Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday April 3,2014 Matthew 6:16-18

Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, who go about with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have received their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:16-18 )

Once again, Jesus reminds us that everything we do to impress other people or gain their favor amounts to nothing more than that fleeting reward...the favor of people. We all know how quickly such favor can disappear. I have been reading a book titled "When People are Big and God is Small" . It deals with just this topic: focusing on pleasing people at the expense of pleasing God. So these verses tell me if my motivation is to please or impress people rather than to love them or to please God because I love GOD, my reward amounts to nothing. Do the circumstances of our lives ever lead us to wonder if our sacrifices for The Lord are even noticed? Does God see us? Well if we truly are doing it for God and God alone the answer clearly given here is YES! Not only does He see but He will reward us openly. But our motivation is key. For The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart. -- 1 Samuel 16:7. Our sacrifices must be made for our LOVE of God, not for expectation of reward from either heaven or earth. Ironically, when our motivation is pure, out of love rather than expectation, THEN, we will receive our reward from God  which will far exceed any we might have expected. --Tracy Moore.

1 comment:

Henry McCarter said...

Looking at the heart. Bishop Joao Somane Machado of Mozambique visited Warwick UMC several years ago. We had some time together as I drove him to Vail"s Gate. He noted that some black church people suggested that he had too many white friends. He said that he knew that the skin is the largest organ, but his focus is on a much deeper organ: the heart. Not the physical heart!, but the spiritual heart of love for others.

He said that God created people in such a way that skin and heart are not linked, and goodhearted people come from all groups. He urged me to look beyond the skin, to find the child of God in the person.