Have you ever told someone that things are fine, but in reality, they aren’t? We might do this in our spiritual life as well. We can face the temptation to present ourselves as people who always have our acts together, who know the right answers and do the right things, when in reality what’s inside of us might not be in sync with Jesus.
When we began this series, we looked at what Jesus said in the Beatitudes. One of the things Jesus said was “blessed are the pure in heart” – and the idea behind this is integrity. The idea is consistency between our inner and outer lives and alignment with the Kingdom of God. How might we as followers of Jesus aim for this consistency? How might spiritual practices help us get to the heart of Kingdom spirituality?
Sermon on the Mount: Kingdom Spirituality
Message by Josh Mutter – May 22, 2021
Matthew 6:1-18 NIV
“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.
“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 honored 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.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Kingdom Spirituality is focused on pleasing God.
Kingdom Spirituality includes the practice of spiritual disciplines.
Kingdom Spirituality is not concerned with the perceptions of others.
Kingdom Spirituality is practiced out of the limelight.
Kingdom Spirituality expresses our relationship with God.
- Choose a spiritual practice to try this week.
- Commit your actions to God.
- Practice without being noticed.
About Josh Mutter: Josh Mutter is the Lead Pastor at Westheights Community Church. Josh is married to Michelle and they have two very busy little boys named Silas & Isaac. Josh enjoys long walks on the beach and smooth jazz – well, not really. But he does enjoy time with his family, spending time outdoors, watching baseball, sipping coffee and reading a good book.
To watch this message on YouTube, click here.