Always a Snare

MAY 11

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

A synagogue is a gathering or assembling of people for Jewish religious practices. This particular verse refers to the building where the crowd gathers. 

Jesus says hypocrites make certain they sound their trumpets in the synagogues. If they give the largest financial contribution, they want it known! In some synagogues, the best seat in the house was reserved for the largest giver. It was known to the entire gathering why that particular person sat in that particular seat.

Jesus said synagogues weren’t enough for the  hypocrites – they also sound their trumpets in the streets. Streets are public places where anyone is allowed. Streets are not exclusive to Jews or Gentiles (although some may be preferences of a certain group). Streets are a much larger and broader way to be sure your charitable deeds are known.

Charitable deeds and contributions are good things. Whenever you can – be generous in deeds and money. 

Be careful of self-glory. It is always a snare.

PRAYER

Dear Heavenly Father, Please give me a generous heart and show me how to use it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is generous and kind—He will teach me to be!

It Is They

MAY 10

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Hypocrites. If anyone makes the Bible and the Christian faith look bad, it is they. If anyone can make a good act look bad, it is they. If anyone can make what should be an act of love turn into ego, it is they. If anyone can tip the scales so judgment outweighs mercy, it is they. If anyone can take a lie and cleverly disguise it as the truth, it is they. 

Is it any wonder Jesus accepted the thieves, murderers, and morally impure over the religious hypocrites? The former came to Jesus broken, bleeding captives seeking forgiveness and love. They came with a repentant heart. Covered His feet with their tears. The latter came self-assured and confident of their lack of need for help. They came with an arrogant heart – saw themselves good.

Hypocrites love to sound the trumpet before their good deeds. They desire to bring glory to themselves. They make sure they receive praise. And the whole world needs to know!

PRAYER

Dear Jesus, Only You are worthy to receive glory, and honor, and blessing, forever and ever. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ alone is worthy of the world’s glory—I praise Him!  

If a Trumpet Sounds

MAY 9

MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

In this verse alms could be translated as charity.  Whether this is an act of charity, or a financial gift of charity, the meaning is the same.

The sound of the trumpet draws attention to your charity. Jesus says don’t do that. If you are about to perform a charitable act, don’t call the newspaper first. Don’t have the reporter ready at the scene with his camera. Don’t pull out your phone, capture a selfie, and immediately post it on social media.  

Any act or gift of charity should bring glory to God – not you.  Colossians 3:17 (KJV), “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” If you do anything publicly, give God thanks for giving you the ability to make the gift. Let it be known that it is only by God’s provision you can share charity, and do it in Jesus’ powerful name.

If a trumpet sounds, let it be to God’s praise!

PRAYER

Powerful Jesus, I can neither achieve nor acquire anything without You.  Let me always give You the glory! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                       

Christ gives me provision—I will give Him glory!

Something to Seek

MAY 8

MATTHEW 6:1_otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Back to rewards again. Jesus speaks a lot about rewards. He speaks of them as something to be desired, something to be honored, something to seek.

I have never found in the key to the treasure chest a time when Jesus speaks of rewards in a casual take-it-or-leave-it way

Whether we know what the Father’s rewards are or not, we know Jesus places great value on them. Which sets an example for us.      

When we study the Bible diligently with a seeking heart, we learn Jesus teaches specifically what causes not to receive the Father’s rewards. He does not speak favorably of any of these things.

Because Jesus loves us, and wants us to receive these rewards whether in this life or the next, Jesus warns. The rebellion in us does not respond well to warnings – someone telling us what to do. When our hearts are transformed we realize there is love behind the warnings.

Just as specifically, Jesus teaches what causes to receive the rewards.

PRAYER

Father God,  Please change my rebellious heart to accept Your warnings. Teach me to see Your great love for me in each warning. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                         

Christ wants me to receive rewards—I want to!

The Wrong Light

 MAY 7

MATTHEW 6:1_to be seen of them…

Take heed (pay attention) to one simple word – seen. Your righteousness can be seen … just like your light. Your light draws and guides to truth and freedom. There is another way to use light – to attract attention to you. This clarifies not doing your righteousness before men.

If your purpose for righteousness is to receive praise – you missed the mark. Showing acts of mercy, charitable giving, giving more than receiving, should all be done to bring glory to God. Any honor belongs to the One who taught you to live in righteousness. 

The purpose of being light is not to shine on you, but on Jesus – the Light of the World! 

You can’t save anyone – even yourself. You can’t bring anyone out of darkness. The light that shines from acts of righteousness reflects Jesus’ light. He saves. He brings out of darkness. He possesses the power to transform lives, break bondages, heal broken hearts. And when in His will, to heal diseased bodies. 

If your light doesn’t reflect Jesus’ light – it’s the wrong light. 

PRAYER

Loving Jesus, Please help me not to let my light shine on me, but on You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                      

Christ wants me to shine for Him—I will!