Don’t be a Show Off!
Have you ever done anything that you were showing off? Trying to impress others with those actions?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions?
Have you ever thought about them at all? I know for me that I had not until I read the following devotion. It reminded me of the devotion that I had read two weeks ago, and I wanted to expand on it a bit. Is in it funny how we get so wrapped up in the business of our lives that we sometimes forget what our original intention was to start with. I don’t know about you, but I know that I have on a time or two. We don’t mean to, but time or our efforts just seem to get away from us. The following devotion explains it well. It’s a devotion called “A Year with Jesus – Don’t Be a Show Off!” it’s a devotion that I get everyday in my inbox.
I have a question: Why are you doing spiritual things? Are you trying to impress someone and prove you are religious? Are you trying to honor the Father? For whom are you doing all your "spiritual stuff"?
Yes, I know that the last question is a bit abrupt. However, I want you to think through the question carefully. The Sermon on the Mount is challenging to understand. (You can find this teaching in Matthew chapters 5-7 in your Bible.) My teaching in the Sermon on the Mount is even more challenging to put it into practice. I know because this teaching reflects the life I chose to live as I sought to honor the Father! So, my teaching today will ask you to examine why you do what you do for God and for others. What's your motivation for doing good things?
Here's the important point to notice. When you do good things for others to notice them, then you've already received your reward. When you do them to honor the Father, He sees even the secret things done to honor Him and will never forget those things. On top of that, your heart will begin to resonate with the Father's will and the Spirit will help conform your life to be like Mine.
We've all had enough of religious show-offs who talk about all the great things they have done for God. Just remember, the Father keeps track of the things that you do to honor Him but that most folks never know about.
I guess the question is really pretty simple: Do you want the applause of heaven or are you satisfied with a fleeting pat on the back at church?
Verses to Live
Faith without good deeds, spiritual service, and worship is simply talk. Also, doing religious things to be noticed by others so they will think you are special and holy is actually unholy. Please hear what I say in these words from My Sermon on the Mount!
But when you do these righteous acts, do not do them in front of spectators. Don't do them where you can be seen, let alone lauded, by others. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to the poor, do not boast about it, announcing your donations with blaring trumpets as the play actors do. Do not brazenly give your charity in the synagogues and on the streets; indeed, do not give at all if you are giving because you want to be praised by your neighbors. Those people who give in order to reap praise have already received their reward. When you give to the needy, do it in secret — even your left hand should not know what your right hand is doing. Then your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you.
Likewise, when you pray, do not be as hypocrites who love to pray loudly at synagogue or on street corners — their concern is to be seen by men. They have already earned their reward. When you pray, go into a private room, close the door, and pray unseen to your Father Who is unseen. Then your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not go on and on, excessively and strangely like the outsiders; they think their verbosity will let them be heard by their deities. Do not be like them. Your prayers need not be labored or lengthy or grandiose — for your Father knows what you need before you ever ask Him.
Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this:
Our Father in heaven, let Your name remain holy.
Bring about Your kingdom. Manifest Your will here on earth,
as it is manifest in heaven.
Give us each day that day's bread — no more, no less —
and forgive us our debts as we forgive those who owe us something.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
But let Your kingdom be, and let it be powerful and glorious forever. Amen.
If you forgive people when they sin against you, then your Father will forgive you when you sin against Him and when you sin against your neighbor. But if you do not forgive your neighbors' sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
And when you fast, do not look miserable as the actors and hypocrites do when they are fasting — they walk around town putting on airs about their suffering and weakness, complaining about how hungry they are. So everyone will know they are fasting, they don't wash or anoint themselves with oil, pink their cheeks, or wear comfortable shoes. Those who show off their piety, they have already received their reward. When you fast, wash your face and beautify yourself with oil, so no one who looks at you will know about your discipline. Only your Father, Who is unseen, will see your fast. And your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you.
As I have been reflecting on this during the week, I have had to wonder how I had been handling things in my own life. For me to be a follower of Christ I must give every part of my self to Him with all my flaws, hang-ups, habits, and every part of me. What about you? Are you giving everything or every part of yourself to Christ daily? For me I know that it has not been easy. What about you? Have you had any difficulties?
Response in Prayer
Abba Father, the LORD God Almighty, please accept the things I do to Your glory. Help me guard my heart against doing them for the applause of others on earth. If You are pleased with what I do for others in Your name, give me satisfaction in knowing that You have seen those things. I want Your Name to be glorified and Your Kingdom to come in my life and through my efforts to Your glory! Through Jesus and with the intercession of the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.
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