👉 Jesus speaks to our motives.
- do not practice righteousness “in order to be seen by other people”
- do not give to the needy “so that you will be praised by others”
There is a way of living that involves right actions with wrong motives and receives no reward from God.
Jesus then goes on to instruct disciples on how to act “when they give” and “when they pray”. Notice the assumption that God’s people would be giving and praying people.
We give in secret.
We pray in secret.
This doesn’t mean that no one can ever see us praying or find out that we gave – it’s entirely about our motives.
Think for a moment. How often do we mention “in passing” to someone about a good deed or act of service we’ve done? What if we gave to that person in need and never mentioned it? What if we served the church in that area and didn’t broadcast it? What if no one except God ever knew the sacrifices we make? Would that be enough for us?
👉 Your Father knows…
I live in the world of worry and what if. It’s a matter of daily prayer and repentance for me and, likely, always will be. For that reason – Matthew 6:8 spoke to me.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
What a promise.
What do you need today?
Your Father knows.
What this said to me today is that – yes, I pray and ask – but then I can leave it with him. He doesn’t need me to tell him how to provide. He isn’t waiting for me to plead “enough”. He doesn’t require a certain degree of desperation before he acts.
He knows – before I ask. My asking isn’t informing him of the issue. My asking is handing him the issue and trusting him with it.
You are loved.