This principle is emphasized three times in Matthew 6.
We can give to the needy and let people know about it so we make ourselves look good. If we do, God says that our reward is limited to whatever praise men give us here. He has no reward for us (6:2).
We can pray fancy prayers to impress people, hoping to appear more spiritual than we are. If we do, our reward will be limited to whatever praise men give us. God has no reward for us (6:5).
We can try to draw attention to our spiritual disciplines (like fasting) so others will think we are more godly than we are. If we do, our reward is limited to whatever praise men give us. God has no reward for us (6:16).
We can choose the source of our rewards (God or man) and the longevity (temporary or eternal). Let's choose wisely.
1. What does this tell me about Christian values?
2. How does this passage specifically apply to my life now?
Matthew 16:25-26: For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
Luke 8:14: The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
Colossians 3:1-2: Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Luke 12:32-34: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Luke 12:15: Then he said, "Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own."
Matthew 6:19-20: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Matthew 6:1: "Watch out! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.
1 John 2:15-17: Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com