If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:
- MONDAY: Matthew 5 (Sermon the Mount, pt. 1)
- TUESDAY: Matthew 6 (Sermon the Mount, pt. 2)
- WEDNESDAY: Matthew 7 (Sermon the Mount, pt. 3)
- THURSDAY: Luke 15 (“Lost” Trilogy of Parables)
- FRIDAY: Genesis 16 — “You are the God who sees me”
- SATURDAY: 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 — “known by God”
- SUNDAY: Galatians 4:1-9 — “known by God”
eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!
Sermon Notes: “The Father Saw” ⤵️
Preacher: Steve Furtick
Passage: Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 15:11-24
Title: The Father Saw
Series: Kingdom Clout
Date: January 19, 2020
Sermon Notes are taken during the 9:30 Experience at the Columbia Campus.
- When you care more about what other people think of you–you become a slave to other people’s opinions (a “clout chaser”)
- Servant of cultural values not one of principles
- The devil had already been defeated
- He can’t defeat you
- But he can distract you so that you crash
- Or discourage you so that you quit
- Victory is in store for you… you have to recognize that [have faith]
- Jesus’ kingdom: different kind of kingdom
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3a)
- But self-awareness is the beginning of happiness
- “Blessed are the meek” (Matthew 5:5a)
- I don’t have to receive from the world
- “Blessed are those who mourn” (Matthew 5:4a)
- I can honestly look at my problems
- “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3a)
A. Reward, not Retribution
1 “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. 2 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. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6:1-4, NIV
- Pastor Steven shares a story of being invited to have a reality TV show done about his life (he says this was when he was younger, without a beard, and not as mature). During one of the meetings, one of the producers asked him, “Why do you want to do this?” He said he didn’t know how to answer that question. The producer goes on, “In order for the show to succeed, your life would have to be ruined. Do you really think people want to watch a good life? … It’s a crap business, Reverend. My advice, run for your life.”
- You don’t need a publisher for a reality TV show anymore. All you need is a phone.
- We compare one another’s reality TV show to our real lives.
- Living for the approval of people is a crap business.
- What if you invested your self-worth in another person’s opinion?
- Too many of us are living to be seen by people.
- It’s okay to want to be seen… it’s a basic human need… but when we only show the “presentable” parts of our lives, we are “seen” but never truly known.
- People clap for all the wrong stuff.
- People clap for a new car (which you can see) but not for the car payment (which you can’t see)
- Clap for a raise, but not for more rest.
- Clap for weight loss, but not for worry-loss.
- We need to make a decision: Who is our audience?
- Matthew 6:4 says that God sees what we do in secret, not like a stalker, not watching for retribution, but for reward
- People look for retribution [“your life would have to be ruined”]
- God looks for reward
- You are not like the world because you have something they don’t.
- Why would god be repelled by the masterpiece he created?
- If you cried, you didn’t cry alone.
- If you couldn’t sleep, you weren’t up alone.
- God counts the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7), and you can’t count hairs from a distance.
- Seen versus unseen
- The kingdom is unseen realm being brought into the seen.
- What is unseen is often more real than what is seen:
- The family inside the house versus square footage
- What’s going on in your heart versus the brands you wear.
- Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)
- To feel unseen is painful
- Would anyone even notice if I never showed up again?
- Do I make a difference?
- But we make unfair comparisons: your unseen life versus another’s unrealistic seen life.
- God doesn’t care about how many followers you have, he cares about your faith.
- Unseen things are way more important than the seen things
- [2 Corinthians 4:18b: “What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”]
- Would you rather lose your pinkie or your liver?
- God sees what is done in secret.
B. Celebration, not Condemnation
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
Luke 15:11-20a, NIV
- Home is a place you know you can always go.
- The younger son got to a place where was feeding himself with pig food — he was focused on what was seen — going to the (social media) feed is like eating pig pods.
- Some people would rather be seen as righteous but not actually right with God
- He gets to a point where he says, “I’m so sick of this.”
- Of celebrating stuff that is dysfunctional
- Of waiting for people to give me approval
- Adulthood is just managing your image, but it’s more expensive
- Of performing for people who aren’t even paying attention
- Maybe his heart didn’t change
- Maybe he was just hungry
- God still meets us even if our motives are wrong
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:20b-24, NIV
- If we don’t celebrate what is unseen in our lives, we become susceptible to only recognizing that which is seen.
- We fall into the trap of tying our sense of worth to other people’s recognition.
- Even though it took him a long time, the son went home because he realized who he belonged to.
- When you realize you’re from God, you know you can always return to God.
- “His father saw” is God saying “I see”
- It sets us free from the need to be validated
- Do you have room in your heart for a fresh revelation?