousness that begin and end with God in view will be rewarded by God. The natural man desires the praise of men more than the praise of God but the righteous man seeks only the praise of God.
CONDEMNATION OF HYPOCRITICAL RIGHTEOUSNESS : John 12:3-8, 13:27-29, Acts 5:11, 2 Sam 15: 1-11
Hypocrisy stains, corrupts and destroys every good thing it touches. Hypocrisy turns almsgiving, praying, fasting, good works, love, righteousness, holiness, zeal, consecration into filthy rags. Judas Iscariot was the greatest hypocrite of all times. He pretended to care for the poor but his heart was not right with Jesus. Absalom was also a great hypocrite who professed much devotion to God while there was unprecedented wickedness in his heart. Both Absalom and Judas Iscariot had outward expressions of being good, kind and nice that those around them did not suspect that they were hypocritical. But now their condemnation is known in the whole world and their damnation continues till eternity.
There were hypocrites in Israel and there were hypocrites in the early church. There will be hypocrites in the church” in the latter times”. Hypocrites were compared to leaven, to whitewashed tombs, to tares amidst wheat, which will be cast into the fire at the time of the final judgment.
HOME CELL STUDY
LEARN TO DO WELL
Learn to do well, seek judgement, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Isa 1:17
Some Christians think that they have to sit down and watch as God imposes on them some virtues and good character. You have a role to play in living a better life. Virtues can be achieved by learning. Good character can be developed. Practice makes perfect. It starts with a desire to want to do the right things all the time. You must take pleasure in doing things that please God. The fact that you failed trying to live a good life does not mean you should give up. Keep trying until you succeed. Learn to do something good which you have not done before. May be you have not told someone ‘I am sorry’ before, you can try it now. Deliberate efforts must be made to live a better life. Don’t be discouraged if you feel disappointed with yourself. There is nothing you cannot achieve in this life if you do not give up. You can learn to forgive your offenders. You can learn to pay your tithes, relieve the oppressed. If you fail try again.
Question: Share with your Home cell Members how you overcame a bad habit you were into before.