Noticed by Men

April 29, 2010 at 8:23 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts | Leave a comment

Matthew 6:1-18.   I don’t really know why I preach.  Even I can’t sort out all the motives.  I have a passion for God’s Word; I want people to learn it, to know it and to apply it to their lives.  I want them to know God through his Word.  To this my life is dedicated.  However, when someone says it was a great sermon or that I am a good preacher, my pride swells, because I love to hear those things.  I get my strokes from such compliments.  So which is the real reason I preach?  I suppose both are true to some degree.  The passage I read this morning reminds me that every sermon preached for human feedback gets rewarded with nothing more than human feedback.  When my desire is to be noticed by men, then I have my reward in full.  Four times this passage talks about doing righteous things “to be seen by men” and what the reward for such activity is. (1, 2, 5, 16)  I realize that I am, at least in part, motivated by the attitude condemned here.

          I take comfort in two things:  First, I am saved by God’s grace and not by my pure motives.  Even the sin of selfish motivation is covered by the atonement of our Savior.  So in spite of my desire to be noticed by men, I am still God’s child.  I can only pray my motives grow more and more into what Jesus would desire.  Second, God’s Word will not return to him empty.  It does the work for which it was sent.  So even when I preach a sermon to get noticed, and getting noticed is my only reward, God can still use the truth presented in the lives of others.  Our amazing sovereign God has an incredible way of turning even our sin into something to be used for his glory.  It’s not about me; it’s all about Him!

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