Sunday, 16th August, 2020
Topic: SECRET SACRIFICES WITH OPEN REWARDS.
Text: Matthew 6:1-4.
Life is always about choices and looking through the Bible, I discover that the Bible is also a book of choices. The truth is that every choice you make either good or bad will always have a consequence or consequences. Some consequences are temporal while some are permanent, some are reversible and some are irreversible, some will last for a life time and some will have eternal consequences.
Surely, the decision to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour is a decision of eternal consequence. My prayer for you today and always is that you will make choices that will have positive consequences on your life.
Our passage today speaks of Secret Sacrifices that have Open Rewards. Matthew Chapter 6 is part of the popular Sermon of Jesus on The Mount which began in Matthew chapter 5. In this chapter, Jesus emphasized three things believers should enjoy doing in secret.
(A) THINGS BELIEVERS SHOULD ENJOY DOING IN SECRET.
1. GIVING: Matthew 6: 1–4.
2. PRAYING: Matthew 6: 5–15.
3. FASTING: Matthew 6: 16–18.
He made it clear that these three when correctly done in the secret have public or open rewards. Matthew 6: 4, 6, 18. May you receive grace to practice these in secret and miss your reward in the open. Amen.
(B) THE COMMANDED CHOICES.
Along with these comes prohibitions. Jesus says
(a) Do not sound a trumpet before you whether in the synagogues or the streets,
(b) Try your best to keep your arms away from the knowledge of a third party.
(c) Alms should be like oil, which though it swims aloft when it is fallen, yet makes no noise when it falls unlike water that sounds when it falls.
(a) Go into your room and shut your door (vs 6)
(b) Avoid vain repetitions (vs 7)
(a) Anoint your head and wash your face-17. Make your best effort to conceal your fast from the public.
When these commanded choices are obeyed and made, you are on your way to open reward.
There are many concepts of reward and descriptions of rewards in the Bible. Some of them are
- Exceeding Great Reward (Gen.15:1),
- Full Reward (Ruth 2:12),
- Great Reward (Psa. 19:11),
- Good Reward (Eccle. 4:9),
- Just Reward (Isa. 49:4),
- Due Reward (Luke. 23:41) and now
- Open Reward. This is a reward from the Father which no enemy can denied. It is open elevation, open promotion and public honor.
Those who take pleasure in the praise of men and pride in the recognition of men shall miss the praise of God and the reward that comes from Him openly. The Bible points out the greater life that lies beyond the recognition of men and charges us to focus on the higher reward. If you have God as your Father and you have made the choice to seek His praise, there is an open reward for your secret sacrifices.
The big question is, what are you sacrificing secretly today? Expect your open reward soon. It shall come from your Father. You shall not miss your reward. Amen.