First Has Its Benefits
Praying Hypocrites – Part 2
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:6-8
Key Verse: Matthew 6:5
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
We ended yesterday’s devotional with a snapshot of the prayer life of the Pharisees. Their hearts were not humbled before the Lord and their words of prayer were only to impress people. Now let’s look at our own lives before God.
Have you ever spoken of your spiritual disciplines to people hoping to look good—to look deeply in touch with God? Have you ever exaggerated your efforts in prayer, Bible reading or fasting? It is easy to do because getting a sense of approval from people feels good! This week’s theme is: “First Has Its Benefits.” It truly does! When we put ourselves up front in any way, it feels great to our flesh. By the way, we are not terrible people because we enjoy the applause of men, but when we seek it first, we become poor people in our spirits. We get our full reward when we seek it from men and not from God. It is a reward that almost feels worth it. But for true children of God, we hear that still small voice of the Holy Spirit reminding us that the reward from our heavenly Father would have been much, much better!
We all must daily “beat our bodies down,” as the Apostle Paul put it, and surrender first place to our Savior. We must continue to have a one note theme: I am second!
Father, I choose to override the desires of my flesh and its desire to be number one. I choose to be second. May all the glory go to you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.