“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. -Matthew 6:1-4 ESV
This is from what is considered the greatest sermon ever preached. It is called, the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus Christ, which emphasizes His moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5, 6, and 7). It is the first of the Five Discourses of Matthew and takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus after he has been baptized by John the Baptist, finished His fasting and meditation retreat in the desert, and begun to preach in Galilee. The name and location of the mountain is unstated; the Mount of Beatitudes is the traditional interpretation. The Sermon is the longest continuous discourse of Jesus found in the New Testament and has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Canonical Gospels. It includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus, such as the Beatitudes, and the widely recited Lord’s Prayer. The Sermon on the Mount is generally considered to contain the central tenets of Christian discipleship. (Wikipedia)
Leader, Jesus was always concerned with our heart! There is only one person we need to please in this world, and that is Jesus. He is not concerned with what others think, but He is concerned with the motives of the heart: Why are you doing, what you are doing? He says that we can get praise from man OR praise from God- but not both. And if you get praise from man- then your reward has been received. These are NOT easy words to hear, but the TRUTH WILL set you free. However, first it will make you uncomfortable at the least, and miserable at the most- BUT JOY comes in the morning! Oh, sing to him you saints of his; give thanks to his holy name. His anger lasts a moment; his favor lasts for life! Weeping may go on all night, but in the morning, there is joy. (Psalm 30:4-5)
Conduit, Jesus goes into the 3 basic practices of REAL followers of Jesus Christ; Giving, praying, fasting. He wants us to know that our motivation for anything we do is of great value and importance. We can do the right thing for the wrong reason- the wrong motive, and it is displeasing to God. We could do the wrong thing, for the right reason- the right motive and He looks at us and says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:10) and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27) If we want to HIT THE MARK, to please our God, we will keep His commandments and we will desire HIM to search our hearts! Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24) O LORD, You have searched me and known me. Please dear God create in me a heart that pleases You. Please Lord cleanse me of all unrighteousness of thought, motive and desire. Let Your Way be my way, let Your words be my words, let Your desires, be my desires! Give me Your eyes o Lord that I might see what You see and be moved by what moves You! I ask this in the precious name of our Risen King, our Messiah, Lord Jesus. Amen!