Matthew 6:1 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.

Introductory Thoughts

There is a common misconception that carnal motives yield no rewards. Careful study reveals these types of motives can and do still receive rewards but only on a temporal level. While it is true that improper motives erase rewards from the Lord (Matthew 6:1), they do not keep men from receiving rewards or recognition from other men (Matthew 6:2, 5, 16). One must choose his reward. Would he rather receive eternal reward from God the Father, or temporary praise and recognition from his peers? If a man’s motive for giving is to be seen of men, he will make sure to accomplish his desire and will likely be praised of men. In doing so, he will lose the greater reward, recognition of the Father.

Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): God’s followers called themselves servants (Romans 1:1, James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1). Paul wrote how a servant should serve and why he should serve (Colossians 3:22-24). Yet, some serve for the wrong reasons (Matthew 23:5-7; John 12:42-43).
• (For everyone): What kind of rewards do you want to receive for your labours? From whom would you like to receive these rewards? Should your motives change in view of this decision?
• Why do you read your Bible? Why do you pray? Why do you go to church? Why do you witness to the lost? How will this affect your rewards at the judgment seat of Christ?

Prayer Thoughts

• Ask the Lord to help you discern the nature of your motives.
• Ask God to help you do things for His name’s sake.