Myth No MoreWhy must God judge His enemies and make things right?
Top Music Videos
Discipline of Secrecy
Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who
sees everything, will reward you (v.4).
I’m an exhibitionist,” said the surrealist artist Salvador
Dali. “Life is too short to remain unnoticed.” And
actress Marlene Dietrich once released an album
made entirely of the applause recorded at her
cabarets—which she frequently played for her friends.
The desire for praise is never far from any of us. We
want people to applaud our qualities and achievements.
We can be deeply disappointed when they don’t notice
the good things we’ve done for them.
Applause-seeking is most ugly when it’s tied to
religiosity. In Jesus’ day, prayer, fasting, and charity
were (and still are today) central to Jewish piety. But
Jesus saw how easily they could be wrongly used for
personal motivations. “Watch out!” He said. “Don’t do
your good deeds publicly” (Matthew 6:1). “When you
pray,” He said, “don’t be like the hypocrites who love
to pray publicly on street corners” (v.5). “And when you
fast,” He added, “don’t make it obvious” (v.16). Jesus’
reason was clear: When such spirituality is done to make
us look good, the applause we receive will be our only
reward. The One whose praise matters most will turn a
blind eye (vv.1,5,16).
Jesus said that true acts of faith would be hard to hide.
A city on a hill can’t be hidden (5:14). Our deeds are to
be seen by all (v.16). But these deeds flow from a heart
focused on our neighbor; a heart that prays and fasts for
God’s delight alone. It should go like this: We keep quiet
about our deeds, let our lives speak for themselves, and let God decide when
and if our deeds ever become known.
Let’s keep our good deeds quiet, knowing that “your Father, who sees
everything, will reward you” (6:4,6,18).
From whom and for what do you most want public praise? What good
deed can you do today that only God will know about?
- Myth No More - Why must God judge His enemies and make things right?...read more
- Hidden Sins - How have you been trying to deal with your sin?...read more
- The Kingdom We Long For - What makes you most desperate for the fullness of God’s kingdom to arrive?...read more
- Offering Refuge and Hope - How can you practically and prayerfully support refugees?...read more
- Songs Before Dawn - How will you use your voice to let the good news ring out today?...read more
- Uber Conversations - How do the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit model a loving relationship?...read more
- Prayer on an Airplane - How can you prepare to share the hope you have in Jesus?...read more
- Adding Interest? - Is there something you’re holding back from God?...read more
- Lord of the Cosmos - What does Jesus being “Lord of the cosmos” mean for your future?...read more
- Farming Hope - What trial are you facing today?...read more
- Because of Sunday - How can you learn to imitate Jesus and His mindset as you face conflict?...read more
- Our Real and Present God - When have you grappled with questions about God’s nearness and presence?...read more
- Gift of Tears - What triggers your emotions?...read more
- Faith in the Fields - Jesus urged His disciples to tell people about Him for “the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”...read more
- Pizza and God's Presence - When do you feel most vulnerable?...read more
- Peace and Contentment - What changes could you make to better “seek the Kingdom of God above all else”?...read more