Each day I will be posting from the daily Bible Reading plan we will be doing at West Side. On weekdays we will be going through the New Testament. On the weekends we will read passages from the Old Testament books of Psalms and Proverbs. We invite you to join along.
What are your motives? In today’s reading (Matthew 6) Jesus seems somewhat concerned with the motives of others. He starts off this part of his Sermon on the Mount by stating “be careful not to do you ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.” He then lists these acts of righteousness as follows:
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.”
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.”
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.”
In each of these things Jesus tells us that they are between you and God. We do not pray, fast, or give so that others may see and praise us. Our treasure for these things is in heaven. I wander then how much of a coincidence it is that the next thing Jesus talks about is our treasures in heaven, and the idea of worrying. If we are doing things for man, we worry what they will think. If we are doing these things for God, then our treasure in heaven is being built up.
When you search your heart, who could you honestly say you are doing your acts of righteousness for? What does your treasure in heaven look like?