Daily Devotional

by Phillip M. Way

Verse for the Day – Matthew 6:2
Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward.

Daily Scripture ReadingLuke 21

Devotional Thoughts
Note here that as Jesus starts this verse, He starts it with “when”, not with “if.” Although He goes on to make a point about hypocrisy, as we will see, He begins by stating that as His followers we are expected to do acts of charity. Acts of charity is translated from the words that mean an act of mercy or ministry. It was used especially to speak of giving money, food, or clothing to the poor. We are expected to do these kinds of things in order to be obedient in loving God and our neighbor. For another look at what Jesus commands of us, see Matthew 25:34-40!

So, when we do things to minister to others, whether it be in a church service or on a street corner, when we give of ourselves and our resources to benefit others, we are NOT to do so in a pompous manner, drawing attention to ourselves. The picture Jesus uses is that of blowing a trumpet! Can you imagine what the scene would look like if next Sunday at church when you found someone in need of encouragement you proceeded to stand up and blow on a trumpet before you began to minister?! Everyone would look at you — talking would cease, people would be startled and amazed. YOU would be the center of attention!

That is exactly the picture Jesus is communicating. He is telling us what hypocrites do. Not that they literally blow a trumpet, but they do whatever they can to “toot their own horn.” So what is a hypocrite? According to some, if we go to church next Sunday, it will be full to the brim with hypocrites. Haven’t we heard that excuse enough? Sure there may be hypocritical people in our churches, but if that stops us from going to church then we aren’t going for the right reasons in the first place and that makes us a hypocrite, too!

The word for hypocrite means an actor who wears a mask. He pretends to be something he isn’t. No one can see who he really is. If we draw attention to ourselves when we “minister”, then we really aren’t spiritual like we appear to be; instead we are immature and full of self! A hypocrite hides his true identity. A hypocrite will also do whatever he can to maintain the spotlight. He is all that matters. His ministry. His works. His charity. His money. That sure doesn’t sound like meekness does it?

If we look at the work of the hypocrites we see that they live to please men, not God. Actually, they live to please self and get the praise and glory for themselves from men. Jesus tells us that if they are honored by men for what they do, that is all the reward they will ever receive! The statement “they have their reward” means that the deal is done. What they have is all they will get!! There will be no eternal reward – which means that a hypocrite who pretends to be spiritual may want to check to see if he is even saved at all (see Matthew 7:21-23). These people thought they were involved in ministry even casting out demons!! But they did not know Him. Therefore, they were not known by Him, bought by Him, redeemed by Him. They had every outward appearance of being a follower of Christ, but they lived to serve self!!

At times we will all be hypocritical. We will pretend to be something we aren’t. But if that happens, we must forsake and confess our sin. To confess means to agree with God – agree that He knows what we really are. HE KNOWS! We can’t fool Him so why should we try to fool anyone else? If we live as hypocrites, the praise we get from men will be all of the reward we ever receive. Does that sound like a reward to desire?? Desire to please HIM. To obey HIM. To live for and love HIM. Hypocrites focus on self all the time – we must “turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face; and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Deny self and look to Jesus today. HE KNOWS!

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