Beyond the Weekend

August 26 | Applause

August 26, 2021


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. Matthew 6:2

Read: Matthew 6:1-4
Matthew 6


Jesus tells his audience that pursuing the example of the “hypocrites” results in receiving a reward. Just not the reward that lasts. “Received their reward in full” is a business term from the ancient world. It means they weren’t getting any more. That’s all there is. It means that when the religious leaders practiced their faith in front of others, the approval of others was all they were getting. Watch this video clip as Pastor Aaron Buer teaches it doesn’t last and always leaves more wanting.

It’s the same for us. If our motivation for playing football, completing a project, serving others or giving a gift is the applause of others, that’s all we’re going to get. We soon learn it doesn’t last and always leaves us wanting more. That’s why Jesus invites us to live in a more fulfilling way. He invites us to live for the approval of one—God.

When we live this way, we recognize we don’t need the approval of other people. That way of living is exhausting, anxious and empty. But we are designed to have this need met by our loving Heavenly Father. God sees what we do to please him and will reward us. Joy, satisfaction and contentment are rewards we’ll experience in this life and even more significant ways in eternity.


Make plans to do something that brings honor to God but tell no one about it. It could be an act of obedience, serving someone who needs help or helping a person or organization financially. Whatever it is, do it and say nothing to anyone. Instead, simply say to God, “This is for you.”


Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.

Today’s reading is Ephesians 1.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.

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