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What Rewards Are You Seeking?

Loved ones, I have a genuine concern for many church goers. I see boasting, bragging, and even pride within their lives. Yet when I look at the Character and Nature of Jesus Christ, I see none of those things. There is a temptation to take pride in the things we build with our hands or efforts: buildings, ministries, good works, even bringing people to church. All of these things are good things, but they become a snare and a trap to those who build them IF we seek recognition for those accomplishments. In this life, we’re not here to build our own legacy. In fact, those of us with any sort of Spiritual inclination can certainly trace it back a few generations, but many of those who put for the effort for the Kingdom that got us here are completely unknown to us. They passed from this life in to eternity generations ago, often without fanfare. And they did so willingly, because they knew there is no reward in this life, but looked forward to being with Jesus in eternity as their reward.

Of people seeking recognition from men for their accomplishments, in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said such people have already received their reward in full. God is not impressed by the accolades we receive for the good works we do, nor is He swayed by the public opinion of us. Those of us who serve God to get public praise, according to Jesus, have already received our reward in full. In other words, if that’s what we seek, that’s all we get! Isn’t that terrifying? We work to build our own kingdoms and empires, build churches centered on us, and in the end, we become dust and spend eternity apart from God. Why? Because we spent our heavenly rewards on earthly pursuits. We usurped the glory from God in the things we did, and our pride was fed as opposed to our Spiritual Hunger and Thirst for God’s righteousness. Loved ones, Jesus made it clear throughout His life and ministry: we’re either pursuing God and His Kingdom, or our own glory. God will bless us as we pursue Him in this life, yes, but the seeking of self-interest, accolades, and admiration bring us in eternal Danger. It’s why those who prophecy and perform miracles and cast out demons in the name of Jesus in Matthew 7:22 are not known by Christ. They did it all for their own name, and not for His. Evaluate your life and priorities. Whose glory do you seek: God’s, or your own?

Matthew 6:1-24

“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. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

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