Today I’m looking at Matthew 6 and I notice a pattern. When you do things to make you look good to other people is seems to tarnish your actions.
Matthew 6:1-2 (NLT)
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.
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.
This is easier said than done as many times that is our motivation (public praise, etc). We are looking for the pat on the back, the public applause, the gold star on our time card.
So I haven’t put out any content since May. Here are some of the reasons.
I didn’t feel “Worthy” to be behind the microphone talking about God.
As a person with TWO divorces under his belt, I can’t help but feel God was pissed at me. Jesus says in Matthew 19, “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Not much room for interpretation.
However, the truth is God is waiting for you:
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; God WANTS to have a relationship with you NO MATTER WHAT.
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. He wants to give you a hug, not a punch in the face.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Don’t listen to the voice in your head that is steering you away from God. It is speaking lies.
My brother was in an accident a few years ago. He was knocked out At first we thought he was fine, but over time things were not as they seem. It Turns out his brain has a hard time remembering some things, and he does fine on other things. I ask him how his old neighbor was, and he couldn’t remember them. He can still play guitar. I made a joke when we were covered in some white powder putting his pool together, and I said, “I feel like I’m in Scarface.” To which my brother asked, “What’s Scarface?” Now part of me was thinking, “WHAT?,” but as I said there are some things he doesn’t remember. He had no memory of it. This seems hard to believe, but its true. It is just the way it is, for now. He is going to therapy, and he works at it every day. He will get there.
There are some versus in the bible.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Jeremiah 31:34 New International Version (NIV)
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more
As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
But God You Don’t Know What I Did!
So when we get to heaven and go, “WOW! I cant’ believe how awesome this is!” and we feel like we don’t deserve it. We might turn to God and say, “But God, I’m a ____” and God will go, “WHAT?” and have no recollection of it. It will be as if he has brain damage, and can’t connect those two dots.
My cat vomits on the carpet at least once a month. Do I hate my cat? No. Do I hate cleaning up his vomit? Absolutely. God doesn’t hate you, he hates sin. But in the same way it is just a natural part of my cat to vomit up hair balls, sin is part of us. I expect to have to clean up some cat puke every now and then. It comes with owning a cat. I don’t think my cat does it to get back at me. My cat loves me, and purs when I pick it up. Yet the next day, there it is: a big pile of regurgitated fur. Lovely.
God knows we have sin in us. Some days we call upon the power of Jesus to overcome it. Some days, we are just so human and we don’t. The bible calls us to acknowledge our sins and ask for forgiveness, and it will be forgiven. God is all about your heart.
We could go on. God used people in the bible who had committed murder. Who didn’t speak well. God used drunks, whores, thieves, and more. He doesn’t define you by your past actions. He defines you by your heart. Your heart will direct your actions. He knows, no matter how pure your heart is, you’re going to sin. It happens.
We’ve all had times when we didn’t something we wanted. It would be easy to get mad at God and walk away. We feel he doesn’t care. The story of Job is one of tremendous suffering, and yet Job stuck with God. Here is chapter 42 it shows
Job answered the Lord:
2I know you can do anything;
no plan of yours can be opposed successfully.
3You said, “Who is this darkening counsel without knowledge?”
I have indeed spoken about things I didn’t understand,
wonders beyond my comprehension.
4You said, “Listen and I will speak;
I will question you and you will inform me.”
5My ears had heard about you,
but now my eyes have seen you.
6Therefore, I relent and find comfort
on dust and ashes.
Later in verse 12 is shows
Then the Lord blessed Job’s latter days more than his former ones. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. 13He also had seven sons and three daughters. 14He named one Jemimah, a second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15No women in all the land were as beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave an inheritance to them along with their brothers. 16After this, Job lived 140 years and saw four generations of his children. 17Then Job died, old and satisfied.
The parts that jumped out at me was how God is so interested in our hearts, and you see how God is telling us WHY to these items. He is showing us the benefits.
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, 14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.
So when you think of those things you would just love to have (A recliner, an iPhone, etc) they are just NOTHING compared to what wisdom in your life can bring.