MATTHEW 6:20_But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…
When you are consumed with something it fills your life. It takes over all your space – no room for anything else.
The love of wealth is so consuming that the fruits of the Spirit have no growing space. The sad thing is those fruits are what every human craves. Bondage to wealth deceives. You believe wealth can buy what will satisfy your cravings. It just can’t be done. The fruits which the Spirit produces in you cannot be bought with money.
The first three fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, and peace are the most sought after virtues in existence. The wealthiest people on the planet would give their treasure to possess those virtues. These are virtues God uses to reward salty-lit-up disciples of Jesus. People who are not disciples have a thing going with their love of money – believing eventually it will satisfy.
Acts 5:1-3 (KJV) tells a story of the bondage of wealth: “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2 And kept back part of the price, … 3 But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why hath satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?'”
Peter said Ananias could have kept all his money. But when Ananias lied to keep from giving all, his money bondage was his destruction.
Magnificent Jesus, I want space for Your fruits to grow in my soul. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ cultivates fruit in me—I will give Him space!
MATTHEW 6:18_shall reward thee openly.
God will reward you openly. Trust that. Believe that. But remember, God has His own time table, and it’s a perfect one. You can also trust and believe that!
God delights in rewarding His people. Another natural byproduct of love is to give – time, money, gifts. God is the creator of all things physical and spiritual. He knows how to reward, when to reward, what to reward (behavior or actions), and the kind of reward to give.
You can trust your Heavenly Father to give rewards perfectly designed for you. They are part of the wonderful plan God has for your life. God has a plan for everyone. There are those who do not choose to accept His plan. The circumstances of life, which are beyond your control: family, race, culture, disabilities, can never prevent you from achieving His plan – if you seek it.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (KJV),“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
God Who Cares, Thank You for Your plan for me. Nothing in this life can take it from me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ has a plan me—He will help me achieve it!
MATTHEW 6:16_Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
Hypocrisy develops in stages. The more you succumb to it, the firmer its stronghold. Hypocrisy strongholds are motivated by life is more about my looking good than God receiving glory. Truth destroys strongholds – any stronghold. When truth fills your heart— there is no room for deception.
The disfigured face of the fasting hypocrite is designed to draw personal attention. As in a theatrical production, make-up and costumes are an essential part. The more authentic the make-up the more believable the character. If the character wants to evoke compassion for great self-sacrifice, the make-up and costume are as important as acting ability. Jesus’ disfigured face descript is about understanding this is not a time for drawing attention.
More than for strengthening the spirit, fasting to the hypocrite is a time for moving up the spiritual ladder – to the top of the totem pole. Any time God is not at the top of your totem pole – “something is rotten in the state of Denmark!” (check your Shakespeare—Hamlet).
When being the head of your Christian group is more important to you than serving God in the lives of His people, be careful – you already have your reward.
Magnificent God, I don’t want my life to be about me, I want it to be about You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ should be the head—He is head of my life!
MATTHEW 6:6_and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward them openly.
More rewards. Open rewards. Have you noticed how often God has plans to reward you? It is a definite part of His program.
The world is cruel, hard, and evil. Praise God that while you live in it He blesses with rewards. Praise God that He works supernaturally on your behalf. What a mighty God!
Along with awaking with God’s likeness, I also desire to receive wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Proverbs 24:3-4 (KJV),”Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”
I want to build my life on wisdom. I want to establish my life in understanding. I want to furnish my life with knowledge. Want to know how to live in the world, but not of it? The Big Three! That means during my lifetime I can grow into a salty-lit-up disciple and not be bound by the world’s sins. By now you know what that means – I can live free. It does not mean I will never sin again. It means I will no longer be controlled by sin. No bondages.
Freedom means I’m not captive to anything but the love of Jesus!
God of Wisdom, Please teach me to build my life on wisdom; establish it with understanding and furnish it with knowledge. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is freedom—I want to live free!
MATTHEW 6:5_Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward.
Jesus says if you live life the world’s way, you will have the world’s rewards.
The prayers of the hypocrites do not go unrewarded. Perhaps they get the best seats in the synagogues. Perhaps they receive high positions of administration. Whatever their rewards, a very sad fact remains – the prayers of a self-glorifying hypocrite can never help the seeker find the Savior.
The hypocrite loses God’s reward. Nothing in life is worth that—no praise—no financial gain—no high position—no fame. The praise, money, position, fame, could be a way God chooses to reward you openly. They also could be how the world rewards you.
Jesus makes clear what the problem is with the hypocrites’ public prayers – to be seen of men. That changes everything. These are not prayers of communication between the potter and the clay. These are prayers of self-glory. They communicate, “What a good and pious person I am, everyone should be like me.”
Read this one more time – the world rewards with bondage, God rewards with freedom.
Holy Jesus, Teach me how to pray in private and in public. Teach me to know the difference. Place in my heart the desire to receive Your rewards, not the world’s. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ’s rewards give freedom—I want that!