Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
New Nation Church International – Concord CA
Observation: There is an important difference between how we practice our faith in Jesus Christ in private as opposed to the public practice of our faith. As an American Christian, it is easy to get offended when I hear about various forms of our government or businesses or non-profits or even individuals seeking to limit public expressions of our Christian faith. This includes things such as not allowing crosses or prayer in public places or wanting to limit the expressing of “Merry Christmas” during December. Shortly before reading and pondering the verses above, I read about Christian women in Syria forming a military unit to fight back against the terrorists of ISIS who have invaded their towns and killed many of their family members and neighbors. So many of our Christian brethren around the world don’t have the luxury of being offended about new limitations on public expression of our faith and have lived their lives before Christ in private for generations. Theirs is a hard to relate to strength of faith that I marvel at.
Action: As I write this, I am thanking the Lord for the freedom that we do have in the USA to express so much of our faith publicly and also asking Him to forgive me for not spending more of my alone time in prayer, meditating on Scripture and worshiping Jesus. Lord, I can only hope that my faith would be as determined as the faith of my brothers and sisters in you who live under intense persecution.
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