Elements City Church
Sermon on the Mount - Week 6 - How to Give Rightly
The Sermon on the Mount is the most famous sermon Jesus ever preached. It derives its name from the place where Jesus preached it; a mountainside that acted as a natural amphitheater along the shores of Galilee. The Sermon on the Mount, preached to ordinary people, covers a wide range of topics like prayer, fasting, money, worry, forgiveness, anger, lust, judging others, and more. But the theme that unites it all is Jesus explaining the heart of God behind His given Law. It is one of the most challenging biblical texts to interpret properly because the Sermon goes far deeper than promoting external obedience to God’s moral imperatives or simple behavior modification. Every line of the Sermon goes to the heart of discipleship. The Sermon offers a clear understanding of what a blessed life that is pleasing to God looks like from the inside out. What Jesus taught often runs counter to mainstream thinking, but every lesson is brimming with heavenly wisdom and practical instruction that leads us into a flourishing life.
Locations & Times
  • Elements City Church
    1825 N Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA
    Sunday 5:00 PM

Thanks for joining us!

Whether you're on-site or online, we are praying that tonight will be an encouragement to your soul. May God whisper to you and help you in taking your next steps in a journey with Him. If you're new, we'd love to have you fill out our connection card.

It's here in the Sermon on the Mount -- found in Matthew 5-7 -- that King Jesus gives us a radical picture of what life in His Kingdom looks like. And it’s our hope that, as we meditate on Jesus’s words, we might become people who more closely follow His Way and experience a life that truly flourishes in the process.
“I think the Sermon is a piece of wisdom teaching from Jesus that invites people into true human flourishing through wholeness centered on God and his coming kingdom. Jesus’s Sermon invites us to see the world in a certain way and to be in the world in a certain way that accords with God’s nature, will, and coming reign upon the earth; in short, “righteousness” (cf. Matt 5:20). It is a call to faith‐based discipleship in Jesus, the Son of God.”
- Jonathan T. Pennington
The Sermon so far:
Beatitudes (Matt 5:1-12)
Salt and Light (vs. 13-16)
How to Have Kingdom Righteousness in Following the Law (vs. 17-48)
Tonight begins a new section of the Sermon:
How to Have Kingdom Righteousness in Practicing Your Faith (Matt 6:1-21)
1 Samuel 16:7 ESV
"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
A problem:
Anyone, motivated properly, can externally practice righteousness.

But the Lord is looking for more than just external obedience. He wants to see whole-hearted (teleios) followers.
The promise of reward is a powerful motivator in the human experience; it plays directly into human nature.
There is a way to give that may appear righteous but, in fact, is completely selfish.
We must not give in order to build our reputation.
We must not give in order for our reputation to live up to those around us.
Jesus speaks strongly about giving in secret because He knows how quickly our motivations can turn sour.

Jesus wants us to be motivated by something far greater — something eternal. He wants us to exchange being motivated by the temporary for being motivated by the eternal. He wants us to exchange being motivated by the applause of people we may not even like all that much, for being motivated by the affirmation of a holy, loving God who delights in us when we obey Him.
Altruistic giving, a duty-based approach, won’t work.

And Jesus rejects this notion. Jesus openly talks about the rewards the Father gives to those who practice true righteousness! Jesus understands human nature.

All humans are motivated by the promise of future reward -- even Jesus, who "for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising its shame" (see Hebrews 12:2).
Our true problem:
We've all heard the saying, "It's better to give than it is to receive."

But have you ever noticed that it is also easier to give than it is to receive?
If we are not careful, our true motivation may really be to avoid the embarrassment of needing to receive anything at all.
If we’re not careful we may become so successful and so self-sufficient that we forget that, at our very core, we are still very much in need of receiving God’s grace on a daily basis. And if we can’t receive the kindness others show toward us, what makes us think we are ready to receive something so much greater and grander, like the Gospel grace that leads to salvation in Christ?
It’s uncomfortable to be in need.

And yet, we stand before the Lord in all of our brokenness with a debt so large that there’s nothing we could ever do to pay it off.
When we are able to humbly receive the gift Jesus has given to us, we learn that until we receive that most precious of gifts we are unable to truly give anything with the right heart.

If you want to be a person who knows how to give, you have to first learn how to receive.

Thanks for partnering with us!

Thank you for enabling us to be the Church in our city! Your gifts help fuel the mission of Elements City Church, as well as our capacity to share His love with as many as we can. You help us bring the HOPE and LIGHT of Jesus to our city! You can give online at the link below or through the Elements app.

Whether you joined us on-site or online, thanks for being with us tonight!
May you have a blessed week ahead!

Join us next week as we continue our series in the Sermon on the Mount.

Be sure to check the Elements app for upcoming events.

We look forward to gathering again next weekend!