May 8: Secret Service


Series Big Idea
Modeling Jesus’ teachings builds a stronger family.

Teaching Big Idea
Practicing generosity, prayer, and sacrifice only to be seen by God models what is most rewarding.

TALK IT OVER

Ice Breaker

  • Describe some examples of ways to practice generosity. 
  • Now think of ways you practice generosity, prayer or sacrificial living. Are you more likely to do so in private, or publicly?

Scripture
Matthew 4:1-11
Matthew 6:1-34
Matthew 7:7-12

Observation & Interpretation

  • What do these scriptures reveal of the importance practicing generosity, prayer and sacrifice in secret?
  • How were these modeled in your own family?
  • Why is practicing this in secret so important to God? Doesn’t practicing generosity publicly encourage others to give generously? Discuss.
  • Think back to a time when your acts of giving, serving, or prayer were misconstrued by others as a desire for attention or praise. What was your response?

Application
The purpose of fasting is to surrender your needs for God’s will and what He wants to do in you. In a way, you are letting God know that you are relying on Him for your needs, rather than on your own abilities.

  • Would you consider fasting as a way to connect with God; to replace your own wants for what God wants to do in you? 
  • Describe what fasting secretly (privately) looks like?
  • What outcomes would you hope would happen as a result of fasting?

Secret Service

  • Resist the urge to announce your service and God will reward it.
  • God rewards secret generosity by meeting our needs. (Matthew 6:19-34)
  • God rewards secret prayers by answering them (Matthew 7:7-12)
  • God rewards fasting by making us more like Jesus. (Matthew 4:1-11)

Take action

  • Make a plan to serve someone (family, friend, coworker, etc.) this week, without making your service public. Note the effect this act has on your relationship with God.
  • Take time to observe your family, friends, and coworkers. Note ways you can serve them, and then do it.

Pray
Pray together, encouraging one another.