Doing Good Works for God
Matthew 6:In Jesus' day, as in our own, people often did good works in order to receive public recognition. Charitable giving, when joined with the right fanfare, could increase one's honor. So could public prayer. Jesus didn't discourage his followers from doing good deeds. Rather, he focused on the question of motivation. Were they doing good to be recognized by people? Or by God?
What is our reward when we do good deeds privately, seen only by God? Scripture often speaks of rewards given in the future when God establishes his kingdom. But, in the meanwhile, when we do good works for God's glory, we know that God is in fact glorified, that he delights in our actions. There is no greater reward in this life than the knowledge that we have delighted the heart of God.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What are your motivations when you do good works? Would you ever consider giving a large financial gift anonymously? Why or why not? How have you experienced God's pleasure with you?PRAYER: Dear Lord, I do desire to honor you with my actions and with the intentions of my heart. Your pleasure matters greatly to me.
Yet, at the same time, I must confess that my motivations are often mixed. Yes, I want to please you. And, yes, I want the applause of people.
Help me to live each day for your glory. May your delight be my passionate desire. Whether I'm sitting in a meeting, or speaking about one of my colleagues, or disciplining my children, or helping someone in need, may I do all things for you, dear Lord. Amen.