Top of the Totem Pole

JULY 4

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.

PRAYER

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!

The Big Three

MAY 26

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 plan. 

The world is cruel, hard, and evil. Praise God that while you live in it He blesses with rewards. Praise God 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: 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!

PRAYER

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!

That Changes Everything

MAY 21

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.   

PRAYER

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!

Couldn’t Get Any Better!

MAY 18

MATTHEW 6:4_and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Jesus says the Father Himself shall reward you. If the alms are done for self-glory, you will be rewarded by the world. If the alms are done for God’s glory, the Father will reward you. 

Heavenly rewards come after death. Jesus says God will reward you openly. In this life. I wouldn’t try to name what the rewards may be, but I will claim the truth of Ephesians 3:20 (KJV), “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”

Here is that power again, working inside you, changing you, giving you God’s desires over your own. 

I would love to receive the reward of Psalm 17:15 (KJV), “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”

Satisfied is to be appeased – a desire fulfilled. Awake is to become alert, active, to come alive. Whether you interpret that verse to mean you awake to see God’s likeness in life, or you awake to have God’s likeness in yourself – it’s a reward either way.

It would be a beautiful thing to begin a new day with a heart and soul like unto Jesus! That’s the goal of any salty-lit-up disciple.

Life just couldn’t get any better than that!  

PRAYER

Loving Jesus, I want to awake with Your heart and be satisfied in You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ’s likeness is genuine love—I want it!

The Win-Win

MAY 17

MATTHEW 6:4_and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Proverbs 15:3 (KJV), “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

God is omnipresent. He never lets you out of His sight. Some people can be intimidated by this verse thinking God keeps check on everything they do. He does! But, that’s a very good thing!

God loves you enough to prod you when you’re headed astray, and to bless you when you’ve done a good deed. II Chronicles 16:9 (KJV), “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”

Jesus says your Father is everywhere, showing His strength. Let there be no doubt about it. There isn’t any place, or any way, you can hide from God. Why would you want to?

To hide from God would be like trying to outrun love.

A love that never fails.

A love that draws you close to your Creator.

A love that would die for you.

A love that did die for you.

A love that gave you eternal life.

God sees in secret and rewards in the open. Live out the creation principles Jesus teaches! Become a salty-lit-up disciple who gives God glory.

That’s a win-win!

PRAYER

Jesus God, Thank You that You are always with me—anytime, anywhere. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is omnipresent—He will never leave me!