I hope and pray that my email finds you and those who you love feeling blessed in the grace, mercy, and love of God because of our relationship with God through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit. I send these emails to you Wednesday after Wednesday, trying my best to never miss a Wednesday, as I have done for several years because I love you. No other reason. Simply, I love you.
And, in me loving you, I am simply trying to share with you the love that I believe that God has given unto me that I believe that God wants me to share with you.
I want to give you a word of education (so you can know more), illumination (so you can understand more), and elevation (so you can grow more) in your confidence in your relationship with God so that you will be a powerful, encouraged, engaged, and impactful child of God.
I want you to be your best you.
That is why I do what I do.
I do not do it for fame. I do not do it for attention. I do not do it for recognition.
I do it because I love you and I believe it pleases God.
In the Beatitudes, Jesus spoke about three things - almsgiving, prayer, and fasting - regarding how to do it properly, in a way that would be pleasing to God.
If we are children of God, should we not seek to do what we do in a way that pleases God?
In Matthew 6:2, Jesus said, "So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward."
In Matthew 6:5, Jesus said, "And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward."
In Matthew 6:16, Jesus said, "And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward."
Is there a better reward than seeking the praise and approval of others around you? For some, that is what they are looking for. For some, the spotlight on earth is better than seeking the light of heaven. For some, gaining favor in creation is better than receiving favor from the creator.
But, Jesus had a better way.
Beloved, Jesus continued each one of these passages by saying to do what you do in secret, "and your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
I pray that as you think about why you do what you do, assuming that you are going to do something for God, you will do it for the right reason.
God created all of us for His pleasure, not for us to please ourselves; BUT, if your aim is to please God, then pleasing God should please you; AND, when you please God, God has a way of pleasing and rewarding you: BUT, that is determined by you having a clear understanding of why you do what you do.
You should desire to please God and that will likely entail pleasing, helping, encouraging, working with others; but, if they do not reward you as you desire, do not worry. What God has for you is so much better than anything that anyone else could ever give you.
So, do your work before and unto people as if you are doing it for God; but, do not flaunt your relationship with God to simply do anything that you want to do. Do it to the best of your limited God-given ability and trust that God will bless you in His ability which knows no limits.
Tonight at HOPE Wednesday, we will be studying Joy. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, needs more Joy in their lives. So, you come and invite someone to come with you. I know that will please God and I believe God will reward you for doing so.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!