Matthew 6:1-18 – “who sees in secret will reward you”

God wants us to pray. God wants us to fast. God wants us to give. There’s many things God wants us to do and He wants us to do it for Him. Since God knows our hearts and our motivation and our intention, He knows whether we are praying or fasting or giving or worshipping sincerely to Him or for the applause of others. Even in spiritual matters, we can have the tendency to enjoy being noticed.  We enjoy when someone notices our hard work or thoughtful planning. God wants you to forget about what other people are thinking. Don’t try to meet their expectations or what you think their expectations are. Think about what God wants. God wants you to pray simply because you enjoy talking and listening to God. God wants you to fast simply because you enjoy allowing God to have extra time during the absence from what you temporarily are fasting. God wants you to give simply because you enjoy recognizing how good God has been to you and are thanking Him with your offering. Now that doesn’t mean that if you pray in public or if you give where people can see you give that you love the applause of others. It doesn’t mean that you won’t receive a reward from God. Again, it’s about your heart condition. And God sees your heart. If you are doing things for the right reason (whether in secret or in public), God will reward you. If you are doing things for selfish reasons (whether in secret or in public), God will not reward you because you aren’t doing it for Him anyway. It’s important that we do those things. God says “when you pray…when you fast…when you give.” He doesn’t say “if you pray…if you fast…if you give.” So let those things increase. Yet it’s just as important that our hearts are in it for the right reason.

Prayer Starter: God, I know that I can not keep secrets from you. You know all things. You know the reason I do anything, including when I pray or fast or give or worship You. I pray that my heart would be pure in my motives to do them for You and not for the acknowledgement of any person. Even if someone knows that I do any of those things, You know that I do all things for Your acknowledgement. Help me to know that Your eyes are always watching, not to be quick to punish, but quick to reward.

You’re reading a devotion from the Easter Devotional Plan 2016. For the rest of the 40 day plan, visit here.