Pastor’s Blog Post 11.13.19

Matthew 6:1-4
6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

What does a Christian life really look like? Today’s culture has put forth a “screen life” in place of a “real life”. “People strike a pose” on Instagram and Facebook, but frown in their service to the Lord. When we serve God in humility, we don’t get that many likes or comments do we? Likes and comments feed self-gratification and become a false narrative in our psyche. The principle of the Kingdom of God is to walk in humility and look for reward from the Lord. What trends on earth probably doesn’t have much fame in Heaven.

My world was rocked many years ago when a book by E. Stanley Jones called “The Unshakable Kingdom and the Unchanging Person”. The big take away from the book for me was the fact that for many, Christianity is an “ideal” but it should be real. That kind of describes the façade of social media, a lot of ideal, but short on real. A life of serving Christ is a life of faith and our rewards will come from the Father not from likes, or comments, or views. Just the other day I read a statistic that nearly 80% of young people today dream of trending on some social media platform. Kind of shallow in the big picture of life!

Matthew 6:5-6
5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

In a lot of ways culture’s desire to have others see and praise lives is a reenactment of an old play called “I want the praise of men”. I challenge you to think before you post and when you do post, do it to serve and help another, not to try to gather esteem for yourself. All that society popularizes is not the way of the Lord even though it may have an appearance of good. If my life causes another to stumble I have not kept the purposes of God.

John 12:42-43
42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue;
43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Walking in the truth of the Lord will usually cost you the praise of men, not get you more of it. A simple life of service to the Lord and one another, like we are instructed to live in Ephesians 5 may not get us trending on earth, but it will sure get the attention of heaven.

Ephesians 5:8-21
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),
10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.
13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.”
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.