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Daily Devotional

by Phillip M. Way

Verse for the Day – Matthew 6:1
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.

Daily Scripture ReadingLuke 18

Devotional Thoughts

As we examine this second chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, let’s review quickly. Jesus is the One doing the preaching here so we can not claim that the Scripture is being misinterpreted. He after all is the Living Word of God. He has been preaching and instructing us in this sermon on how we are to live. In living as He expects and even commands, we are blessed in ways we could never imagine; we find that we are totally dependent on Him to live through us. None of us could ever meet His standards unless He first gave us the power and desire to do what He commands (grace).Now He begins to give us a series of examples as to how we are to relate to God and to others. He tells us that when we serve God by serving others, we are not to do things for the praise of men. We cannot worship and obey God just because others are watching. If our motive is not love for God, then we are compromising our faith! Often we are motivated by the people around us. We act a certain way or say certain things because of who we know that might be listening.Think about it – would your phone conversations at work or at home change if you knew that your conversations were being recorded? That exposes two things. First the fear of man, and second, if we answered yes that we would change things then we are already being disobedient to God with our mouths!! (Ephesians 4:25-32).

When we worship and give to God and others, we must maintain pure motives. The motives of love and obedience. Otherwise we contaminate our worship. There are several factors that might influence us to do what we do for men to see instead of for God to receive. Pride is the first selfish motive in self-righteous worship. “Look how good I am!”, we might be thinking. Remember how we spell pride? “p-r-I-d-e”. We know we are working out of pride when we just can’t get around “I” or “Me”. We do our service to God as though our status in others eyes will be diminished if we don’t prove how righteous and holy and godly we are!

Fear of Men may be a second motive. There are times when we believe that what other people think about us is more important than the truth God knows about us! Let me say that again. There are times when what people think about us is more important to us than what God knows about us!! Why should we be afraid of what any man thinks of our worship? If God approves then who else on earth matters? And why should we worry about what people think? They will change their minds as soon as the next fad comes into style. God never changes. It is Him we must strive to please. If we were even able to please all of the people all of the time, then we can still be assured of one fact. If we are pleasing people then we probably aren’t pleasing God.

Jesus makes a simple point. Do what you do in worship and service to God and ministry to others out of love for God and love for each other (Matthew 22:37-40). If we for a moment do what we do for the approval of a mere man, then we will fail in our endeavor to please God. Of all the degrees we could earn, Del Fehsenfeld, Jr. said that we must be sure to earn our A.U.G. degree. This degree is not awarded by any seminary or college in the land. This degree cannot be earned by anyone at all unless Jesus earns it for us. It is the “Approved Unto God” degree. And the only way to earn it is to die! Die to self; live to Christ. Then we are approved to God. And if God approves then it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, does it? Beware the fear of man today. Instead please HIM!!

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