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Jesus draws the comparison between man’s approval and the reward given by God

Approval Connection
A Full, But Poor Reward – Part 1

Scripture Reading: Luke 6:37-40

Key Verse: Matthew 6:2

When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do—blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get.

My title for today’s devotional is one that I hope you can process as you think about charitable giving. Jesus let us know that if we give in such a way that we let others know what we are doing, then their praise is our full reward. That might seem like a good reward to some, especially those that are very needy of approval. However, Jesus is drawing the comparison between man’s approval and the reward given by God; in that light, man’s approval is a very poor reward.

Jesus certainly knows that all of us like to be seen as good people, who do good things. All of us like to be recognized for the work we have done. I don’t think Jesus would criticize that human side of us. He is teaching us that our primary motivation must be sanctified by the Holy Spirit so that we don’t do our good deeds for man’s approval. When this happens, we won’t stop doing what we feel we need to do even if we never get any approval from the people around us.

I used the word “primary” above in referring to our motivations. It’s my opinion that we are not capable of having totally singular motivations in most cases. In other words, I have sensed in my heart that there are almost always other motivations in the background of my mind. All I can do is stay focused on what I believe and want my primary motivation to be, refusing to parade my good works in front of people to get their reactions.

Let’s stay focused on the heavenly rewards that God is promising us through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Take a few moments to think and imagine what those rewards might look like and feel like as our Father says, “Well Done, good and faithful servant.”

Father, your blessings and rewards are so far superior to anything on earth. I will live for those today. In Jesus’ name, amen.