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When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do,
you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven. ~ Matthew 6:1 (CEV)

READING: Matthew 6:1-4

Wouldn’t it be nice if people recognized our efforts, valued our sacrifices and honored our church planting accomplishments? But if we pin our hopes on expecting honor and recognition when we sacrificially serve Christ, we may be sorely disappointed.

I remember a business meeting in my first church plant. That church was birthed in large part by my blood, sweat and tears. Yet people publically questioned my motives and compensation. I was surprised, but I shouldn’t have been.

Sometimes those who serve most sacrificially, who are most dedicated, who deserve the greatest awards, not only don’t get the credit they deserve, they get persecution and even martyrdom.

What will enable us to bear up under the lack of well-deserved credit, blessing and encouragement? We must remember, first, that the greatest leaders of our faith suffered greatly for it, just as Jesus said they would. Our Lord Himself willingly bore the most extreme agony.

Rather than trying to impress people and be recognized, we must remember that Jesus warned us not to do things just to receive the praise of men. In fact, He said that doing so robs us of our reward from the Lord. We should live only to please Him and perform our best for an audience of One.

Most importantly, we must remember that our Heavenly Father knows what we are enduring and He will faithfully reward us for it at the right time. If we do receive recognition from time to time, we can be grateful and perhaps even surprised.

Dear Lord, Help me not to seek recognition from anyone but You. Thank you that You will faithfully reward my service. Amen.

Mark Alan Williams