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Devotions

Matthew 6: Motives and Motions of Worship

“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.” – Matthew 6:1, VOICE

Scripture reminds us that we need to be careful how we worship God. A lot of times, we can get caught up in the motions and end up gloating about our “worship practices”. Jesus makes it clear that if we do our righteous acts (praying, fasting, charity, serving) with the intention of receiving praise from others, then that is our reward.

We will have lost our true reward, given to us by God alone!

This may be an intentional act, or perhaps not-so-intentional. It can be “easy” to get caught up in wanting others’ attention, but we lose our reward. Our heavenly reward is why we offer praise and worship to God. We need to guard our hearts, and be careful how we worship.

We need to keep our gaze heavenward, by staying focused on Jesus Christ – the One whom has given us life!

The Difference?

Outwardly, our worship may look the same.
But inwardly, the difference between heart-felt worship and vying for human attention – well, it makes all the difference. Doesn’t it?

Deliberate

We need to get deliberate in how we worship. How is the worship we do for God alone? Be careful not to get caught up in the motions and letting people know what you are doing.

In verse 24, we are reminded that we can’t serve two masters. It doesn’t matter if it is money or something else. Our hearts are still revealed by whom we will serve. Will we become self-seeking/serving, or live for our audience of One?

“For where your treasure is,
there your heart will be also (vv. 21).”

Focus

We are called to keep our eyes on God.

Not to our left.
Not to our right.
Nowhere, except for on Jesus Christ and His Word.
Keeping our focus on God alone!

Today’s highlighted passage focuses our attention on considering the kind of worship we offer to God. How will we choose to worship God, and do it solely for Him today? Don’t get caught up in the motions today. Choose God alone, and seek His face.

What Are You Looking At?

Remember, as you focus on the Lord Jesus today, that He loves you. He will provide for you. When we worship, it is about choosing to give to God all that we are, knowing that when we do it for Him – we don’t miss any rewards. And, His rewards – are far better than anything this world could ever offer us.

More than the rewards, it is just about being with our Savior and presenting our offering. It is making the deliberate decision not to become Cain-like and offer our left-overs. It is choosing to glorify God with our minds, hearts, souls, and body. Knowing, God will honor every single sacrifice we bring to Him.

When Jesus speaks of eyes and light, He means all
people should keep their eyes on God because the
eyes are the windows to the soul (VOICE Commentary)…

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His
righteousness, and then all these things will be
given to you too. So do not worry about tomorrow.
Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a
large enough task for today (vv. 33-34).

Categories
Characteristics of God Grace Leads

The Price Paid (on Grace Leads)

Today, I began reading “Grace Leads”. This may be what my focus is on over the next few weeks. God has specific lessons in store for us, as we give ourselves to the studying of His Word. This book, “Grace Lead”, is one of many tools He can use in our lives! Though God led me to write it, I still have much to glean from this 5 week study.

In the session titled, “What is Grace?”, it focuses on the expanse of God’s grace. It goes above and beyond anything we could ever fathom. God’s grace is something to treasure. It is what God uses to lead us into a relationship with Him. It is how He removes barriers that separate us from Himself. God is rich in sharing His great grace with us, and we need to begin treasuring His grace. We need to step away from the barriers that keep us from God. We need to draw near to Him, and experience a greater intimacy with our Creator then ever before.

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased
our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”
– Ephesians 1:7, NLT

Ephesians 1:7 is this session’s Scripture, and is where we find the word “purchased” in the middle of God’s grace and the forgiveness of our sins. I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23, where we are reminded that we have indeed been bought with a price.

How often do we think about how we are bought with a price? 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23 remind us of the need to let glorifying God be the motives for everything we do in our lives. While we faced a heavy debt as a result of our sinning against our Creator, God sent His Son Jesus to pay the price we could never pay. I know, I don’t think upon the purchasing of my spiritual freedom often enough.

Redemption could only come, by the means of Calvary.
Only Jesus could give me such freedom and deliverance!

Reflection Questions:

  1. How are we allowing the cost Jesus made, to change us from the inside out?
  2. As a result of knowing His grace, how are we choosing to treasure God’s great grace?
  3. How are we enjoying sweeter intimacy with our Creator?

“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake
and will never think of them again.”
– Isaiah 43:25

Categories
Pilgrimage to Easter

Thoughts on Ash Wednesday

I went onto my Twitter page. Tons of things trending concerning Ashe Wednesday. Lots of “selfies” of others participating in Ash Wednesday. Even without the “selfies”, there are lots of updates and comments that are meant to be left between you and God. I guess, it just “surprised” me how many posted what they were doing. If it is an act for God alone, why post it? If it is for God alone, why act in such a way? The whole ideal behind Lent is self-denial, to seek God all the more in our daily lives.

Motives:
If participating in something like Lent and you feel the compelling need to share what you are giving up or doing, you should probably check the motives of your spirit – to discern why you are participating.

One question and concern to ask is, “Are we making a show of it?” If we are, our motives may not be right. I am not anti-Lent or anything, but the motives of our spirit must be the deciding factor in participating in something like Ash Wednesday or Lent in general.It is about what we can spiritually gain by what we “lose”. Here are some tips:

  • Give up the need to post it on social media.
  • Keep it between you and God.
  • What are your motives? Check them. Talk it over with God.

“If a Christian decides to observe Ash Wednesday and/or Lent, it is important to have a biblical perspective. Jesus warned us against making a show of our fasting: “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen” (Matthew 6:16-18). We must not allow spiritual discipline to become spiritual pride.” – Got Questions