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Why Are You Doing That?

How we approach Jesus matters. Jesus is not a “get out of hell free card” or an excuse to sin. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who came in submission to the will of the Father, was born as one of us, lived perfectly, and died the death we deserved. He died because we’re sin, and the wages of sin is death. He took the wage in our place, He became a curse (cursed is every man who hangs from a tree) for us, and conquered sin with His perfection. He was buried and rose again on the third day to conquer death, the consequence of sin, once and for all. He is God, sitting in power at the right hand of the Father. To approach Him with anything but awe and reverence (yes, even desperation can have awe and reverence) is to attempt to increase ourselves and diminish Him. Why do we approach Him in any other way?

 

Conversely, how we serve Jesus matters. Many serve Jesus to be seen. Many say “Look what I did,” or “Look what I can do.” This, however, isn’t service to Jesus, it’s service to self. There is nothing wrong with being a person who openly serves Christ, but to do so in a way that draws attention to self rather than Christ is missing the point. We need to serve Christ because of all the credentials listed in the above paragraph. We serve because we love Him, because we are grateful, and because we want others to know how great He is. It is all about Him. To serve in any other way is an attempt to diminish Him while increasing ourselves, and, as Jesus says, to serve or pray for recognition is to already receive our reward in full.

 

Matthew 6

 

“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.




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