Which World Are You Living For?

Why do hypocrites do what they do? In His Matthew 6 admonition to His disciples to avoid hypocrisy, Jesus gave several examples which reveal a basic motivation that each person takes into consideration when they make their choice of action:

—  He said those who perform their good deeds for the approval of men have “no reward with your Father who is in heaven” (:1)
— Three times in this passage He says those who desire attention for their actions: “have their reward in full.” (:2, :5 & :16)
— On the other hand, He said of those who do their works for God only: “your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (:4) (also :6 & :18)

The question behind all three of the examples Jesus gives here is: are you living for the attention of people and the reward they can give you in THIS world, or for the approval of God and the reward that He will give you in the NEXT?  Will your reward be “in full” here on earth, or in heaven with “your Father who sees in secret”?

Each of us must decide where we will receive our reward, and that decision affects every other decision we make, and the whole course of our lives — and eternity.  Hebrews 11:24-26 tells us that Moses “refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin … for he was looking to THE reward (in heaven).” Moses made his decision. He would not participate in some of the earthly pleasures he could have experienced, believing that God had something better for him in heaven if he would obey Him.

What is your decision?  Which world are you living for?  That basic choice will determine a lot of other decisions for you: are you living for the approval of people in this life, and the reward they can give you; or the approval of God and the rewards He will give you in eternity?  The thing is, you really CAN have “your best life  now” here on earth — but is that where you really want it?


About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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