secrecy

Vulnerability in Relationships

“See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” – Luke 11:35,36 Today, I want to sum up our discussion of discipline and secrecy and how it deepens our walk with God. Allow me to offer you two practical steps you can take to employ the power of secrecy in your own life and in your relationships, both with Jesus and others. First of all, when you do something really great for someone else, keep it a secret. If you’ve never done this before, I encourage you to give it a try. Give a gift to a friend or a stranger, serve in some capacity, or volunteer for a day, but don’t tell anyone. When

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You are Rewarded in His Likeness

“The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, and the good rewarded for theirs.” – Proverbs 14:14 What do you want in life? What would you say if we were sitting by a lake together, staring at the water and being contemplative, and I asked you that question? Do you think it’s money? Maybe. Do you think it’s glory? Maybe. Given enough time to think and contemplate, I believe you would say something along the lines of wanting to live a life that matters, wanting to belong, or wanting your friends and family to be healthy and happy. These things are your life and reward in the Kingdom of God, which is the wonderful news I want to share with you right now!  These gifts — purpose, health, peace, and passion — come as a result of the power that comes from exercising specific aspects of our walk with

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The Gift of Generosity

“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” – Proverbs 11:25 We discussed the importance of secrecy and reward yesterday, and we concluded that it’s acceptable to be motivated by Heavenly blessing and reward when we choose to relate to Jesus privately, without the attention or confirmation of others. Today, I want to go a step further and suggest that public giving and ministry are not entirely without blessings. I get up and pray in front of the crowd several times in my church, and this isn’t a bad thing. Jesus’ ministry had a highly public face, and He was always teaching and praying for people. This was a major blessing, but He also made sure to set aside specific times to talk to His Father since that was the ultimate reward; He needed those energizing moments to keep moving forward in His mission. Individuals have given

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The Blessings in Secrecy

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:5,6 Today, let’s dive into the importance of rewards. The notion of doing good with the desire of being rewarded appears throughout Scripture, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount. Unlike modern Western culture, Jews at the time of the Bible’s authoring fully embraced the power of receiving gifts from God as motivation to do the right thing, especially when it came to relating to Him and doing things in His name.  Surprisingly, secrecy is consistently

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Giving in Secret and Sinning in Public

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:2-4 Today let’s talk about the gift and power of secrecy. Now, before you get all worked up about how “cultish” that sounds, be assured that it’s an old idea with origins in Jewish culture. It’s something Jesus talked about in Matthew 6, when he told his followers to give without telling anybody else. I want to make it clear right away that this is not a

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