In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes the righteousness that characterizes the members of His kingdom. Is a divine righteousness that only He can work in the hearts of His people by the power of the Spirit. It is a righteousness altogether different than that of the religious leaders of the day. It is the righteousness of the redeemed heart that is evident in the words and actions of one’s life. It includes loving one’s enemies, reconciling friendships, making peace, giving generously, and going the extra mile.
In Matthew 5:16, Jesus commands His followers to let their light shine before others, so that people may see their good works and give glory to the Father in heaven. Throughout the rest of Matthew 5, He describes what these good works look like in the context of personal relationships. However, He knows the human heart. He knows that as we progress in righteous living, we will begin to desire glory and praise for ourselves. Thus He warns, in 6:1 “Take care not to practice your righteousness in the sight of people, to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”Continue reading “A Secret Spirituality that Shines: Living for God and Not for People (Matthew 6:1-18)”