KJB Daily Devotion – Following Jesus Through Every Chapter
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Chapters: Matthew 6-7
Message: Getting God’s Attention
Hello My Friend,
As Christians we love the thought of pleasing God because we know we will be blessed for our efforts. Most of the time we can see God’s hand as amazing things happen, and immediately begin to think it is because we are doing right. However, what if we are doing right and are suffering, what if the more we do for God the more affliction we get? I am going to be honest and say I do not always understand God’s reasons for allowing certain things, especially when we are doing what we think we are supposed to be doing, but I do understand that God hears every prayer, and pays attention to everything we are doing, we are doing it for the glory of God.
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.” – Ephesians 6:5-8.
“doing the will of God from the heart;” A great deal of affliction comes because our heart is not right with God, you can be in jail and be blessed if your heart is right with God. It is not what we do for God that matters to Him, it is our attitude, which comes from the heart. There are three things that religions advocate as the core of getting God’s attention, giving tithe, prayer, and fasting. Now, none of these things are wrong on any level to be doing, they are all necessary for seeing God bless us, but it is how we do these things that matters to God. As Jesus continues speaking He calls out those whom have been doing these things for show. He first begins with tithes or alms (money, food, or clothing, anything called charity).
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew 6:1-4.
“They have their reward.” We seen it all before, thousands of dollars pouring in to help someone who has fell on a hardship, while it is great to help people, God knows the real reason, and if it is just to feel good about yourself, or to draw attention to yourself it will not get the attention they want from God. What does get His attention is giving (no matter what it is) from the heart, not seeking anything in return. God wants and will bless our giving, especially when we are doing something not expecting a return on our investment. Now, Jesus speaks about prayer.
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” – Matthew 6:5-8.
“They have their reward.” We seen it all before, people standing in a crowded room, televised for all to the world to see, their hands raised to heaven, praying these elaborate prayers, a bunch of words you cannot understand. These type of prayers might get God’s attention, but not they way we want, He wants prayers from the heart, we do not even have to say any words at all, He knows what we are dealing with, that sometimes we cannot even talk, He hears us, He just wants our faith, trust, and devotion. Now, Jesus speaks about fasting.
“Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” – Matthew 6:16-18.
“They have their reward.” We seen this all before as well, religions are good about fasting for days and weeks at a time, supposedly to cleanse themselves from their sins to get right with God. Did you know that fasting has never been about removing sin? Although if we really want to get rid of a sin fasting helps, but fasting is really about getting God’s attention, it is taking time from feeding the flesh (not just food) and giving it to God. It is good to fast, in fact, we ought to do it more, especially when being afflicted. Fasting includes giving and prayer, it takes our minds of ourselves and puts it on God and others, godly fasting does get God’s attention.
“Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?” – Isaiah 58:5-7.
Hypocrite, One who pretends to be what he is not; one who has the form of godliness or who assumes an appearance of virtue, when he is destitute of true religion. Religious are good about appearing godly to the public, but behind closed doors it is a different story. Jesus tells us exactly why our heart determines what we get from God. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matthew 6:21-24.
“how great is that darkness!” You have seen them before too, and they are who cause church splits, they appear godly, form clicks by appealing to the weaker and newer Christians, then make their attack on God’s faithful. People are going to show their true intentions, and will bring the wrong attention to God. The majority of the time the reason we struggle to see God bless us is our lack of faith, we know God can, but lack the faith that He can really do it for us. We must do everything, giving, prayer, and fasting, believing in Him alone.
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 7:7-12.
“For every one that asketh receiveth;” God always answers prayers, they may not be in the way we expect or when we expect, but whatever we ask, we receive as He appoints. It is necessary if we want God’s attention that we believe in Christ, repent of sin, live a holy life, and love one another, it is what He commands and what gets His attention. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” – Matthew 7:13-14,28-29.
“and not as the scribes.” There is something amazing that happens when you hear the Word of God, I am not talking about just reading it, I am talking about hearing God speak while reading it. As much as I enjoy reading the entire Bible through every year, let me tell you, the most thought provoking, comforting are the words spoken by Jesus Himself. Now, each writer may have written about the same sermons and miracles they saw Jesus perform, but each one gives their own perspective on what they heard and witnessed so that every person who reads it can come to know Christ. We as Christians are going to have some amazing and similar stories to tell about Jesus, but how we tell it is what grabs certain peoples attention, and that is the main reason the Bible seems so repetitious, to let all hear Him. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” – Ephesians 4:29.
Jesus Christ Magnified: “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew 7:23.
Today’s Prayer: God, I know that You reward those who diligently seek You. As I diligently seek You, by faith, I know I will endure all my hardships. You have gone before me and cleared the way so that I might follow in Your footsteps and the steps of other godly saints. I am comforted in knowing that I walk hand in hand with You as my Guide. Through eyes of faith I see a great cloud of witnesses, those spoken of in the Bible and those I’ve known in my lifetime, who’ve already finished the race cheering me on as I walk this path You gave me. May I endure hardship as a form of discipline and wholeheartedly seek You above everything else. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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