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!

Secrets

MAY 16

MATTHEW 6:4_That thy alms may be in secret…

Just in case anyone was confused with the right/left hand illustration – Jesus says it plainly – let your alms be in secret. 

He’s already called the trumpet blowers hypocrites. He has specified their chief blowing places – synagogues and streets. He has said why they do it – to be seen by men. But lest you still have not caught on, now hear this: DO IT IN SECRET!! 

You don’t tell secrets. If you do, they are no longer secrets. You don’t post on social media your secrets. Also, you do not have a banquet in your honor – for a gift you gave in secret. 

This does not mean you should not be honored at some time for some great achievement. You may have plaques on your wall given to you by people who have benefited from your good works. But, this was their doing, the beneficiaries, not because you blew your own trumpet.

Luke 14:8,10 (KJV), 8When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

PRAYER

True God, Please teach me the secret of how to be secret. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                      

Christ knows when I need to receive honor—He will do it!

An Inflated Ego

MAY 12

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.

Jesus uses His attention getting word in this verse – verily. Perk up, open your heart, receive some truth!

Charity giving as a public spectacle may cause it to be more of a showy extravaganza than a sincere act of the heart. The more public, the more praise you receive.

In this example, Jesus’ verily draws attention to the fact this reward has already been received. Sounds like Jesus says, “Don’t look for a reward from God – you sought man’s reward, and have received it.”

Earthly praise is very good – especially when parents praise their children for making wise choices and in general doing good. But to seek public praise, can be destructive. An inflated ego can cause you to believe you are invincible.

I recently heard a little saying I like very much: Your ego is not your amigo!

In John 8:54 (KJV) Jesus said, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing.”

Wow! Even Jesus, who is glory, didn’t seek self-glory!

PRAYER

God of Glory, Help me know the only way I am invincible is in Your power. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ did not seek His own glory—He sought God’s glory!

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!