Jesus said that the reward from men, when it is sought first, negates any reward from the Father in heaven.

First Has Its Benefits
Trumpet Blowing – Part 1

Scripture Reading:  Matthew 6:2-8

Key Verse:  Matthew 6:1

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

Historians suggest that Jesus may be referring to actual practices of the Pharisees when He refers to trumpets in verse two.  The practice was to parade through the streets blowing a trumpet in pretense of notifying the poor that alms were being passed out.  Jesus, knowing their hearts, knew they were parading themselves and the fact that they were being “so generous” with the poor!

            The interesting thing about Jesus’ words is that He notes that these Pharisees were receiving a reward.  As this week’s theme suggests, “first” does have its benefits.  These Pharisees got their reward from men.  Let’s be honest, the rewards we get from other people feel good.  These rewards from people are immediate and gratifying to our flesh.  It is not that we are terrible people if we enjoy a “pat on the back” for doing good.  The problem comes when that reward from others becomes the primary reason for doing the deed in the first place.

            Jesus said that the reward from men, when it is sought as the primary desire, negates any reward from the Father in heaven.  Tomorrow we will look at that reward.  Today the message is to be careful about our prime motivation for doing our good deeds.

Father, examine my heart; search it for motivations that are selfish rather than godly.  May you be glorified in all my good works!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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