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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Honor the Lord

Honor the Lord

Proverbs 3:9Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops.

More Than a Tithe

Giving a tithe recognizes God’s provision. But honoring Him with wealth goes further – it involves acknowledging His complete ownership.

We are stewards, not owners. Holding resources loosely allows kingdom investment.

When God is honored as sole owner, earthly assets can be leveraged for eternal gain. But tightly clutching possessions obstructs His work. We must maintain open hands.

First Place in Everything

“First-fruits” represent the earliest and best harvest crops.

Similarly, God calls us to give Him premier time, talents, and treasures – not what remains after self is satisfied.

Seeking God’s kingdom first positions everything else in proper perspective. He becomes the guidance for financial decisions when honored first.

Lord, All I Have is Yours

Lord, forgive me for how tightly I grip earthly resources. Remind me that all I “own” originates in Your hand. Give me wisdom to honor You with wealth and hold it all loosely. Use it for Your glory, not mine.

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Get Real

Get Real

Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’

Jesus confronts religious hypocrisy – honoring God with words, not the heart.

This penetrating statement invites us to examine if we’re simply going through empty motions or genuinely connecting with God.

Words Without Heart

It’s possible to get so accustomed to religious routine that our hearts grow distant, even as we maintain spiritual disciplines.

Our prayers, worship, and Bible reading risk becoming hollow forms.

When this happens, repentance is needed.

We must turn from pretense and get real with God again. Even good practices can become a “going through the motions” exercise when the heart’s not engaged.

Returning to First Love

Think back to when your relationship with God was new.

Remember the joy and awe of His love and the sincerity of your devotion. Though the freshness fades, the foundation of genuine love remains.

Return afresh to your first love by pouring out your heart without pretense.

God sees straight through to our core anyway. You can’t fake a real relationship. What matters is the tender disposition of a turned heart.

For God’s Eyes Only

This verse is a call to drop the performance and instead cultivate an inner life with God marked by transparency, authenticity, and unpretentious affection.

It’s summed up in four words – get – real – before – God!

Lord, Ignite My Heart Afresh

Lord, I confess that my devotion can become routine when I lose sight of You. Revive sincere passion in my heart.

When I start going through empty motions, refocus me on connecting with You out of genuine love, not obligation. Purify my motives so my life pulse aligns with Yours.

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Heart of Worship

Heart of Worship

In the book of Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 15, we find a powerful exhortation that speaks to the essence of our relationship with God:

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

This verse beautifully captures the heart of worship and highlights an important truth: our praise to God is not limited to a particular time or place, but rather it should be a continuous offering from our lives.

A Sacrifice of Praise

The concept of a “sacrifice of praise” might sound a little odd at first. After all, why would offering praise to God be considered a sacrifice?

The key lies in understanding that true worship requires an intentional choice on our part. It is an act of surrendering our hearts, minds, and voices to honor and acknowledge the greatness of our God.

Just as the Israelites offered sacrifices of animals in the Old Testament, we are called to offer the sacrifice of praise—the fruit of our lips—as a genuine expression of our gratitude, love, and reverence towards God.

Continual Offering

The verse emphasizes that our offering of praise should be continual. It’s not something we reserve solely for Sunday services or special occasions. Instead, our worship should permeate every aspect of our lives.

When we cultivate a heart of worship, we acknowledge God’s presence and goodness in every moment, whether we are at work, spending time with loved ones, or even facing challenges.

Our praise becomes a melody that plays throughout each day; reminding us and those around us of God’s faithfulness and grace.

Approach each day with a heart of worship, offering a continual sacrifice of praise to our loving Creator; Jesus Christ. May your lips openly profess His name, and may your lifre be a living testimony of His goodness and grace.

Posted by onthesolidrock in Daily Inspiration