so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Pray in secret. Give in secret. But it isn't a secret if God knows! It is only secret from people. That is to combat our human tendency to compete. We want to be the fastest, the best, the wisest, the most commented upon or followed. We crave that very thing which caused Satan to fall and that is our own pride fulfilled. It is like emptying the ocean with a thimble.
Pray in secret. Give in secret. Write not for the comments, cash or accolades but for Him. Write, sing, pray, create and live for Him.
It takes a lot to put ourselves out there creatively. We risk judgement, ridicule, misunderstanding or worse not being noticed at all!
A friend wrote about judgement today, you can read about it here (Thanks Carey!) and it really really convicted me. It made me pray. It made me think.
We serve. We pray. We love. We give. We offer ourselves and actions to God as a blessing. We obey when He prompts us to action. We listen for the whisper of the Holy Spirit. We don't own it though.
We may wash the feet of a sister or a brother. We care enough to serve them. But it ends there for us. We don't own their feet, nor the cleansing. We gave it away, freely, as a love offering. Those don't have strings.
We don't get to question or judge whether they walk in dirt or mud again. It's not our affair, even if we did wash their feet.
God blesses us with the words, images, art and song to lift up our brothers and sisters. We give it as a love offering. It is no longer ours to covet. It is no longer ours to expect praise for. We've done it for God, and it belongs to Him.
BUT WAIT...THERE IS MORE! Our job is not done!
if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
God also expects His children to love, encourage, serve and care for each other. We are supposed to be the encouragers to others! We are supposed to show them love and grace. We are to lift them up. Love them.
We don't get to ask for that back. (part of me cries here though - we shouldn't have to ask should we? if we are to encourage each other that assumes a two way exchange of encouragement doesn't it?)
We don't get to ask for that back. God already has asked for it back, for us! Encourage each other. Lift each other up. Be there for each other in prayer, love and in actions.
Our love offerings are given to God, for His use to encourage our brothers and sisters. To convict them. To challenge them. To bring them to song or prayer. To move them to action against wrong. They are for His use. We write, sing, love, pray and serve for an audience of One.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
We serve Him by serving each other! We show God's love by loving. We show how life lived in grace looks by living it out loud. Actively. By words. By actions.
God blessed you with skills and talents to be used for His glory. They may not be the ones you wish you had or the ones you wish He'd use. But they are exactly what He knows is needed when He calls for them. Can we be obedient to that?
Can we truly read someone's efforts, and leave some love?
Can we see a call for help and answer it?
Can we really pray when we type 'praying'?
Can we reach out our hands and hearts wholly?
Can we truly say, Your will and not my own?
If the only feedback you got was from God - would you be excited to hear His words or terrified? Let's be overjoyed that He is our audience of One, let's be so excited we tremble that we can be His children. Let's be the reason someone looks closer at our faith because of our joy, because we live under grace, because of Him.