08 Mar Godly Intent
Last Sunday, Pastor Jason preached from Matthew 6:1-4, challenging us to delight in the sight of God. We were warned about the perils of man’s praise and encouraged with the promise of God’s reward.
Read: Matthew 6:5-8, 16-18
This Lord’s Day, pastor Ken will continue our series, “The King’s Sermon: On Earth as It is in Heaven.” He will preach on prayer and fasting and remind us again that we serve a God who sees. Minister Andrew Bonar once said, “The best part of all Christian work is that part which only God sees.”
Throughout the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus confronts motives, not merely actions. His judgment of the Pharisees and hypocrites lies predominantly in their selfish intentions, as they twisted the law to serve themselves. They wanted to be seen by others and receive man’s praise.
We, too, battle the temptation to be seen and affirmed by man—even in our prayer and fasting. But Jesus reminds us three times in Matthew 6:1-18, there is One who sees and affirms. Therefore, we must pray and fast according to Jesus’ commands:
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:6).”
“But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:17-18).”
In the Old Testament, we also see God looking not at outward actions but at the heart.
When the prophet Samuel came to appoint a king for God’s people, Israel, he was sent to the house of Jesse (David’s family). Samuel was immediately taken with Eliab and presumed he must be the one to be appointed. The Lord told him, however, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Also, Genesis 6:5 says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Again and again, God addresses our hearts, leaving us exposed and bare before His perfect righteousness. Reminded of our wickedness and His perfection, we rejoice that Jesus came to fulfill the law for us and make us perfectly righteous before God (Matthew 5:17).
Lastly, when tempted to seek the praise of others, we must remember the greater reward of God. This is why the Apostle Paul urges the church in Colossae, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). We are given a greater inheritance than man could offer — Christ Himself.
Let this be forever our mindset as the King’s people in the service of our majestic Lord.
Sing: Song List for Sunday
1. “God Omniscient God All Knowing,” by Matt Boswell
2. “Great I Am,” by New Life Worship
3. “Who You Say I Am,” Arr. by Shane & Shane
4. “Hallelujah, What a Savior” by Breakaway Ministries
Follow our “Sunday Morning Setlist” on Spotify.