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.


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?

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?

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 together, encouraging one another.