"Your Father Sees in Secret" and How God Speaks in our Worship Services
Weekend Newsletter: September 3, 2022
This Week’s Sermon
Two weeks ago, I preached on Matthew 6:1–18, “Your Father Sees in Secret.” While Jesus talks about the false piety of religious leaders who practiced their righteousness before others in order to be seen (Matt. 6:1), I found it interesting to see that the same kinds of things still happen in our secularistic society.
Here is the introduction from the sermon notes:
Unlike Jesus’ day, we no longer live in a world where alms-giving, public prayer, and fasting gain Christians wide social approval. Indeed, the modern world despises Christians and any outward display of our faith. This does not mean, however, that Jesus’ warnings against false piety marked public pretense are unimportant. On the contrary, we are still in danger of trying to impress other Christians with our spirituality. Furthermore, the world has its own versions of the forms of piety that Jesus addresses here—public philanthropy, public virtue signaling (especially on social media), and the culture of outrage, oppression, and victimization that dominates our society. Even through Christianity isn’t fashionable, people living in this world still yearn desperately to be justified in the court of public opinion. In the never-ending quest to be on the “right side of history,” Jesus’ gospel offers freedom and rest, since God’s economy rewards secret obedience. (Read More)
And here is the full sermon:
Modern society brims with opportunities for people to get together and talk about something. In meetings, discussion groups, clubs, classes, forums, conferences, rallies, and protests, people gather to discuss matters that are important to them.
It is understandable, then, that we often treat corporate worship services in our local churches as a time for us to get together to talk about God, as though he were not present. For this reason, our worship services sometimes feel like a memorial service for someone who has died, as though we have gathered together to keep God’s memory alive by sharing stories from his life. Yet, if our worship unwittingly conveys the impression that God is absent or even dead, how will unbelievers fall on their faces and worship God, declaring that God is really among us (1 Cor. 14:25)?
The Scriptures correct us by teaching that worship is not where we gather together to speak about God; rather, worship is where God summons us into his presence in order to speak to us. To be sure, we will speak as well, but only as a response to what first God says to us. (Read More)
Have a blessed Lord’s Day tomorrow!