“…for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1
Prayer, fasting, and giving were three prominent religious practices in the Jewish culture in which Jesus lived and ministered. All three of these spiritual disciplines remain a part of a healthy and vibrant walk of faith in Christ today.
But Jesus warns against practicing these things with the goal of personal earthly gain. Why? Because the whole of the Christian life is not based on what we get from God. Everything we practice; consistent times of prayer, sacrificial times of fasting, and faithful financial giving all flow from a heart of humility before a holy God.
Thus, the reward for these practices is greater connection and deeper communion with our Heavenly Father. This is our reward!
The praises of men for our pious prayers, our self-controlled fasting, and our generous giving may provide us a momentary encouragement. But the words and attention of fellow believers is not our true reward. God himself is our blessing and our reward.
So, be encouraged to practice your righteousness through prayer and fasting and giving. Know that when you do, your Heavenly Father will reward you with more of Himself.
Lord, may I have a humble heart as I practice my faith. When I pray, hear the cries of my heart. When I fast, give me physical and spiritual strength. When I give, may You receive my offering as an act of worship. Bless me with the reward of more of your presence. Amen
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