Read Matthew 6:1
- How would you define ‘acts of righteousness’?
- Do you think there is any such thing as a completely pure motive in doing something?
- How easy is to slip into the habit of doing things to impress others instead of doing them for God? Why do we want to impress others?
- If your motive is to be seen by others, Jesus warns ‘you will have no reward from your Father in heaven’. What does he mean? You won’t enter eternity? Or is it some other reward he means? (Perhaps revisit this at the end.)
Read Matthew 6:2-4 (Giving)
- Why is it so important to give in secret? What are some strategies you’ve used (or that Mark mentioned) to be able to do this?
- Describe what goes on in your heart when and if you do receive praise from people. How do you react? How rewarding is that ultimately compared to pleasing God?
Read Matthew 6:5-8 (Prayer)
- What is prayer? What do you find helpful in enabling your prayer life to flourish?
- How can we ensure that we keep our prayer real, personal and not showy? Why is that important?
Read Matthew 6:16-18 (Fasting)
- Have you ever fasted? Why do you think fasting is often ignored/neglected among Christians today?
- What are some of the reasons/uses for fasting? Would you consider it? Who should know when we fast?
- We are all probably hypocrites in some way (even small ways) in our lives. How can we address this? How can we still be confident before God even though we are not perfect?
- Personally (and perhaps for home), think about the various “acts of righteousness” you engage in. Where do you most persistently or strongly experience the temptation “to be seen by others”? What does that look like? Is there a particular person or group you especially desire to be seen by?