This week I have been reading Matthew. This is the first book in the New Testament and is an account of Jesus’ life written by a former tax collector who became one of Jesus’ Disciples. Chapters 5-7 contains one of Jesus’ preaches known as ‘The Sermon on the Mount’. In chapter 6 Jesus talks about giving and praying, and there is a reoccurring theme...

When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you. When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.
— Matthew 6:3,4,6 The CEV Bible

Firstly, Jesus makes it clear that his followers would be both giving and praying regularly! Secondly, Jesus emphasises that both of these things are to be done in secret. The religious leaders of the day made a big deal of letting everyone know that they gave and prayed, but that was not what Jesus was after. His way was the secret way. Keeping it hidden from other people, but not from Father God, who sees what is done and will give a reward! There is something here about pleasing God and not people in what Jesus says. This year let me encourage you to be both a secret giver and prayer!

Gary Bastin - Hope Community Church leader

Gary Bastin