Study Text: Matt 6:1-8, 16-18
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (Matt 6:1-2)
Who doesn't love a pat on the back or an attaboy? If we're honest we must say we all love the praise and adulation of others for a job well done. But what about when it comes to practicing our religion? Do we do it before others for applause or before God and his approval? This is what Jesus drives at in Matthew 6:1-8, 16-18. The Pharisees loved the praise of man so they held 1st century press conferences when giving to the poor, they prayed publicly to be heard by others, and they disfigured their faces so everyone knew they were fasting. Now giving, prayer, and fasting are great works that all Christians should practice, that's not the issue here. The issue is with heart motivation. Are we motivated to give, pray, and fast so that others see us, or so God sees us? Join us this week as we learn who our audience ought to be when doing good, Christian works.