This week at KF Youth we continued our study through the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:1-4). This is where the rubber meets the road. Having spent a considerable amount of time on what is the Kingdom of Heaven and it’s availability to us, we now examine how we access the Kingdom of Heaven. Again, an important distinction must be made between the act of being made alive to the Kingdom (born again, repentance, initial salvation, and other such terms to describe it) and the continuing action of living in it abundantly. At the end of the day, this amounts to living like Jesus in all the aspects of His life so that we begin to truly live like Him and do the things that He did.
There were 3 major things that we touched on last night: giving, service, and secrecy. These are 3 major disciplines in the life of a Spirit-filled person. Secrecy is really the main theme of Matthew 6:1-18 and it provides a keen insight into our culture today. Today we are over-saturated with an awareness of other people’s lives, and we ourselves make a habit of broadcasting all the nuances of our own lives. This is exactly what the Pharisees did that rendered their Heavenly reward empty and worthless. They relied on the recognition of other people so much so, that their entire motivation to do anything was based on proving themselves to themselves through the attention of others.
How many of us today find it hard to engage in a good deed or give to charity without telling someone about it? The current culture demands that we broadcast ourselves and declare to the world how beautiful, desirable, or noble we are. We have become a people addicted to attention and applause. This has resulted in a radical shift in our value system and how we determine worth in general. Consequently, such a disposition has stripped us of all ability to have peace within ourselves, understand our worth in Christ, accomplish anything of lasting value, live differently from the world, and a host of other things. As Christians, we have been given total access to these Kingdom of Heaven ideas, but our failure to understand what Jesus teaches here and practice it for ourselves has to led us to live a powerless life.
Practicing the discipline of secrecy has massive implications and potential to mold us into the image of Jesus and enable us to live now in the abundant life afforded to us through Jesus’ life.
Ask your kids to explain secrecy. Do you see in them the need to practice this discipline? Help them brainstorm ways to practice it and pray through it with them. Share with them how you would practice these things yourself. And most importantly, examine the life of Jesus and how he practiced these disciplines (That is the essence of being a disciple of Him – we examine His way of life and, through His grace, emulate it).