Faith of Jesus Daily Devotional - Day 23
nkjv@Revelation:14:12 @ Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
nkjv@Matthew:6:16 @ "Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
nkjv@Matthew:6:17 @ But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
nkjv@Matthew:6:18 @ so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
Previous Context: devotion:Matthew:6:5-15
What is God doing?
"Thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly". Another way to think of this is that no offering made in appreciation to Christ's lordship made unto God in secret will go unnoticed by HIM. Even if it goes unnoticed by others, not HIM. Whose notice is more important?
What is man doing?
The best that can be said is that they have their reward; they make their own reward. If the intention was to be noticed by man, there you have it you got noticed by a few men. Some reward isn't it? That type of attention you have to keep striving for because it dies away real quick and those types of men demand that you keep on doing it. Maybe a fast from needing the attention of others is more in order!
The warning here isn't just to those that feel that they need to stoop to this, it is also for those in authority that look for this and reward it. It is most frequently the case where this type of promotion ingrains itself into the dominant religious environment. It is not just with alms or prayer or fasting either, it can develop into a show to counterfeit speaking in tongues and healing for instance. Pressure is placed upon weaker converts by the stronger members to submit to these actions in order for them to be promoted. The warning is that God knows and the issue will be dealt with accordingly. Maybe that is the reward that they have made for themselves, signed, sealed and soon to be mete out.
What does this passage tell us about the about the commands and faith of Jesus that saints are to keep/guard?
The benchmarks still fully apply, the better offer is to be:
- Poor of spirit - whether it is in fasting or prayer or alms giving not matter.
- Mourn - There are many that have gained the riches of this life only to lose them to rust and rot and thieves not to mention their very souls. Many of these lost were very religious.
- Be the meek - it may seem that there are people that you are trying to get the notice of that have power and authority, they do not, only God has that.
- Be the hungry and thirsty for righteousness - Not self righteousness, not the righteousness of others or institutions; the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ only.
- Be the peacemakers - peace with God comes before peace with other men. Bring men to the peace with God and you'll go a large step towards being at peace with one another.
- Be pure of heart - There are no secrets. What you think you are keeping from God your are only keeping from God fixing.
- Be all of this even it means being persecuted because of it! You likely will anyhow.
Next: devotion:Matthew:6:19-24 Treasures in Heaven