There is so much wisdom in Matthew 6. It talks about a variety of things like doing good to others, giving to the needy, prayer, fasting, priority, and worry. But today I want to focus on a theme that weaves itself throughout the whole chapter, and it has to do with our inner motivations for doing all of these things. Why and how do we pray, fast, give to the needy, or any of these things that the Word of God reveals to us? Are doing these things for God, to make ourselves feel better, or to impress those around us?
“Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6
God knows our hearts. This means that he knows our inner motivations. And because of this, there are no secrets between us and God. So what we do in secret is known to Him. We might fool our friends, our family, our neighbors, or our co-workers, and we might even convince and fool ourselves sometimes, but we can’t fool God. So we have to be honest and look at our inner motivations for doing good, praying, fasting, all of these good things that we spend our time doing. We know deep in our hearts if we are doing these good things to impress others, to make ourselves look or feel better, or for any other reason than because our hearts longs to love and honor God.
When you really think about it, it is silly for us to worry about impressing others more than God. What is someone going to do for us that God cannot do 10x, 100x, or 100,000x more? He created us, has all the power and authority, and holds because He holds the keys to everything that is good! So when we pray, when we do good, when we fast, when we praise and worship, let us do so for the glory of God our Father. And while we are called to publicly profess our faith sharing the gospel and making disciples, there are many things that should just stay between just us and God. And we do these things for His glory, not for any other reason or for anyone else to see. It is just between us and God. No one else needs to know. It is so special that we keep it just between us and God.
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Dear heavenly Father, thank you for this Word today. This has been a long week Lord, and I thank you for the energy and strength that is carrying me through. Fill us with your Holy Spirit and with your power and authority that we might be a light unto your path and a blessing unto you. I ask that you bless every person and encounter today, that their hearts be softened and opened up to You heavenly Father. Let the praise go up as the walls come down tonight for all who hear our worship and praise. Then when the day is done, help me to get deep rest throughout the night so that I am renewed for another great day tomorrow. Help me to forgive those who have treated me poorly today. Bring peace and comfort to my soul, as I give you all the honor and glory, in Jesus mighty name. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Samuel 22; Psalm 17;35; Matthew 6
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 6:1
- “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:3,4
- “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6
- “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” – Matthew 6:7,8
- “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:17,18
- “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
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