March 20 - 25
Monday, March 20 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) There is a difference between being seen doing good works and doing good works in order to be seen. The difference is motive. Jesus is calling you to do good works in order to do good works. Don’t do good works in order to be seen doing good works. Let your light shine before others, not so they will praise you for your light. But that they may praise God, for the light shining through you.
Tuesday, March 21 – “Religion that our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27) A basic tenant of Christianity is compassion for the poor, the needy and the down-and-out. Yet, another basic tenant of Christianity is compassion for the poor, the needy and the down-and-out, without seeking applause or recognition. Our world craves publicity, recognition and reward. All of which are fine. Unless your goal for showing compassion for the poor, the needy and the down-and-out is to gain publicity, recognition and reward.
Wednesday, March 22 – “So that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (Philippians 2:15) How can anyone “become blameless and pure”? How can anyone be “without fault in a warped and crooked generation”? Check your motives. If who you are is someone who desires to be seen, to be rewarded and to be recognized, then this will be impossible. Yet, if you are someone who desires to be who God is calling you to be, regardless of who sees, who recognizes you or rewards you, then you are already “blameless and pure” and “without fault”.
Thursday, March 23 – “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34) If your motivation in this life is to gain fame and fortune, you can achieve that goal. If your motivation in this life is to please God, you also can achieve that goal. Yet, you can’t have as your motivation in this life, fame and fortune and please God at the same time. You can have pleasing God as your motivation in this life and still accumulate fame and fortune, as a bonus. Pleasing God, not yourself, not others, not your bank account, not your followers, not your subscribers or not your shareholders, has to be your motivation. All of the rest is simply gravy!
Friday, March 24 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) The difference is motive. If your motivation is the righteousness that God is calling you to be, you will be filled. If your motivation is simply yourself, then you won’t be filled. Or better said, you will only be filled for fleeting moments in this life. For yourself will always want more, bigger, faster and stronger. All of which is not attainable, in the reality of this life. Thus, a motivation of yourself will always lead to disappointment. That is why Jesus teaches that blessedness is awaiting all of those who seek the righteousness that God is calling you to be.
Saturday, March 25 – “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17) Eating and drinking are good and vital to staying alive. Righteousness, peace and joy are great and vital to having a life. There’s a big difference between staying alive and having a life. All of us desire to have a life, not just simply to be alive. Yet, many of us try to achieve a life through what we can accomplish and what we can earn. When God is offering a life full of righteousness, peace and joy to all of us, just for the asking.