Put Down the Trumpet & Step Into the Closet: The Righteousness & Rewards of the Kingdom

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ written by Matthew. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first eighteen verses of the sixth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find the Sermon on the Mount continuing within the New Testament gospel written by Matthew. Thus far within Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount we have come face to face with the very core and foundation of the Sermon, which was in fact what I would call “the attitudes of the kingdom.” As you begin reading Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount you will immediately encounter a series of statements Jesus makes which appear to have no connection with or relation to each other, and yet they are each intrinsically connected in that they form the very core of the kingdom which Jesus came to establish within the earth. As I have begun reading the words which describe the life and ministry of Jesus Christ this year I have been struck and captivated by the fact that when Jesus came to the earth, He came not to establish a kingdom that would overtake and overthrow the kingdoms of the earth. Despite the fact that the expectation which many men and women had concerning the Messiah, and how the Messiah would cast off the tyranny and oppression of Rome, Jesus came not to the earth to engage the Roman Empire in conflict and warfare. IF we are going to recognize and understand the ministry of the Messiah as was evidence in the person of Jesus the Christ, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize that He didn’t come to establish a kingdom on the earth that would rival all other kingdoms which had previously ruled and reigned upon the earth—i.e. the Egyptian Empire, the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Grecian Empire, and the Roman Empire. It was true that when Jesus came to the earth He came to set up and establish a kingdom, however, the type of kingdom Jesus came to set up and establish was a kingdom that was so vastly different from what men and women expected, and from what men and women even saw as being of any worth or value among men. As you begin to study the New Testament gospel which was written by the apostle Matthew, you will notice that both Jesus the Christ, as well as John the Baptist both called men to repentance, and they did so on the basis of the emergence, the arrival and the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven. When John the Baptist came as a shining light and a burning torch from the wilderness, he came forth into the land of Judaea emphatically declaring that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and calling men to repent in light of that manifestation.

As you read the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew, you will quickly notice that when John the Baptist came forth from the wilderness of Judaea, he came forth preaching a gospel and baptism of repentance, and did so in light of the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven which was at hand. John the Baptist knew and understood that the kingdom of heaven was about to emerge on to the earth, and was about to be established in the earth among men, and as a direct result of this knowledge, he called men and women to repent. In light of the direct manifestation of the kingdom of heaven which would arrive and emerge within and upon the earth, John the Baptist called men and women to repentance through baptism in the waters within the region of Judaea and the surrounding towns, villages and cities. John’s message was one of repentance, yes, but it was also a message of pronouncement and proclamation, as John emphatically declared among men that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and was about to be unleashed upon the earth. Only a short while thereafter, Jesus Christ Himself would step on the scene, and after being baptized of John in the Jordan River, and after overcoming the devil in the wilderness, He began preaching a gospel of repentance for the kingdom of heaven was at hand. If we are to truly understand and grasp the ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus the Christ, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand that when they came forth and were manifested upon the earth, they did so preaching a gospel and message concerning the kingdom of heaven being at hand. John the Baptist came as a messenger pronouncing the arrival and emergence of the kingdom of heaven, and to ready and prepare men and women for the arrival and manifestation of that kingdom among men. I can’t help but wonder if John the Baptist knew what that kingdom would look like among men, or if he just knew that there was coming a kingdom that was about to be manifested among men. One thing I know about this kingdom, is that thirty years earlier, the concept of a new king and a new kingdom not only intimidated, but also instill fear within the heart of Herod who was at that time the king of the Jews. When the wise men came from the east inquiring about this one who was to be born king of the Jews, Herod was immediately threatened by the thought of another king, and would eventually slaughter all the male infant children the age of two years and younger. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we understand that there are those among us who are and who will be threatened by the kingdom of heaven—particularly and especially when they don’t understand it, and weren’t expecting it.

The more we consider this reality and concept of the kingdom of heaven which Jesus came to set up and establish within and upon the earth, the more we must come to terms with the fact that when He came to the earth, He didn’t come to set up the kingdom of heaven upon the earth in order that it might overthrow the kingdoms of the earth. What’s more, is that the kingdom which Jesus came to bring upon the earth was never intended to cripple the Roman Empire, nor was it intended on engaging the Roman Empire in conflict. I have previously written that during this time there was a specific group of individuals known as “zealots” who attempted to engage themselves in direct conflict with the Roman Empire. This group known as “zealots” would attempt to incite riots and rebellions within the region of Judaea, and would attempt to directly engage the Roman Empire through violence, warfare and bloodshed. This group known as the zealots sought to cast off the tyranny and oppression of Rome, and through they could do so through violence. They weren’t attempting to set up and establish their own kingdom instead of and in place of the Roman Empire, but were instead attempting to cast off the government of the Roman Empire, and to deliver themselves out from underneath the shadow they were casting upon Judaea and the surrounding regions. We cannot and must not miss this very important reality, for at the same time Jesus came to set up and establish a kingdom that was not of this world, nor which resembled anything of this world, there were those among that generation who sought to engage themselves in violence toward and against the Roman Empire in order that they might somehow overthrow and overpower them. Here Jesus was engaging Himself in setting up and establishing a kingdom that was not of the earth, but of heaven, and there were those among that generation who could not see or recognize what He was doing. There were those among that generation who saw the greatest need facing them as the need to deliver themselves from the tyranny and oppression of the Roman Empire, and had absolutely no clue that the true deliverance they needed was deliverance first for their hearts and minds, and second, a deliverance from that which oppressed their physical bodies. The zealots were attempting to cast off the tyranny and control of the Roman Empire over Judaea and the surrounding region, and Jesus came to cast off the tyranny and oppression that was against the hearts and minds of men and women. What’s more, is that when Jesus came to the earth, He came to deliver and set free men and women who were oppressed in their physical bodies—whether by sickness and infirmity, or whether by demonic oppression.

When a new kingdom was introduced and mentioned earlier on when the wise men came from the east following a star which would lead them to the one who was born King of the Jews, it threw all Jerusalem in an uproar, as men and women did and could not understand what was taking place. As early as the infant days of Jesus the Christ we find an assault and attack against the kingdom of heaven within and upon the earth, as Herod sought to destroy the young child from the earth, thus removing any possibility of this new kingdom from being manifested upon the earth. The young child would be rescued from the evil clutches of Herod, as Joseph was warned by an angel in a dream by night, and rose up and took the child and His mother down into the land of Egypt. Upon hearing that Herod was dead, Joseph returned to the land of Judaea, however, upon learning that his son reigned in his stead, Joseph took the young boy and His mother and dwelt in the land of Nazareth. Once Jesus had become of age, and had reached the point where He was ready to be released into the earth among men, John the Baptist was raised up among men to preach a gospel of repentance in light of the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven among men. John the Baptist was the first to preach the arrival and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven, and it would only be a matter of time before Jesus Himself would begin preaching and declaring that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. One of the most important realities we must understand concerning the manifestation of this kingdom of heaven is that it was not a kingdom of this world—hence the fact that it was declared concerning the kingdom that it was the kingdom of heaven. Even the very name of this kingdom suggests that it was not a kingdom that was of this earth, nor was it a kingdom that was formed and fashioned after the kingdoms of this world, nor the kingdoms of men. The kingdom which John the Baptist proclaimed was at hand, the kingdom which Jesus would proclaim was at hand, and the kingdom which Jesus would eventually begin teaching about was a kingdom that was not of this world, but was instead a kingdom that was founded within heaven where the Father sat upon the throne over all. The kingdom which Jesus came to preach and to teach among men was a kingdom that could not be competed to any kingdom of man—whether it be those kingdoms and empires which had emerged upon the scene in previous centuries, or whether it was the Roman Empire which was at that time in power and authority upon the earth. The kingdom which Jesus Christ came to establish was a kingdom that was so vastly different from any kingdom which those during that time were aware of, that many could not even recognize it when it came among them in the person of Jesus Christ. It’s worth noting that Jesus Himself was not the kingdom which came to be stablished in the earth, but was in fact the one ordained to establish the kingdom through teaching, preaching, signs, wonders, miracles, healing, and the like. Jesus came to the earth to set up and establish the kingdom of heaven among men, and it would be a kingdom that would be completely different from anything men and women expected and anticipated.

What’s more, is that when we think about and consider this kingdom of heaven, we must recognize and understand that it was a kingdom that was set up and established directly in the midst of an empire. Please don’t miss the awesome significance and importance of this reality, for when Jesus came to the earth, He came and set up a kingdom that would actually grow and spring up directly in the midst of, and perhaps even under the nose of the Roman Empire. I can’t help but be reminded of the words which Jesus spoke concerning the kingdom of heaven—words which we find in the thirteenth chapter of the same New Testament gospel. IF you begin reading the thirty-first verse of the thirteenth chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, you will find the following words written by the apostle concerning the kingdom of heaven: “Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and become a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (Matthew 13:31-32). If you continue reading within this chapter you will come to the following words which were also spoken by Jesus concerning the kingdom of heaven: “Another parable spake He unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Matthew 13:33). It’s important to note that when comparing the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, Jesus was attempting to speak to the reality of the dramatic growth of the kingdom of heaven within the earth, and so much so that it would even allow the birds of the air to come and lodge in the branches thereof. When comparing the kingdom of heaven to leaven, that which Jesus was seeking to convey to those who were hearing and listening to Him was the expansion and spread of the kingdom of heaven. ON the one hand, Jesus spoke concerning the upward expansion and growth of the kingdom of heaven, while on the other hand, Jesus spoke concerning the outward expansion and growth of the kingdom of heaven. Even more than this—by speaking concerning the kingdom of heaven and comparing it to leaven, that which Jesus was teaching and declaring was that the kingdom of heaven was initially hidden, but would eventually spread and expand until the whole was leavened.

Concerning the kingdom of heaven, Jesus was declaring that it was sometimes hidden, concealed and even invisible, and yet it would be of such a nature that it would spread and expand within and throughout that which it was sown into. As we seek to understand the reality concerning the kingdom of heaven, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize that the kingdom of heaven not only has an upward growth and expansion, but also has an outward growth and expansion. Concerning the kingdom of heaven, we must recognize and understand that it is of such a nature that it grows and expands to such a degree and measure that it eventually leavens and fills the entire meal. Essentially that which Jesus was declaring was that the kingdom of heaven might initially appear to be hidden and concealed, and yet it would eventually grow and expand with such great force and measure, that it would fill the entire empire. It’s worth noting the intense and fervent spread of Christianity and the kingdom of heaven within and throughout the Roman Empire, for as a direct result of persecution, the kingdom of heaven would not only spread within the and throughout the Roman Empire, but would eventually reach the very heart of the Roman Empire itself—the city of Rome. The apostle Paul would be one of many Christians and disciples of Jesus Christ who would reach the city of Rome, and would bring the good news of the kingdom of heaven into that city. We know the kingdom of heaven was set up and established within the city of Rome, for within the New Testament we find an epistle which was written by the apostle Paul, which was written unto the saints which were at Rome. Oh how absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that the kingdom of heaven was of such an explosive and expansive nature, that it not only spread throughout the Roman Empire, but would eventually fill it. With that being said, we must understand that while this kingdom did indeed and did in fact overthrow and overshadow the Roman Empire, it did in fact completely fill it through the expansion and spread of Christianity and the good news concerning Jesus Christ the Messiah and eternal Son of God. It is absolutely unique and interesting that Jesus would describe the kingdom of heaven as leaven, for just as leaven spreads throughout the whole meal, thus completely filling the entire meal, so also the kingdom of heaven would spread throughout the empire, and would eventually fill it. Think of how vast the Roman Empire is, and how far it stretched within, throughout and across the known world at that time, and you will get an awesome picture of just how much the kingdom of heaven spread—first during the days of Jesus when it was only Jesus and His twelve disciples, and later through the twelve apostles, and the countless Christians which would emerge within and upon the earth during that time. History would show that Christianity would so spread throughout the Roman Empire that it would spread over the period of nearly two hundred plus years, and would eventually reach Constantine who was ruler towards the end of the Roman Empire.

As you read the words which the Lord Jesus Christ spoke in the Sermon on the Mount, it’s important to note that at the very beginning and outset of the sermon, He taught the core attitudes of the kingdom of heaven which would be manifested within and upon the earth. In verses three through twelve, Jesus would set forth what would be the very foundation of the kingdom of heaven in what many throughout history have labeled as “the beatitudes.” The more I read the words which Jesus spoke in this Sermon on the Mount, the more I can’t help but see them as the core mindset and the core attitudes of the kingdom of heaven. In other words—before we can truly understand the rest of Jesus’ sermon on this particular occasion, we must first understand that the kingdom of heaven contains and possess a certain mindset, and a certain core set of attitudes that completely govern those who wish to be a part of the kingdom. Consider if you will the words which are found in the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, beginning with the third verse of the fifth chapter:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall see God. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecute they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:3-12).

Within the opening set of verses within the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks to what would be the absolute core and foundation of the kingdom of heaven, as He spoke concerning the attitudes which would be found at the very heart of His disciples and followers. In order to understand this even further, it’s important to understand the words which Jesus declared concerning the kingdom of heaven, and it being within and inside us. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke concerning the kingdom which are recorded in the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke. Beginning with the twentieth verse of this chapter we find the following words: “And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21). With these words, Jesus makes an incredibly important declaration concerning the kingdom of heaven—namely, that the kingdom of heaven is within us. As surely and as certainly as we talk and speak about the kingdom of heaven being like leaven and spreading within and throughout the Roman Empire, we sometimes fail to recognize and understand that the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of God is actually within and inside us. We fail to recognize and understand that the kingdom of heaven must grow and expand within us as does leaven grow and expand within meal as Jesus taught within His parables. I am utterly and completely convinced that this is made possible through what we find written within the Sermon on the Mount, for contained and found within this Sermon is a wonderful and powerful picture concerning the kingdom, and what the kingdom of God looks like—not only within and inside us, but also what the demonstration and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven looks like among those around us on a daily basis. The Sermon on the Mount begins and opens with Jesus speaking concerning the attitudes of the kingdom, but it would eventually and ultimately shift from Him speaking concerning the attitudes of the kingdom, to Him speaking of the righteousness of the kingdom. In verses thirteen through sixteen of the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel we find Jesus transitioning from the attitudes of the kingdom to declaring unto the disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, and that they should let their light so shine before men that they might see their good works, and glorify their Father who is in heaven. What we find after this is Jesus transitioning from the attitudes of the kingdom to the righteousness of the kingdom with the link being made between the two being our being the salt of the earth and our being the light of the world.

Beginning with the seventeenth verse of the fifth chapter Jesus declares how He did not come to destroy the law, or the prophets, but to fulfill both. With that being said, Jesus also went on to declare that except our righteousness exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, we will in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. What we find transpiring in the rest of the fifth chapter is a powerful comparison of the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees and the righteousness of the kingdom. Having just declared unto his audience that unless their righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees they would in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven, Jesus then begins to compare the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, and how the righteousness they believe they possess is according to the law of Moses, and not according to the kingdom of heaven. If there is one thing Jesus’ words reveal in this passage of Scripture, it’s that there is a righteousness which we believe and perceive ourselves to have, and yet it is nothing more than a false and pseudo righteousness that is a righteousness according to the law of Moses, and not a righteousness according to the kingdom of heaven. When Jesus came to the earth, He didn’t come merely to establish a kingdom within empire that would be within men, but he came to introduce a righteousness that far surpassed the righteousness that was previously the norm. The scribes and Pharisees believed themselves to be righteous before the living God, and yet later on during His life and ministry, Jesus would indict them for their pseudo and false righteousness, and for their legalism and hypocrisy. What we find in the final portion of the fifth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew is Jesus speaking to and addressing the law which was given unto Moses, and how there was a much stronger and much more powerful righteousness that was available for those who would follow Him as one of His disciples. Jesus introduced an entirely new righteousness that far surpassed the external righteousness, and the external obedience and adherence to the law which was given through Moses. Touching matters of murder, adultery, oaths, vengeance and revenge, and other matters, Jesus takes the law of Moses, flips it on its head, turns it upside down, and introduces an entirely new righteousness. When we come to the sixth chapter of the gospel which was written according to Matthew, we find Jesus continuing this emphatic declaration of the righteousness of the kingdom of heaven, and how this righteousness is far different and far surpasses the righteousness which was according to the law of Moses. What we find in the first eighteen verses of the sixth chapter is Jesus taking this righteousness of the kingdom to an entirely new level, as He begins speaking about and addressing “alms” or “righteousness,” prayer, and fasting. Within the first eighteen verses of the sixth chapter of Matthew’s gospel we find Jesus not merely comparing the righteousness of the law with the righteousness of the kingdom, but also the rewards of men versus the rewards of God. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within this particular set of verses:

“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. 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 might have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly. 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. 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. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much s peaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors., And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Moreover, when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they. May appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto they Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:1-18).

It’s important that we pay close attention that which we find in the sixth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew, for what is found and contained within this particular set of verses is a powerful statement and declaration concerning a righteousness of men, which is in all reality a righteousness which seems to be seen, heard and noticed by men. I fell compelled to emphatically declare and proclaim unto you that if you are seeking a righteousness that is of men, you will always seek to do that righteousness in order to be seen, heard and noticed by men. It is absolutely impossible to seek after and pursue this righteousness of men and not to seek to be noticed by men. What we find Jesus speaking of in this particular passage of Scripture is a powerful comparison between the hidden righteousness of the kingdom which seeks to be seen and observed by the Father and Him alone, and the righteousness of men which seeks to be noticed and observed before men. What’s more, is that within this particular set of verses, Jesus also describes those who seek to be seen, heard and noticed by men, and that such individuals who live their lives to such a degree have already received their reward here upon the earth. Jesus sets forth three different types of people within this particular portion of the Sermon on the Mount—those who seek to be seen, heard and noticed with and by their prayers, those who seek to be seen, heard and noticed by their alms and righteousness, and those who seek to be seen, heard and noticed by their fasting. Jesus set forth a powerful comparison between the hidden righteousness of the kingdom which appears only before the Father who Himself sees in secret, and rewards openly, and a righteousness of men and of the law which seeks to be noticed and applauded by men. I would dare say that if you seek to perform your righteousness before men in order that it might be seen, heard and noticed by men, the righteousness you think you possess is not a righteousness of the kingdom which appears before the Father in heaven. Any righteousness that is done before men to be seen, heard and noticed by them is a false and pseudo righteousness, and one that has no place or part in the kingdom of heaven. This is what Jesus indicted the scribes and Pharisees for in the twenty-third chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew, for He berated and bemoaned their open righteousness which on the outward appeared to be pleasing unto God as it was seen, heard, noticed and felt by men.

What we must recognize and understand concerning this hidden righteousness of the kingdom is that such a righteousness might never been seen, heard or noticed by men, and is seen only by our Father which is in heaven. The righteousness of the kingdom is a righteousness that exists only in the inward and hidden parts of our being, and is seen only by our Father who is in heaven. We dare not miss or lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss the incredible importance of a righteousness that can never and must never be performed for men. Oh how there are more performers in the house of God than there are actual doers, for there are more men and women who perform their righteousness, rather than those who actually do their righteousness. The righteousness of the kingdom which Jesus preached—righteousness which touches how we pray, righteousness which touches how we fast, and righteousness which touches how we conduct ourselves among men and before the Father—is one that is never done in order that we might receive praise, applauds, and accolades from men. The righteousness of the kingdom is a righteousness which seeks to be seen by the Father alone, and does not care whether or not it is witnessed and observed by those around us. Even concerning prayer, Jesus spoke about entering into our closet, closing and shutting the door behind us, and praying to our Father which sees in secret. Oh, there is a righteousness which sounds a trumpet in the streets and in the pews of the church, and such a righteousness is not and will never be pleasing in the sight of the Lord our God and Father who is in heaven. I am utterly and completely convinced that we need more closet Christians among us—those who do not seek to have their righteousness seen and heard by men, but whose who seek to have their righteousness seen by the Father who is in heaven. There are those among us who seek praise and honor from men for the performance of their righteousness, and I call these Christians “Oscars & Golden Globe Christians”—those who seek to receive rewards, praise and honor among men. Tell me, you who are reading these words—are you willing to conduct yourself in a secret and hidden manner in order that your righteousness might appear to be in and from the inner man which is found before the Father who sees in secret, or are you content with performing a righteousness that is seen and heard by those around you? How we answer this question is incredibly important and will dramatically affect how we conduct ourselves among men, and even before the Father. I would call you who are reading this to put down your trumpets and stop sounding the alarm of your righteousness, and commit yourselves to a hidden and concealed righteousness which is seen and heard by your Father in heaven who sees in secret and rewards openly. We dare not, we cannot, we must not conduct ourselves as those who seek the praise, the honor and the accolades of men, and at the same time think that we can please the living God who sees in secret and rewards thee openly. Oh that we would commit ourselves to the hidden righteousness of the kingdom which appears before our Father in heaven alone, and is rewarded by Him and Him alone.

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