Vs 3 … when you give to the needy, (let) your giving be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Vs 6 … when you pray, … pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
VS 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do …
Vs 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Vs 9 Pray then like this: Vs 10 “Our Father… Vs 11 Give us … VS 12 And forgive us … Vs 13 And lead us …”
Vs 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face … And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
VS 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Jesus, in His famous Sermon on the Mount, is teaching people how to act out their “spiritual disciplines” of giving and praying and fasting.
The emphasis from Jesus, however, is not to DO them … but HOW to do them.
Jesus says to do them secretly … where the Father will see them, but not other people.
Interestingly, Jesus does not leave out the concept of “incentives” in doing this.
With each activity, Jesus says the Father will “reward” me.
What might that reward be? …
Maybe I should not worry about that … Just trust the Father.
Jesus says the Father knows what I need before I even ask.
In fact, Jesus says not to worry at all … about anything.
Jesus seems to ask an impossible task of me. “Do Not Worry”
But how can I not worry? … There are so many unknowns in the world.
Well, Jesus understands this, too. … “Each day has trouble”.
Perhaps, that’s the point … I can’t know everything.
There will be uncertainty.
I wasn’t intended to know everything. (The forbidden fruit was from the tree of knowledge, after all.)
And where I can’t have knowledge, I must have faith.
Faith in a Good Father … who sees all … even what’s in secret.
So, while I can’t have certainty … I can have clarity!
A rock-solid faith in a Father that sees all, knows all, and understands all.
And with this comes my reward … an absolute peace that my Father will provide what I need.
And with this peace, I can go about my daily practices the right way as Jesus described …
Giving … and praying … and fasting … for an audience of One … My Heavenly Father.
I can DO all these things to be seen by the Father, not by others.
And I can pray for others, not just me … my worries … my problems … me me me.
In other words, the public activity (giving, prayer, and fasting) is for an audience of One.
And the private activity (secret prayer) is for an audience of everyone.
(Our Father … give us … forgive us … lead us …)
As usual, Jesus flips upside down the usual motivations for everything.
Thanks you God for your word
Help me know that you know all
And trust you in the troublesome days
In Jesus name