Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society., Jason Upton, “The Feelings of Your Heart”

Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, “Preparing Yourself, Pt.2” Feb.7, 2018, ,


Yeshua/Jesus had no interest in gaining approval, or any form of man-pleasing; nor was He concerned with outward appearances, but with issues of the heart. He clearly dictates that we NOT do things just to impress others, and has no tolerance for hypocrisy.

Beware of practicing your righteousness before others to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. So whenever you do tzedakah/good works, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, so that they may be glorified by men. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full! But when you do tzedakah/good works, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your tzedakah may be in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you”(Matt.6:1-4). Notice, He is not promoting that we do not do good deed/works; but rather, instructing His people to keep it to themselves when they give, and not boast or publicize donations, and they will be rewarded according to the right attitude and motivation for giving, not necessarily for the amount, but for the right heart attitude. This tells us that what is important is our motive for giving, or doing good works, rather than the size of our gift/deeds. It is a heart issue.

Paul points out that “if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear. For the Day will show it, because it is to be revealed by fire; and the fire itself will test each one’s work—what sort it is. If anyone’s work built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss—he himself will be saved, but as through fire”(I Cor.3:12-15). Whatever good works have been done out of pride, ego, greed, for one’s own glorification/the approval of others, instead of for the Father’s glory, on the day of judgment, will not count for anything in God’s eyes. There will be rewards for those works done sincerely and truly for God’s glory, but no rewards for those which have been done out of pride, to impress fellow humans for our own selfagrandizement. That is also what is meant by “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:5,6). Yeshua/Jesus is emphasizing that unless the work is done through Him, for Him, it is discounted, and will be burned in the “fire of God,” for “our God is a consuming fire”(Heb.12:29). We are called to do everything to the glory of God, [“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”(I Cor.10:31)], not for our own glory, to try and boast of our own goodness, for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23). We need always guard our hearts against wrong intentions, motives, and desires (Prov.4:23).

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room; and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you” (Matt.6:6). This must be where the idea of the prayer closet originated; however, I’m not sure this necessitates a particular location for prayer, but rather that prayer not occur mainly in public to impress others. Focus should be on the personal relationship with Yeshua/God the Father/Holy Spirit, in the quiet of one’s own private space, not for attention/to impress others. Obviously, if we were only to pray within the confines of certain enclosures, Paul would not have advised, “pray at all times” (Eph.6:18), and “pray continually” (I Thess. 5:17). (I know from personal experience that real prayer warriors cannot be confined to time and/or space.) God wants us to be real and personal with Him, not following some stilted form (I call these “Churchy prayers”) of prayer. We need to set aside time for regular prayer – yes; but we also need to be spontaneous; and that’s when we are communing with the Father silently at any time of day, no matter where we are. Yeshua/Jesus looks for real authentic, sincere servants and communion, not superficial stilted, scripted prayer, or mere lip service.

Let us look to Yeshua/Jesus, and focus on what is pleasing to Him, not to the world. Let us do as the Master modeled, doing whatever we do in response to the Father’s call through the power of the Holy Spirit, so our actions will not be driven by carnal desires, motives, or intentions, and thus discounted.

Copyright ©  2015, revised 2017, 2018, 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.


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