(Read Matthew Chapter 6)
Leaving a legacy whereby people have praised you for your achievements may not expose the motives behind why you acted the way you did; were your motives behind your achievements whether great or small founded on Godly principles and obedience to His Word of truth or on your strategic acts to gain favour and praise from men? Were your actions your own ideology or beliefs with maybe a little bit of scriptural rhetoric ? Only God truly knows! We may fool men but never God!
Reading Matthew Chapter 6, when I meditated on the whole chapter, verses 19-21 stood out as never before. This was in the context of the verses about not praying, giving alms and fasting as a form of showing off so as to receive praise from men.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.(Matt.6:19-21KJV).
It is important to interpret what Jesus is stating and why in the correct manner. He is not saying that all those who pray, give alms openly or speak about the fact that they are fasting are hypocrites and doing so to be praised or glorified by men.
Of course not all acts of holiness and Christian giving should be concluded as being done with the wrong motives for it is true that as Christians we must be witnesses for Christ openly by our lifestyles and also engage in acts of Christian service including the call to preach, teach and disciple.
What Jesus is saying is that if any of those acts are done with the motive that directs people towards oneself, to be elevated and satisfy one’s self aggrandising desires then they are hypocritical and yield no eternal rewards. Whatever hypocrites do even though they appear as treasures, they have no eternal value.
Hypocrites as Jesus said are as those who openly give alms for all to see, sounding the trumpet in synagogues and on the streets so as to receive glory from men. He said “They have their reward” (Matt 6:2 KJV).
This is how Satan’s vessels behave for as their master the Father of lies (John 8:44), they have a prideful image of who they are, founded on deception. This is why Satan who was a high ranking angel rebelled and wanted to mount the throne of God (Isaiah 14).
He is carrying on his schemes of attempting to rule and reign on the earth and decided when he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden that he would strip humanity of their God given image and mandate as representatives of God on earth. His intention is that every human being will rebel against God and be as he is.
God provided a way of escape through Christ; God is in Christ reconciling the world back to Himself (2 Corinth.5:19). Anyone who accepts Christ as their personal saviour will not perish (John 3:16), nor will their deeds. They are stating that they reject the lifestyle in satanic deception and are ready to live in integrity, examining their heart condition before God daily so as to ensure their motives are pure and ready to repent when they need to do so.
We therefore lay treasures for ourselves on earth when as though unsaved, our spiritual field of vision is centred on only what earth holds for us rather than focused on God’s heavenly realm and what it means to be a child of God; Believers in Christ are in the world but not of the world.
One is a hypocrites as defined by Jesus if one is self motivated or does things motivated by the carnal desire to show oneself as important or significant. Self motivation is rooted in self centredness and self dependence; one is the centre of their own universe! Pride comes before the fall. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
If the kingdom we partake of has its King or Head (Christ) who did not think it beneath him to associate with the rejects of society nor washed his disciples feet, then it is time to take another look at the way we define ourselves and our expectations from people we either relate to, disciple or happen to be less fortunate than us.
Matthew Chapter 6 as the bible on the whole, “speaks” loud and clear: Our Christian walk is not about pleasing and elevating ourselves before others, the “look at me I am a pious Christian” syndrome! It is about dying to self so that Christ can live in us and we can reproduce the Christlike nature in a world desperate for a saviour.
It is a call on God’s people to be dependant on God by making Christ the centre of every area of our lives and to daily pray for God’s kingdom to come and for His will to be done. May God take absolute control so that He supernaturally dismantles every “kingdom” we have built in different areas of our lives through surrendering our will to Satan.
May our daily confession be as that of Paul: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20 KJV).
©6Aug2017 Deborah E. Nyamekye