Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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Salvation and Stilettos Blog

#BestPractices: Introduction to Matthew 6


BlogFam - 
One of my favorite verses in the bible to remind myself of my life's priorities is Matthew 6:33.  "But  seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  In countless decisions and words of advice to others, this verse has been a timely and appropriate mantra.  So, this morning, I was very excited when the focal verse of my morning devotional was from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 6, and I just read the entire chapter for my own edification.  I was blessed and impressed to walk through this chapter in a new blog series entitled #BestPractices.

In every industry, there are BEST PRACTICES that have been studied, researched, tried, and trusted as standards for safety and success.  Best Practices is defined in one online business dictionary in this way: A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.  So, as I read through Matthew 6, I was inclined to think that if believers in the Lord Jesus Christ would do their best to practice the instructions of Christ in that chapter, our spiritual safety and success would be ensured, and we would come to admit that our results, our fruit, our reward for compliance with these words would be "superior to those achieved with other means."

Friends, I am so very excited about this new journey through Matthew 6!  I hope that you will walk with me over the next few weeks.  I want to acknowledge that Matthew 6 is in the middle of Jesus' infamous Sermon on the Mount.  This sermon is included in Matthew Chapters 5 - 7.  But for now, I am only focusing on Matthew 6.  I have written a series on The Beattitudes of Matthew 5 entitled, Wholesome Habits of Healthy Disciples.  Check it out!

Best Practices begins now...

Matthew 6:1
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  

Honestly, I wish every believer would memorize this verse and commit to reciting it every time there is an opportunity for them to serve, lead, or share.  I promise you I think that believers prefer the applause, compliments, and accolades of other people over the reward promised to them by God.  I say this because if you do not clap or give a shout out, or hand a certificate, plaque, or trophy to certain saints, they will have something to say about it and their friends will too.  It amazes me how much we want others to see us as opposed to be satisfied  with knowing that God knows our hearts and will reward us in God's own way and time.  

No, we should not only serve, lead, or share our witness for the heavenly reward.  We should do so as a response to our LOVE and GRATITUDE toward the one who gives us life and breath and has redeemed our souls.  But sense Jesus knows that we can get our priorities twisted because we can more readily see or hear the appreciation of others for our acts of righteousness, Jesus has to address it.

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  

Now, friends, I admit, that it does feel good for others to acknowledge the good we have done in the world, in our church, on the job, in the community.  It is a boost to our self-esteem when people pat us on the back or take us out to dinner to celebrate our accomplishments that have been a blessing to them or their family or their ministry or their neighborhood.  I will not dismiss that we all like the spotlight to shine on us publicly and privately every now and then when we need a little encouragement to keep on keeping on.  But Jesus has to address this selfish need for our acts of righteousness to seek the rewards of men and women over, above and maybe even against the reward of our heavenly parent.

It is so easy to get caught up in being seen and heard due to your good work in the world but GOD KNOWS YOUR HEART.  God knows exactly why you did what you did and you cannot fool God.  You might fool us into thinking that your actions come from a pure and holy place but you can never fool God.  You do not have the intellect, the connections, or the clout to run a game on heaven.  People on this earth might be impressed by you but our God is probably distressed that your heart is consumed with pleasing people over, above, and against God.  The rewards of our God last longer than the sound of applause, endures beyond the life of that dusty trophy, and cannot be shredded like that flimsy certificate.

BlogFam, let's get it together!  Our best practice for today is this:
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.  

Blessings, Glory, and Sunshine!

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