Private Activities That Bring About Public Results
In the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7, Jesus taught His disciples about things they should know and obey.
- Matthew 5 includes the Beatitudes...(the "Blessed are's").
- Matthew 6 includes the Model Prayer... (the "Our Father").
- Matthew 7 includes ASK (Ask, Seek, and Find) and the Golden Rule (Do unto others...).
In Matthew 6:2, 5, and 16, Jesus commanded His disciples to do three private things that would result in powerful and noticeable public results.
1. When You Give
Jesus says, "When you GIVE in secret, then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:2). This means when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Jesus further taught that when you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do. They blow their trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity. Getting recognition form the people is all the reward they will get. However, if the disciples of Christ give in secret, God will reward them publicly.
If you want to be rewarded publicly, then GIVE in secret! Notice Jesus did not say "if you give." In other words, giving is not optional. It is a command that must be followed.
Jesus taught that principle to His disciples. Since we are disciples of Christ, we must follow that commandment also.
2. When You Pray
Jesus says, "When you PRAY, go to your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you" (Matthew 6:5).
Notice Jesus did not say if you pray. Like giving, praying is not optional. It is a command. Jesus taught the principle to His disciples, and we must follow that command also.
If you want to be rewarded publicly, then PRAY in secret and not like the hypocrites who pray while standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. It so, then that is the only reward you will receive.
3. When You Fast
Jesus says, "When you FAST, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:16).
Notice Jesus did not teach "if you fast." Like giving and praying, fasting is a command to all of Jesus' disciples and an activity that is not optional.
If you want to be rewarded publicly, then FAST in secret! Unfortunately, some people have a problem keeping a secret. They tell everything even when the Bible commands to fast in secret.
A Public Display
The three things Jesus taught His disciples should be done in secret in order for God to reward His people openly. You must do all three of the commandments. You must give, pray, and fast.
You cannot do one of the three in secret without God rewarding you publicly. If you do these private activities and brag about them, Jesus says you are no different from the hypocrites who do things just to be seen and heard.
Jesus wants us to take our acts of giving, praying and fasting seriously.