THU. 7th FEB. 2019

THEME: AVOID HUMAN APPLAUSE

PASSAGE: MATT. 6:1-8
1. 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. 2. 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. 3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. 5. 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. 6. 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. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

MESSAGE
The Scriptures admonish us to give to the poor and the house of God for therein lie great rewards from God who pays back to those who are faithful. However, we are to keep ourselves from proclaiming on mountain top what we have done for people as if it was by our power. Whatever you are able to do for people was given to you to do by God’s grace and not by your own power or ability. Jesus taught us to give secretly without blowing a trumpet to announce what we have done (verses 1-3). If you do, you have already received your reward? What reward! The applause of men is the earthly reward, not of God. The earthly reward of men is temporal but that of heaven is eternal.

In the exercise of prayer, Jesus also warned that we should not pray as if we want applause from men. Our prayers are to be offered to God without the invitation of men as spectators. If we request men as spectators when we pray, the applause of men will be our reward. We are also not to practice vain repetition of words which makes us sound like fools because our God is not deaf. He hears us and understands our needs and feelings, even before we bring them to Him in prayer

Some kind of vain and repetitive prayers have become so common today that many believers have been deceived into thinking that you sound more spiritual when you do so. The kind of prayers where you repeat same word over and over, or shout Amen three times, fire three times and Holy Spirit three times are only to attract the applause of people and not of God who hears even the most silent prayers. Such might have become a norm in many churches but they are really not God’s desire or show you are spiritual.

Jesus said, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” (verse 7-8). Let God applaud you. GROW UP! Follow the advice of our Lord Jesus Christ in this all-important matter.

HYMN: EMHB 328 (7.6.7.6.D)
1: COME unto Me, ye weary,
And I will give you rest!
O blessed voice of Jesus,
Which comes to hearts oppressed!
It tells of benediction,
Of pardon, grace, and peace,
Of joy that hath no ending,
Of love which cannot cease.

2: Come unto Me, ye wanderers,
And I will give you light!
O loving voice of Jesus,
Which comes to cheer the night!
Our hearts were filled with sadness,
And we had lost our way;
But Thou hast brought us gladness,
And songs at break of day.

3: Come unto Me, ye fainting,
And I will give you life!
O quickening voice of Jesus,
Which comes to aid our strife!
The foe is stern and eager;
The fight is fierce and long;
But Thou hast made us mighty,
And stronger than the strong

4: And whosoever cometh
I will not cast him out!
O welcome voice of Jesus,
Which drives away our doubt,
Which calls us very sinners,
Unworthy though we be
Of love so free and boundless,
To come, dear Lord, to Thee.

MEMORY VERSE:
Matt. 6:4 “Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.”

PRAYER:
Lord, God, grant me the grace to pray according to Your divine wish and don’t allow me to attract the applause of people but of You in my prayers, in Jesus’ name. Amen.