In Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus teaches about the parable of the lamp under the basket, making the point: "Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 WEB)
Jesus instructs us to allow our good deeds to be seen by others so they might glorify God.
However, just after this passage, Jesus speaks about prayer, saying "But you, when you pray, enter into your inner chamber, and having shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." (Matthew 6:6 WEB)
In contrast to our good actions, Jesus tells us to pray in private when we are praying by ourselves. Jesus is not speaking about community prayer (praying with others); rather, he is speaking about the hypocrisy of privately praying to God in public in order to appear spiritual.
Whether or not we have faith should be determined by our actions, as James explains, "Faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself." (James 2:17 WEB)
This week, remember to glorify God with your actions and good deeds. Everyone is watching your actions, just like you see theirs. Allow your godly actions to challenge their faith to live like Christ and to glorify God.
Your life and your actions are the most powerful testimony you could ever give. People don't care what you believe, until they see you live what you believe. They will know you're different, not by what you say, but by what you do.
As you live for Christ this week, remember how Jesus lived in humility and obedience to God, saying, "Not my will, but yours, be done." (Luke 22:42 WEB)
Let your light and goodness shine.
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