Men's Workout #10 - July 8th

We began our workout with a singing of “May the Mind of Christ My Savior” (hymnal #377).

MEMORIZATION

We recited Matthew 6:1-6 as a group, and then had a time of reflection, discussion, and questions about the passage.

  • Peter thought that it seemed weird and awkward to have someone “sound a trumpet before them” when they gave to the poor, as described in Matthew 6:2. How would someone do this today?
    • This attitude can be observed whenever you visit a public park, zoo, or museum. What do you see when you walk in?
      • Sometimes you see brick w/ names engraved in them, or plaques that inform visitors of the names of donors who made it possible for the establishment to be funded.
      • Some churches may even identify offering amounts on the backs of their Sunday bulletins.
    • We do our deeds in secret so that He may be glorified, not us
    • The act of sounding a trumpet was probably literal and historical, not metaphorical. If the statement were merely metaphorical, the point would not be as impactful, direct, or urgent, nor would the rest of Jesus’ comparisons (such as prayer, fasting, and serving masters).
  • James Tan asked, “what is the meaning of ‘our Father who is in secret?'” (Matthew 6:6)
    • There is a connection between “who is in heaven” and “who is in secret.” God is not hiding in a secret place, nor is He more present or visible in certain places and times.
    • The main point is that God observes our deeds that are done in secret, away from the notice of men.
  • Daniel Khuc had a question about Matthew 6:1, which tells us to beware of “practicing our righteousness.” Does this mean we should consider righteousness a skill that can be developed?
    • Practice should be defined in terms of performance, not a development of skills to improve.
    • For believers, practicing our righteousness means doing or executing practical deeds in order to glorify God, for His eyes only.
    • Righteousness is meant to be taken as it was in Matthew 5:20 – not as imputed righteousness, but as the practical righteous lifestyle of the individual believer.
  • Pastor Dan asked the group, “what is the hypocrisy that Jesus refers to?”
    • Hypocrites act under the guise that all things they do are done for God -but in reality, the things they do are done for themselves, not for God.
    • Believers should serve for God’s eyes only. God doesn’t want meaningless ceremonies or public piety. He desires for us to really love Him, serve Him, and give to Him for the end purpose of glorifying Himself.
    • On the flip side, we aren’t meant to keep our entire Christian lives in secret and seclusion from all men; rather, we are meant to keep our motives pure as we act and live out our faith.
  • Henry Sim echoed that it’s important for us to live out consistent, integrity-filled lives in front of men for God’s glory.
    • We must live for God’s eyes and what He wants. Everything that results from that kind of life will fall into place under God’s sovereign plan and care.
    • One real world example for us in the Silicon Valley: men care greatly about getting their names attached for credit on projects, patents, etc. in order to be credited and praised by men for their accomplishments. But as Christians, we ought to live and act with the goal of bringing all glory to God, not to ourselves.
  • Next week’s passage for memorization is Matthew 6:7-15.
    • Jesus gives a short excursus on how NOT to pray as a pagan Gentile with what is popularly known as “The Lord’s Prayer”.
      • The intent of the prayer is to teach us how to pray meaningfully and thoughtfully.
      • There’s a tragic irony that churches today routinely recite this (and the Apostle’s Creed), forgetting the intent of why the prayer was made in the first place!
    • There is a calmness in the prayer that is not common with Gentile prayers made to foreign gods. Before we even start in prayer, we have a confident knowledge that God cares for us. Knowing this, we can begin our prayers in calm trust, praising God and seeking for His will to be done, rather than trying to ask for God to only do what we want or need.
    • Matthew 6:13 – “do not lead us into temptation”
      • God does not tempt us, “for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone” (James 1:13). The word “temptation” can also be read as “trials” (same word found in James 1:5).
    • Matthew 6:14 – the order of forgiveness
      • Our forgiveness is not the basis of God’s forgiveness. However, if we don’t exhibit and lives out an attitude of forgiveness toward others, we shouldn’t expect God to be generous and forgiving to us in return.

MINISTRY FORUM

Pastor Dan shared some longer term ideas for various church ministries:

  • Reaching out to inner city kids
    • Could this be a feasible long term idea?
  • Physical work ministry
    • Manual labor in helping others (i.e. yard work for the elderly/disabled)
    • Acts as a witness of God’s love and also as an opportunity for sharing the gospel
  • Potential to work part-time
    • If any of us were able to work part time, we could use the remaining time we have for church ministries.
  • Organize a Bible reading retreat for busy moms
    • The men can take care of the kids, provide snacks, and give time to our sisters to read the Word together and encourage one another.
  • Homegroup / Community group meetings throughout the week
    • Idea is to extend worship and church life throughout the week
      • One idea: Tuesdays & Thursdays – regional gatherings