Monday, August 18, 2008

The Heart of a Father

Here recently I've decided to read through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew over and over again. I'm not really sure when I will move on to something else, but for now I like it. Last night when I was reading I was affected by Matthew 6:1-4 which reads, "Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. (2) Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. (3) But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."

Besides the obvious call to "silent generosity", I noticed in this passage the gracious heart of God. God has promised that obedience brings reward, but what stuck out to me was the fact that God not only wants our obedience, but He desires to reward us. In this passage I see the heart of a Father. He is not just shelling out a list of commands, but He is telling the crowds how to receive their heavenly reward. The Sermon on the Mount is a radical call from God Himself for His people to live in a peculiar, distinct way, which calls for a painful death to self. But what is so amazing is that this hard path of obedience is the path to joy, and our heavenly reward. We serve such a great God! There is grace behind every command and there is a great reward at the end of all obedience; and that reward is God Himself. Peace.