Doing Right Things for Right Reasons (17 of 26) by Jonathan McLeod

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Doing Right Things for Right Reasons (17 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
Jonathan McLeod
Matthew 6:1-4

''Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven'' (v. 1).

SCRIPTURE READING

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that we who profess to be his followers are to be different. In 6:1-18, he tells us that we are to have a different motivation for doing religious things.

[Read Matthew 6:1-18.]

LIVING FOR THE APPLAUSE

Comedian Jerry Lewis, in an interview with GQ, admits that his act ''is fueled by an unquenchable thirst for attention. He says, ''I need the applause.'' Lady Gaga performs a song called ''Applause.'' The song says, ''I live for the applause.''

Many performers live for the applause. As followers of Jesus, we must be very careful not to perform acts of righteousness for the applause of others.

THE BEST REASON TO DO RIGHT THINGS

The word ''righteousness'' (v.1) refers to types of religious acts, such as giving to the needy (vv. 2-4), prayer (vv. 5-15), and fasting (vv. 16-18).

Jesus warns, ''Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them'' (v. 1). But earlier he said, ''Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven'' (5:16). Is this a contradiction?

No, Jesus isn't contradicting himself. He's addressing two different sins. In 5:16, he's addressing the sin of cowardice. In 6:1, he's addressing the sin of pride. We are to ''show when tempted to hide'' and ''hide when tempted to show.'' Jesus doesn't merely want us to do right things. He wants us to do right things for right reasons.

The best reason to do right things is to BRING GLORY TO GOD.

As the apostle Paul writes, ''Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God'' (1 Cor. 10:31). Those who do religious things ''in order to be seen by [other p ...


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