As we end another year and prepare to start a new one, I’d like to take this time to ask you to review your past year and your walk with the LORD.  You know, if your walk with Him hasn’t been what it should be, this is a good time to change that.  And if it IS on track, it’s a good time to make it even better.  The LORD is always happy to spend more time with you, and it’s the best investment you can make with your time, one that will pay everlasting benefits.

It is written, where your treasure is, that is where your heart is, and I know of no truer words.  Some people’s heart is in spending time with the LORD, and that is their treasure.  And others?  well, they put on a good show to impress other people.  It must be a pretty common thing, because the Lord Jesus spoke somewhat about it.  Let’s have a look:

Mat_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.
Apparently the LORD wants us to have a good reward for giving unto others.  But doing it for a show to look good before others costs us our reward, and the only reward we will get is the praise of people.  That doesn’t last long, does it?  It’s far better to give in secret, where only you, the person receiving the gift, and the LORD knows.  Of course, that goes against our nature, doesn’t it?  We want to tell EVERYONE we gave such and such.  It’s the sin of pride.

Mat_6:5  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Mat 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Mat_23:5  But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,

Good works are a wonderful thing to do for others, but be sure it’s for the right reason, otherwise, the LORD will not reward you for it.  Do those good works to be a blessing to others, from the heart, as unto the LORD himself.  For what eternal good is it for you to go around telling everyone how much you have done for others, how much you gave so-and-so, for it all to be wasted on your pride?  Yes, a pat on the back feels good for a second or two, but if you do those good works in secret, the LORD himself will reward you.

It’s really a matter of the heart, and we need to examine ourselves on a regular basis to make sure our giving, our good works, and prayers are really for the benefit of others, rather than for ourselves.  The best rewards come from giving and expecting nothing back in return.  Yes, I know that goes against the “prosperity” teachings of the day, where a farmer plants a seed and is not looking for a single seed for a harvest, but rather an abundant harvest.  And that’s very true in the NATURAL realm.  In the natural realm we sow seed for increase.  God set it up to work like that, and it does.  But I’m talking about the spiritual realm here.  You cannot give, do good works and pray to impress people, and have any hope whatsoever that God will reward you.  Their praise IS your reward.  That, my friend, is a very poor investment on your part.

Sadly, we all know people who are “people pleasers”, whose time is spent in an effort to receive the praise of people.  And many of them do many good things, but it is all a show to impress others.  I would much rather impress God, wouldn’t you?  The best way to do that is not to toot your own horn that you are doing this or that for others.  Keep it quiet, and let the LORD toot your horn.  He has a much larger one than people do, and His rewards are everlasting!