But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
6 times in this chapter Matthew uses the R word. In the context of giving, praying and fasting he says go ahead and do these things. But if it’s done with a prideful heart, showing off in front of people, you’ve already received your reward. It’s important to see the message behind the text here. He’s asking the question, are you doing these things as a show for others to see? Or are you doing it truly because you have your heart in the right place.
The promise is then that you will receive a reward. Everyone wants a reward! There are Rewards in the classroom, rewards for sporting success, rewards cards at Coles and Woolies, a reward for finding Osama Bin Laden, everyone loves a reward! It’s a blessing for some effort you’ve put into something. Interestingly with all the above mentioned rewards, it doesn’t matter what your heart is like. You can have selfish ambition, be greedy, prideful, coveting and have any bad attitude, and you’ll still be rewarded. But our God doesn’t look to the outward things of man, he looks to the heart. He is Spirit, and he looks at our spirit.
When it comes to the reward part, it can be either rewards on Earth, or in heaven. Whether you receive them now or later, you will receive a reward. I love and welcome the rewards here, an abundant life on earth, but it’s a great revelation to know you are storing up treasures in heaven. We’ll spend a lot more time there, than down here! Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us! I once heard the saying that Christianity has a great life insurance plan, the benefits are eternal, and out of this world!
This chapter is central to our faith. Give, Pray and fast. Just do it for Jesus, don’t care who sees, we live for an audience of One.
Father, I recommit myself to the basics, like the Apostles in Acts, to Prayer and ministry of the Word. I’m grateful for your reward program, it’s by far the best one I’ve joined. Forgive me for being like the pagans and chasing after worldly things. I will seek first your kingdom today! For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.