Sunday, March 30, 2014

Monday March 31, 2014 Matthew 6:1-4

Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."--Matthew 6:1-4.  

Keep it real.  Here, Jesus tells his audience to act from a place of authentic faith.  It is convicting.  It makes me evaluate my supposedly pious motivations and actions.  When I say the Lord's Prayer at service on Sunday, do I really mean what I am saying?  Do I really want God's Kingdom to come on earth, or am I happy with the undisturbed status quo?  When I volunteer at the soup kitchen, am I doing it in a spirit called for by Jesus?  Do I have authentic love for the smelly homeless guy I interact with there, or am I just making a good show of it, because other people are watching me?  Do I really love God with all my heart, and my neighbor as myself?  Jesus challenges us to keep it real. 

-- Nikki Edelman


Tracy said...

I agree Nikki...very convicting.
This one is tough because I think it is our (sinful) nature to enjoy admiration from other people because they are so...well...present and visible, as opposed to God who sometimes seems far off (of course if I would quit sabotaging the relationship that would not be the case!!!) I need to remember who I am serving and it is not my own ego...hopefully! In the NLT version, it is stated even stronger: Don't do your good deeds publicly to be admired by others for you will LOSE (my emphasis)your reward from your Father in Heaven. While I may not sound a trumpet literally how often do I find a way to work something I have done into a conversation, instead of just reveling in the joy of the act itself? Another version adds they have received their reward IN FULL. Surely our reward from GOd will be so much better than any from human sources.

Linda W said...

Love this Nikki--always have to check my heart when I'm serving and ask myself, "Who is this about anyway? Me? or God?"

Henry McCarter said...

May your alms be done in secret. How do you give? In many religious cultures gifts are given openly. One of the ways that some churches keep your left hand not knowing about what the right hand is doing is to keep giving access to giving records to financial secretaries. Not the pastor, not the finance chair, no one else.

Many people find this trust inspiring, letting them expand their giving horizons, moving towards God"s will.