Daily Light from the Lighthouse
"That they may be seen by men..."
The ball is snapped and the quarterback drops back into the pocket. He can feel the pocket begin to collapse as the defensive ends bear down on each side. His agility allows him to spin away from the grasp of the nose tackle just as the offensive guard makes a tremendous block. As he rolls to the right he sees his wide receiver get free and head to the corner of the end zone. The safety is closing fast, so he knows the window is small. With incredible balance and precision he threads the ball just over the outstretched hand of the oncoming linebacker and past the defensive backs. The wide receiver catches the ball and balances on his toes just inside the line before he falls out of bounds. Touchdown!
Suddenly these grown men begin to celebrate by showing every one the number on the front of their jerseys and their names on the back. They take off their helmets so the camera can get a good shot of their faces. That is when the cynical fan realizes that the most important thing on the field at that time to that player is himself. The average fan paid a couple of hundred dollars or more not including parking and the hot dog so this guy can boast about himself. Of course, he is also getting paid several million dollars in salary and endorsements to catch the silly football any way. That is also when the fan realizes that he could have made a payment on his car with that two hundred dollars and the hot dog he ate has given him indigestion.
We are not so different than the boastful football player. Most of us love to be noticed whether we admit it or not. We like a good pat on the back or to see our name in print with remarks about something that we have accomplished. Jesus knew that we were this way, and He also knew that this would find its way in to the church as well. That is why he issued warnings about not seeking the attention of others when we give to the Lord. It is like the football player catching the ball. That is what we should be doing any way. He warns us about spending our time in prayer so that others can see or hear our prayer. They will be so impressed with how "spiritual" we are if we do it just right. How devout they will think we are when we fast as well! Can you imagine the spiritual discipline that they will think we have when they see us weak and shriveled from our time of forsaking food? If this is our motive, then guess what. Whatever attention from men that you received will be all the reward that you will ever have. God does not reward what has not been done for Him.
All the giving, the praying, and the fasting mean nothing if our motivation was so that others may see us. Our lives are to be lived in such a way that we will do those things so that others see them and glorify our Father in Heaven. No one else may ever know how much you have given to God, but He knows. There may not be a soul on this earth that knows how many nights you have stayed awake calling on God with the burdens of your heart, but He knows. The times that you have abstained from food so that you might discipline yourself to come to the Lord may be completely unnoticed by any one in this world, but He knows. Does it matter to you if someone else knows, or is God knowing all that matters?
May you do all for His glory today!