Masks…a recap from 3-6-11

Yesterday was one of thse amazing worship gatherings that you just can’t plan. God revealed Himself in a fresh way that was incredible! We saw the Holy Spirit speak very specifically and LOUDLY to all of us. if you were there, you know what I’m talking about; if you weren’t there, then I can’t really explain what went on…but I’ll try.

First of all, there was a great crowd with lots of new faces! That is always exciting. Ridgers, keep bringing people. YOU are the best outreach we can have!

We had all of our students who had participated in DiscipleNow weekend along with their leaders there together. Awesome weekend with these guys. Wendell Brewton, our Family Pastor did his usual awesome job of organizing along with an amazing team of volunteers. Thanks to ALL of you for making DiscipleNow Weekend great! Major props to all!

We are continuing in our series on the Sermon On The Mount which we are calling Take A Hike. Yesterday, we looked at Matthew 6:1-4.

The main thing in this passage Jesus was teaching is not so much about giving to the poor, that isn’t His point here; rather that our relationship with God is for Him to see, not for men to notice, applaud, approve or acknowledge. Do we do righteous acts to be noticed by men or are we righteous before God?

Hypocrite means literally means “one who wears a MASK the Greek actors of the day would wear masks to portray multiple characters in a play. Masks are something we wear to HIDE who we really are…or to make us APPEAR to be something we are not…or to PROTECT ourselves. Masks also draw attention to ME.

Jesus understands that the FLESH is the root of the hypocrisy problem. The FLESH demands to be NOTICED. The flesh will always want to “put on a show” in order to be SEEN by MEN.   If we are in Christ, we have a new heart. This is what Jesus wants to get down to. Again, where is your heart? If we have a new heart, we have to realize and never forget that the battle with the flesh will always be there until we die and Jesus changes or mortal bodies into new heavenly immortal ones. Until then we will live a in a body of flesh and the flesh will always be the flesh. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to give in to the demands of the flesh. (see Galatians 5:16-17).

When all people see is my mask, they’ll never see JESUS.  When we give, serve, worship, pray, whatever… in order to be noticed, we have gotten our reward. There is no more reward coming. So, when do you want your reward? Now or later?

 Here’s The Thing…at the end of the day…in our hearts…Whose APPLAUSE are we after? That is the heart of the matter as far as Jesus is concerned. What mask are you hiding behind that is seeking man’s approval instead of God’s? What are the hypocrisies that God is convicting you of? What are the pride issues that you are using to steal God’s glory? You see that’s really what we are doing.

As people had arrived, we had masks on all of the seats. At the end of our teaching, we gave people a chance to respond by coming to the altar and writing on these masks the things that they had been hiding behind…the hypocricies…the false righteousness…the “religiousity”…the desire for recognition and the applause of men….whatever God was showing them. Then we asked them to pray and simply leave those things there at the altar. It was a powerful moment! I think some folks got serious about their walk with Christ and took some major steps yesterday. I pray that they will continue in their journey each day this week! Let’s keep hiking! God is working in us…and through us to accomplish His purposes!

If you laid your mask at the altar…don’t pick it up again. If you didn’t, why not get real with God and lay it down. He wants to change your heart…and He doesn’t want you to put on an external mask to try and hide it.

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