(We were unable to record this message.)
Date: 20 September, 2015
Text: Matthew 5:43-6:8
Title: That kind WILL be rewarded.
Theme: What does God view as worthy of reward?
"Two Welsh fisherman got more than they bargained for after catching giant tuna that are thought to be worth over £75,000.
Anglers Chris Bett and Michael Steer had been fishing off the Welsh coast when the monster fish took the bait.
It was after a four-hour struggle when 50-year-old Chris Bett managed to wrangle in the 500lbs Bluefin Tuna.
Shortly afterwards, fellow angler Michael, pulled in a 300lbs tuna.
The anglers say it took three very strong men to lift the creature into the boat.
The pair had just returned from an unsuccessful fishing trip to Madeira so were making up for their losses.
Bluefin are one of the largest species of tuna and can live up to 40 years.
In 2013 a Bluefin Tuna sold for a record £1.09million at a Tokyo auction.
Due to the huge fish being an endangered species and highly protected both fishermen returned their catch to the sea."
Fisherman are rewarded for their tuna after it is graded according to the following categories....
Tail color. Is the meat dark or light? Is it clear or opaque? Where within the range of reds does it fall? Is it a darker red, closer to raspberry, or bright, like a cherry life-saver?
Fat content. Can you see creamy, marbled, "mature" fat, or is the fat loosely connected, wispy or "young"? Is the meat oily to the touch or does it feel watery? Does the meat seem dry or hard when you press on it with your fingers?
Shape. Is the fish long and lean or is it shaped like a football? Does it appear to have a belly? Is there a large cavity between the skeletal structure and the skin of the fish, or do they appear to be connected?
Core. We also take a sample from the core of the tuna, using a long, thin metal instrument called a sashibo. This probe is plunged into the fish above the pectoral fin, along the lateral line, whereby a tube-like piece of meat is extracted, about seven inches long. We then compare it to the tail sample, considering its overall texture, including color and visible fat.
We evaluate the core sample separately for both color and fat, each gets an individual grade and then the core gets an overall grade. This information is used together with what we have learned from the tail sample to determine the final value of the fish.
I don't know about you. But, if you asked me what kind of tuna I want to catch, I'd say, "The most valuable kind."
Just like tuna, our lives come in varrying kinds. Some kinds will get a huge reward from God. Others will be unrewarded.
I want to preach a message this morning on the KIND that will be rewarded. What does God view as worthy of rich reward?
I. The kind of love the God rewards.
A. A limitless love.
43 ¶ Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you,
exp. Again the Lord refers to a popular understanding of the law and then gives His expectation for His servants which goes beyond the law.
1. A bold choice.
Love your enemies,
exp. This command is easily followed when you don't have any enemies. But, when there are those who "curse," "hate" and "persecute" you. Our love either shines through or crashes and burns.
ill. God's servants will have enemies.
John Knox - Bloody Mary
C. H. Spurgeon - Modernists and brethren.
Jonathan Edwards - Church stood against him for insisting on a saved membership.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
question: What emotion is first on your list when you think, "Enemy?" God says, "love" is to be the first thought on your mind."
app. How are you loving those who curse, hate and persecute you?
2. Quick to bless.
bless them that curse you,
def. to cause to prosper, to invoke blessing, to ask God's blessing on a thing.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
ill. Dr. Steadman teaching a class to ministers on Peter. Hearing a man ask something and he was way out of line. Dr. Steadman graciously responded. He wasn't being cursed outwardly but the intent was behind the words.
ill. I've shared before the story of the covenanter in Edinburgh who was shown his son's head and hands. The persecutors looked for cursing and instead received blessing, "There are my son's my own dear son's. Good is the will of the Lord who can not wrong me nor mine but has made goodness and mercy to follow me all the days of my life.
app. Christian hold your tongue and love those who curse you.
3. Free to give.
do good to them that hate you,
ill. It's natural when someone has done you a good turn to want to do something special for them. It's natural as well when someone does you a bad turn to want to get even with them.
note: But it is unnatural when someone hates you to want to do good to them.
ill. The self righteous pharisees were "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth" kind of men. They thought mercy was a sign of weakness.
ill. I'm concerned about Donald Trump's bid for the presidency of the United States. His business philosophy is completely contrary to Christ. He advocates if your enemy hits you. Hit them so hard they can never hit you again.
app. When is the last time you gave something to someone who hates you? A kind look, a courtesy, a gift, time, concern?
4. Frequent to intercede.
and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
question: Are you praying for your enemies?
Psalm 35: 11 ¶ False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
app. Can you before the eyes of Him who sees the heart, so guard your heart from anger, bitterness, that love could be seen there for your enemies?
B. A Godly Love.
exp. This is AGAPE love. It is the a love that is GODLY AND JUST LIKE GOD'S LOVE.
1. Showing Heavenly Pedigree.
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven:
ill. Children ofen favor their parents and it is very commendable when they exhibit great characteristics of good parents. There is no higher compliment than to say to that child, you have hit the high standard of your heritage.
ill. I hope someday to achieve what my dad has achieved in faithfulness to God in ministry. I hope the good qualities of my father's ministry are seen in my ministry. If so, when someone compliments those characteristics and says that I am like my father, I will rejoice.
app. Is there anything Heavenly about your love? Does it remind anyone of God?
2. Sharing Heavenly blessing.
for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
exp. God is good to the unthankful and unholy.
ill. Corrie Ten Boom was standing with her sister as they watched a prison matron beating a fellow prisoner. Corrie's godly sister said, "I feel sorry for that woman." Corrie thinking that she was speaking about the prisoner said, "Oh, I do to." She then realized her sister was speaking about the prison matron.
app. Do you love those who hate Christ?
C. An abnormal love.
1. Even tax collecters can love people who love them.
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
def. Publican - "a tax gatherer, collector of taxes or tolls, one employed by a publican or farmer general in the collection of taxes. The tax collectors were as a class, detested not only by the Jews, but by other nations also, both on account of their employment and of the harshness, greed, and deception, with which they did their job."
2. Even tax collectors can greet their friends.
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
ill. Have you ever seen the game at fairs where you try to ring a bell by bringing a hammer down with power. The metal piece flies up and tries to ring the bell.
exp. If love was your power to ring the bell of love, friends and family would be at the bottom and enemies would be at the top. Any worldly person can get the metal piece up to that low standard of family and friends. But, it takes a power of God to get that bell to ring.
app. God doesn't reward low level human love. He rewards High power Godly love.
II. The kind of giving that God rewards.
A. Warning - public displays forfeit reward.
1 ¶ 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.
exp. Those who give to be seen, will not get ANY reward.
ill. Jesus observes what was given in the temple.
1 ¶ And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
exp. He has nothing to say of their great gift. They were rich men. He has something to say about the poor widow woman who gave all that she had.
app. God doesn't reward us based upon how much we give. He rewards us for how we give.
B. Giving that gives.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms,
exp. Instruction on giving assumes that we are participating in worshipping God with financial offerings.
ill. THE TITHE - Jacob promised to give back to God what God gave to Him. Ge 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
exp. The new testament principle is grace giving.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
app. Jesus assumes that we are going to give.
C. Giving that is genuine.
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.
exp. No fanfare. There is just a genuine desire to give to God.
question: Why do you give? If you don't give, perhaps a better question would be, Why don't you give? Both of those questions reveal our heart. If we don't give, we don't view God as worthy. But, we can give with no thought about God and that is as worthless as not giving.
ill. Building the tabernacle - Ex 35:5,21 Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass, etc... 21 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments.
app. It is a blessing to genuinely participate in giving to God's work.
D. Giving that is private.
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:
exp. Don't try this as you will surely fail to keep your left hand from knowing that your right hand is putting something in the offering box. He is stressing the importance of not making a public display.
quote: Believer's Bible Commentary "This passage should not be pressed to prohibit any gift that might be seen by others, since it is virtually impossible to make all one's contributions strictly anonymous. It simply condemns the blatant display of giving."
ill. Katie and I got married by faith and not finances. Things were tight. But, often we got a secret hand shake at church with some case tucked into our hand. No one else knew but that individual. That is what God is talking about.
app. Be a blessing with what God has given you, but do so as discreetly as possible.
E. Giving that is observable by God alone.
and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
app. God isn't going to overlook anthing that you give. No one else may realize how deeply you sacrificed for God's work, but God will not be any man's debtor.
Lu 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
III. The kind of praying that God rewards.
A. Warning - public displays forfeit reward.
5 ¶ 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.
exp. The same admonition is stated for prayer as was stated about giving. If you love to pray because you love to be seen of men, that is all the reward you will get.
B. Sure prayer.
6 But thou, when thou prayest,
exp. Again JESUS assumes that you are praying.
question: Let's make that statement a question: When do you pray? For how long? How often do you pray? How consistently?
Mr 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
exp. Jesus had a very busy schedule. But, he wasn' too busy to pray.
app. Are you?
C. Secret prayer.
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.
ill. Jesus "He departed and went into a solitary place and there prayed."
exp. Not the Pharisees. They chose the busiest street corner for their private prayers because they wanted public praise.
Ps 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
app. Do you have a place where you get alone with God?
C. Sincere prayer.
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.
exp. How has the common book of prayer ever made it into evangelical churches? Praise God the church of Scotland had the courage to despise such liturgy and vain repetitions.
note: Prayer is not a nice poem with shallow thoughts and pretty sayins about God.
exp. Prayer is our heart crying out to God's heart.
app. Are you trying to make it pretty or powerful?
D. Saintly prayer.
8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
exp. If the heathen pray one way, I had better pray another. God into Catholic mass and observe how not to pray. God knows our needs. He wants our hearts to cry out to him to meet our needs.
ill. A father does not want to receive a form letter written by his son's attorney asking him for his inheritance. He wants a loving son telling him of his love and asking him for his affectionate consideration of his needs.
Jer 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
app. We have a loving Father who wants us to come affectionately to him NOT THROUGH ELOQUENCE, but through tender intercession.
(Lord's Prayer ommitted as recently preached.)
IV. The kind of fasting that God rewards.
A. Warning - public displays forfeit reward.
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.
exp. Jesus doesn't apologize for pointing out another flaw of the self righteous. The would fast for men's sympathy. That sympathy would be all of the benefit of their fasting.
note: But, again, our Lord assumes that we will fast.
B. A fasting that men can't see.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;
18 That thou appear not unto men to fast,
exp. Take a shower, do your hair, women - put on make up. There is to be no outward sign that you are fasting. This isn't sack cloth and ashes. This is doing without something as necessary as food as a testimony to God of sincerity in seeking Him.
ill. Jesus didn't fast for 40 days for men's applause. He did so at the instruction of God's spirit.
Mark 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
app. When God speaks to your heart about fasting, do so as privately as possible.
C. A fasting that God can't miss.
but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
app. God will bless fasting. But, his blessing will not be in private.
conclusion: I would love to catch a blue fin tuna in season when my "work" could be rewarded. But, I'd want to catch the best KIND possible.
There are only certain KINDS that will be rewarded by God.
1.) Will you get a reward for your exceptional love?
2.) Exceptional giving?
3.) Exceptional praying?
4.) Exceptional fasting?