Watch out!

[Jesus continued:] “Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.”

— Matthew 6:1 NLT

The opening verse (6:1) summarizes the point of the first part: if you act in a way designed to secure the notice of others, your deeds of “righteousness” yield no reward

From the protest against the casuistry which tampered with and distorted the great primary commandments, the Sermon on the Mount passes to the defects of character and action which vitiated the religion of Pharisaism even where it was at its best. Its excellence had been that it laid stress, as the religion of Islam did afterwards, on the three great duties of the religious life, almsgiving, fasting, and prayer, rather than on sacrifices and offerings. Verbally, Pharisaism accepted on this point the widest and most spiritual teaching of the prophets, and so its home was in the Synagogue rather than the Temple, and it gained a hold on the minds of the people which the priests never gained. But a subtle evil found its way even here. Love of praise and power, rather than spontaneous love, and self-denial, and adoration, was the mainspring of their action, and so that which is the essence of all religion was absent even from the acts in which the purest and highest form of religion naturally shows itself. Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

Our acts of worship and kindness are not to impress others but to honor the heart and character of God. If we honor him, we can be sure he will not forget our works and kindness. If we do what we do to be seen by others, that’s all the reward we’re ever going to get. Father, help me today, and from today forward, to find effective ways to minister to others in a manner brings them closer to your love. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Today’s Prayer

This, then, is how you should pray:” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. Mathew 6:9-13

Today’s Daily Devotional

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