Matthew 6:1-8 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”
Our associate Pastor Rick gave us the Sunday Sermon message this week from the above Scripture passage, but he reminded us that just in the previous chapter, in Matthew 5:13-16 the Lord Jesus tells us: “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”, and we might feel that there is a contradiction of shining our light (the light of truth in the Gospel) for all to see, then telling us to do our charitable deeds in secret, but we must look at the intent of what the Lord is saying here.
The children of God are to be Ambassadors for Christ, being the salt of the earth bringing the spice of true life, and being the light of the world to shine God’s love and mercy into the darkness of sin and unbelief for salvation in others, and glory to God in the highest. But, we are not here to say “Look at me!” or perform anything to get people to say “how good and holy you are”. So many act and talk today, so that people like them, but that is just “blowing our own horn” as a hypocrite. What we are truly saying is “glory be to me”, when we should be saying: “Glory be to God”. The desire for human recognition as our motivation is a matter of pride and the reward is recognition and praise from people, not God. God is working in us to be more like Him in spiritual growth; not to lift our hand and say: “Did everyone see me do that?” Motivation matters, but Almighty God is the focus, not us, others or idols. It is in God we trust. We give to the Lord out of pure adoration in humble secrecy because it is strictly between us and our Maker and Savior.
We'll see how Pastor Rick concludes this message tomorrow.
In Christ, Brian