Reward in Secret

Reward in Secret

Matthew 6:16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

Religion as Performance

Jesus confronted religious leaders obsessed with outward appearances.

They distorted faces while fasting to elicit public praise for their “sacrifice.” Religion became mere performance to impress.

This tendency lurks in each of us. We love to highlight spiritual disciplines to feel admired by others for “superior” devotion. But the applause of people provides a cheap substitute for God’s reward.

Adjust Motives

If public commendation overly fuels your spiritual practices, re-calibrate your motives.

Draw near to God for an audience of One. Do good anonymously. Let His “Well done!” satisfy.

Don’t fast, serve, or give to be noticed. God’s pleasure is reward enough. Fix eyes on Jesus, not people. Shed pretense and pursue authenticity.

Lord, Examine My Heart

Lord, reveal any impure motives driving my actions – the subtle thirst for accolades and stature. Renew in me a selfless heart consumed with longing for Your approval alone. Let Christlike humility shape my faith.

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Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration
True Fasting

True Fasting

Have you ever wondered what it means to fast? In Isaiah 58:6, the prophet offers us some valuable insight into the essence of true fasting.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”

In other words, genuine fasting goes beyond abstaining from food or specific activities; it involves actively seeking justice, liberation, and freedom for others.

Seeking Justice and Liberation

Isaiah’s words remind us that fasting is not simply about personal sacrifice; it is a powerful act of compassion and social action.

When we fast, we align our hearts with God’s heart for justice and mercy. It’s not enough to refrain from food; we must also actively work to “loose the chains of injustice” and “set the oppressed free.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

True fasting involves being a voice for the voiceless and using our influence to bring about positive change.

Breaking Every Yoke

Isaiah’s call to “break every yoke” highlights the transformative power of true fasting. A yoke represents any form of bondage or oppression that weighs people down.

Through fasting, we can actively participate in breaking these “spiritual” yokes and bringing freedom to those who are bound.

Our fasting should be a catalyst for transformation, both in the lives of others and in our own hearts.

As you reflect on Isaiah 58:6, remember that true fasting is not merely an individualistic practice but an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

May your fasting be characterized by active love and genuine concern for those who are oppressed. Be an agent of change, breaking every yoke and bringing freedom to those who need it most.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration