Thank you, everyone, for your many kind messages for my birthday yesterday. Relationships make life such a joy! On to the Bible study... Can you actually do the right thing but screw it up by having the wrong motive? Join me for today's "motivating" study of Matthew 6:1.
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If you would like to read my notes for this Bible study, click "Continue reading" link below.
Can you actually do the right thing but screw it up by having the wrong motive? Stay tuned for some motivating words from today’s brief video Bible study.
READ: Matthew 6:1.
Reminder of Outline: Verse 1 “Practicing your righteousness” applies to three scenarios: (1) giving to needy (2-4); (2) praying to God (5-15); and (3) fasting (16-18) Note that in all three cases the “practice” is assumed. Sadly, we cannot even assume such as the case today, for not everyone gives to the needy, prays, or fasts.
Godly “Practices” are not an option for the Christ follower. Jesus presumes that we, though, as his followers will be giving, will be praying, and will be fasting. Notice the presumption: v. 2 - “when you give to the needy”; v. 5&7 - “when you pray”; and v. 16 - “when you fast.” For Jesus, the issue is not whether or not we will be doing these things, but the motivation of our hearts when we do them.
The “why” we do what we do. This should not be too surprising, right? Jesus has made very clear that God is more interested in the heart of the matter - the idea of being angry outside = murdering inside; lusting outside = adultery in the heart.
It’s not just a matter of doing the right things, but doing the right things for the right reasons!
Even proclaiming the gospel (a good thing to do) is subject to this rule. Paul writes to the Thessalonians: “We speak, not to please men, but to please God, who tests our hearts!” (1st Thessalonians 2:4) Men look on the outside. But God looks inside.
Here Jesus actually gives us a warning. BEWARE! Take Heed! Be Careful! Watch out! Literally, to hold another thought besides the one you’re holding. to have no reward, speaks of wages - what is deserved. It’s almost the matter of Be careful lest you cheat yourself and not receive what God would otherwise have in store for you!
The Double Right Thing... In other words, we should do the right thing (presumed), but we should also watch to make sure we do it for the right reason (because we are sons of God, we want to be like God, we want to please God, we wish to worship God, to bring God glory, etc.) and NOT so that other people might see us doing good things, which ultimately brings praise and glory to us and not to God. If we do the latter then, “We’ve already received our reward.”
So how can we go about this Double Right Thing? Tune in tomorrow for “Giving Without Hypocrisy!”