SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES

AND YOU SHALL BE MY DISCIPLES – Lesson #12

  • Practice Secret Disciplines

¶  “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

2  “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

3  “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 ” so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  (Matthew 6:1–4).

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

This teaching begins with “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”  

It is easy to see what Jesus is teaching.  In plain terms, if you seek recognition for your good deeds, then that is all you will get.  Recognition.  No one will think of you as any more than someone needing to be recognized.  And, you will have detracted from the good you might have done in seeking to get glory for yourself.

Jesus gives us three examples of how a person satisfies their ego.

(1)  Giving to the poor in order to be noticed for their charity and generous character.

(2)  Praying in order to be noticed for their religious expressions.

(3)  Fasting in order to be noticed for their personal sacrifices and disciplines.

Some might call this type of person a narcissist.  Jesus calls such a person, “a hypocrite”.

So, let’s ask ourselves, do you ever feel like your giving, praying and your fasting goes unanswered or unrewarded?

There is something bigger at work here:  A Spiritual Law.

“Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

There are three words, in the Bible…

  • “make”
  • “practicing”, and
  • “give”

And, all three are from the same Greek word, used by Jesus when He said, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

All three words (1) GIVE  (2) PRACTICE (3)  MAKE, come from the exact same Greek word = POIEO ποιέω (poy-eh’-o) which means you fashion something by what it does.  If your intentions are wrong, the outcome will be made in that image.  If your intentions are right, the outcome of your efforts will be in that image.

This Spiritual Law is saying “Give, and it will be given to you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Whether good things or bad things, it will be given back.

If we give, pray, fast or whatever we do out of selfish motives, we will, likewise, have selfishness poured into our laps in good measure until it runs over us.

Matthew 6:4 ” Make your giving in secret; and your Father in Heaven, who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

 6  “When you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

 17  “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face

18  “so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be given to you.”

Now, it is your turn:

HOW CAN YOU DO IT? ___________________________________________

HOW CAN YOU TEACH IT?  _______________________________________

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

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