Connecting earth and heaven

The Bible clearly and consistently connects earth and heaven. We must never allow ourselves to think that our lives on earth do not connect with eternity.

The basic truth behind this connection is that we must answer to our Creator and Redeemer when we leave this world.

The undeniable fact of future accountability before God is repeatedly made in Scripture. “…people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27).

“For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone…. For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Romans 14:7-12).

Future accountability of believers (2 Corinthians 5:8-10)

“We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

  • “Even for the Christian there is to be a day of reckoning. We must all, apostles and the rest, whether living or dead at Christ’s coming, be made manifest before the tribunal of Christ. … All the implications and consequences of appearing before the judgment-seat of Christ will not be known until the day itself arrives; but meanwhile the Christian is left in no doubt that he is regarded by God as fully answerable for the quality of his present life in the body” (Philip Hughes, Second Corinthians, NICNT, 179-180, 182-183).

Although all the implications and consequences of our future appearance before Christ’s judgment seat are not known, Scripture is not silent about the subject.

What is involved in accountability to God?

In II Corinthians 5, we learn of a future evaluation of our present lives focused on “the deeds of the body.” These deeds will prove to be either “good” or “bad” (“bad” means “worthless” or “of no enduring value”). This will happen at our “appearing” or “being made manifest” before Christ’s judgment seat.

  • We “will be open to the scrutiny of Christ…for it is only the divine gaze which penetrates to the very essence of our personality: ‘man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7). The conduct of our lives should constantly be influenced by the solemn remembrance that ‘there is no creature that is not manifest in God’s sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’ (Hebrews 4:13; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:5). In that day both the hypocritical and the hypercritical will be shown for what they really are.”
  • “’Because much is required of those to whom much has been given,’ comments Tasker, ‘the thought of the judgment seat of Christ has for the Christian a special solemnity. It is not meant to cloud his prospect of future blessedness, but to act as a stimulus.’ The incentive is to Christian living that is marked throughout by complete integrity, both in what is apparent and in what is not apparent to one’s fellow-men, so that the outward, instead of concealing the inward person, corresponds to it. It is only in Christ, through the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit, that this wholeness of being, free from division, can be realized. ‘Let us then imagine Christ’s judgment-seat to be present now,’ urges Chrysostom, ‘and reckon each one of us with his own conscience, and account the Judge to be already present, and everything to be revealed and brought forth. For we must not merely stand, but also be manifested. Do you not blush? Are you not dismayed?’” (Hughes)
  • “In the light of the ultimate realities of which he has been speaking every genuine follower of Christ should apply himself earnestly to ‘the perfecting of holiness in the fear of God’ (7:1). By ‘the fear of the Lord,’ then, the Apostle does not mean that terror which the ungodly will experience when they stand before God’s judgment throne (cf. Rev. 6:15ff), but that reverential awe which the Christian should feel towards the Master whom he loves and serves and at whose hands he will receive ‘the things done in the body’” (cf. 1 Peter 1:17-19) (Hughes).

Matthew 6:19-20

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew 6:1-18

In Matthew 6:1-18, Jesus exposed those who prostitute sacred acts of devotion to God (giving – vv. 2-4; praying – vv. 5-6; fasting – vv. 16-18) in order to promote themselves. He then contrasted such ways with those who serve God in secret – not seeking an audience or an applause. This group is seen by and will be rewarded by the Father.

Motives of the heart appear to be the criteria for judgment. I Corinthians 4:5- “…wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.”

The One who knows the motives of men’s hearts will expose them, and it will be very personal—“at that time each will receive his praise from God.” Yet some also will “suffer loss” (1 John 2:28) as their works prove to be “worthless” (i.e. of no enduring value). (cf. Hebrews 4:12). This distinction might also explain the difference between the categories of “gold, silver, costly stones” and “wood, hay or straw” spoken of in I Corinthians 3:10-15.

In heaven, there will evidently be reward and loss of reward in relation to our earthly lives (i.e. “our acts of righteousness” or “deeds done in the body”). Some of what we’ve done will be of the quality that endures (done for the Lord in secret); some will disappear like fire consuming wood, hay or straw.

The picture used in I Corinthians 3:10-15 is trial by fire, and the materials are either destroyed by fire (wood, hay, stubble) or resistant to and indeed purified by fire (gold, silver, precious stones). The Christian whose work abides after the test will receive a reward, whereas he whose work is consumed will suffer loss—‘but he himself shall be saved’ (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).” (cf. Revelation 1:14-17a).

Reward not salvation

“The declaration of Christ’s judgment-seat is not the ultimate of salvation or damnation; for it is the redeemed alone who stand before it, and their doing so results either, on the one hand, in their hearing the Lord’s ‘well done’ and the receiving of a reward, or, on the other hand, in their suffering loss, that is, through failing to receive a reward. The rewards themselves vary in proportion to the faithfulness and diligence of each individual (cf. Luke 19:16ff).” (Hughes)

Life and service for our Lord is an accountable stewardship of various talents, gifts, opportunities, and abilities.

The Lord’s parables stress this truth. Reward and loss are a certainty but their exact nature is not as clear. Evidently, the quality of each person’s work is either temporal or enduring. Acts of devotion done for temporal glory will have no eternal significance. And there will be awareness of loss.

I Corinthians 3:10-15 is most likely a reference to efforts at building Christ’s Church. Do we build based on worldly wisdom or Christ and His teaching? In verse 15, it’s the man’s work (evidently in building the church) that could be burned up, while the man himself is spared.

This is “one of the most significant passages in the New Testament that warn—and encourage—those responsible for “building” the church of Christ. In the final analysis, of course, this includes all believers, but it has particular relevance, following so closely as it does vv. 5-9, to those with teaching/leadership responsibilities. Paul’s point is unquestionably warning.”

“It is unfortunately possible for people to attempt to build the church out of every imaginable human system predicated on merely worldly wisdom, be it philosophy, ‘pop’ psychology, managerial techniques, relational ‘good feelings,’ or what have you. But at the final judgment, all such building (and perhaps countless other forms, where systems have become more important than the gospel itself) will be shown for what it is: something merely human, with no character of Christ or his gospel in it. Often, of course, the test may come this side of the final one, and in such an hour of stress that which has been built of modern forms of sophia usually comes tumbling down.” (Gordon Fee, First Corinthians, NICNT,) (cf. the seven churches in Revelation 2/3)

Prayerfully reflect on these Scriptures:

  • Colossians 3:23-24 - “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
  • Psalm 19:14 – “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight.”

Connecting earth and heaven

Although we know that good works do not accomplish our salvation, we must take seriously the connection between this life and heaven. Do we anticipate God saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant?”

Richard Baxter wrote, “Live now as you would wish you had done at death and judgment.”

On degrees of reward, see Dan. 12:2; Matt. 6:20-21; 19:21; Luke 6:22-23; 12:18-21, 32, 42-48; 14:13-14; 1 Cor. 3:8; 9:18; 13:3; 15:19, 29-32, 58; Gal. 6:9-10; Eph. 6:7-8; Col. 3:23-24; 1 Tim. 6:18; Heb. 10:34-35; 11:10, 14-16, 26, 35; 1 Peter 1:4; 2 John 8; Rev. 11:18; 22:12; cf. also Matt. 5:46; 6:2-6, 16-18, 24; Luke 6:35; 19:17-19.

Steve Cornell

Judgment according to works?

Every passage of Scripture describing a scene of final judgment makes works of righteousness done in this life the basis for judgment (e.g. Matthew 7:21-23; 25:31-46;II Corinthians 5:10;Revelation 21:11-15).

Yet, according to the gospel, eternal salvation is given as God’s undeserved gift and is “not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5).

How do we reconcile works based judgment with the fact that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Final Judgment 

Let’s first be clear about the fact that, “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). “It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
 every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Romans 14:11-12).

Judgment based on works

One of the clearest Scriptures connecting eternal destiny with human works comes from Jesus in Matthew 25:31-46.

After Jesus pronounced judgment on two different groups of people, he gave the basis for the judgment by using the “FOR“- each time.

The setting

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

The sheep

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. FOR I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’” (Matthew 25:31-36).

The goats

“Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. FOR I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me'” (Matthew 25:41-43). Conclusion: v. 46 – “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Evidently, “Sins of omission are judged as harshly as overt sinful acts.” (K. Snodgrass)

Unexpected outcome

The first group is surprised at the verdict because they were unaware that what they did was actually done for Jesus himself.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:37-40).

A matter of motive

Their surprise was not that they didn’t realize that they were serving the Lord. But their surprise excluded the idea that their deeds were being done to win salvation. In their surprise, Jesus used, “a literary device indicating that the service rendered was not done for recognition or reward.” (Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent, p. 560). For those who have been forgiven by God, acts of mercy toward others will not be a means to an end but as a response to God’s redeeming love.

Those who do merciful deeds to score points with God or hoping to make God beholden to them miss the point Jesus made in the surprise of the righteous.

Excellent observations

“The narrative is a piece of the gospel, but not its whole theology in miniature. To debate the implications of ‘for’ for a theory of salvation taught here is to push the passage beyond its intent. It warns that judgment will be determined by acts of mercy, but does not address whether this mercy is the result of redemption or its cause.”

“To raise the problem of works righteousness is to foist on Jesus and Matthew a concern that is not theirs. Their concern is a discipleship that is evidenced in love and mercy. The judgment evidenced in this narrative does not ask if a person has accumulated x number of merciful acts but asks ‘what kind of person are you?’ The point is that a person cannot claim identity as a disciple of Jesus without evidencing it in acts of mercy” (Klyne Snodgrass, Stories with Intent).

Judgment as validation or verification 

Our eternal destiny is settled in this life and judgment will verify (by means of our works) our identity as redeemed or unredeemed. Judgment will expose the connection or lack of connection between our profession and our practice. As Jesus said, ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

All of this presupposes that saving faith is life changing faith. Something is expected in the lives of those who encounter the true and living God and receive His gift of forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).

Steve Cornell

Celebrate the Resurrected Judge!

Audio version: Play Audio!

One of the most important bodies of leadership in the US (if not, the most important) is the Supreme Court. It’s not surprising that some of the ugliest political battles have been over Supreme Court appointments (remember Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas?).

Given the immense influence of the court, we should understand that one of our main concerns in choosing a president is what kind of judges the candidate would appoint.

Whether we’re talking about the high court or lower courts, the decisions of Judges profoundly alter the lives of individuals for better or worse. Sometimes they affect millions of people — shaping the entire future of a nation.

Today, however, I invite you to remember that the most important court appointment has been made. It’s an appointment to the highest judiciary seat possible and it covers the entire human race. 

There will not be any ugly political battles. No filibusters. No votes of confirmation from politicians. This appointment did not come with a news conference or a press release. God did something far greater. He made the appointment of the Supreme Judge and confirmed it by raising him from the dead.

There is an interesting and repeated emphasis in the Bible connecting the Resurrection of Christ with his position and function as the final Judge of humanity.

“God has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son (John 5:21-22).

“They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen — by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:39-42).

“Christ died and returned to life so that he   might be the Lord of both the dead and the   living. You, then, why do you judge your   brother or sister? … For we will all stand   before God’s judgment seat…. So then,   each of us will give an account of ourselves   to God” (Romans 14:9-12)

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out — those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:25-29).

The trial and crucifixion of Jesus was the most profound perversions of justice known to humanity. Although repeatedly declared innocent by the Roman governor and others, they proceeded to mock, torture and crucified the innocent one. But by raising Christ from this illegal death sentence, God reversed the atrocity of injustice and appointed Christ as the final Judge of humanity. God gave proof to all people that Jesus is the appointed judge of humanity when He defeated injustice and death and raised Jesus to life.

“Wicked officials committed a terrible injustice in killing him, but God reversed that injustice by raising Jesus from the dead, showing him to be God’s Son and appointing him as judge over the entire world. Judge Jesus has endured horrible oppression and injustice, and he has overcome it by rising again. His resurrection encourages us never to give up on justice but to believe that the Lord will always have the final word. If you know that Jesus lives and that he is the appointed judge, you know that justice will triumph and that injustice will be overturned and punished.” 

“The victory achieved by Christ through his death and resurrection on that first Easter morning is the guarantee of God’s final triumph over evil. By his perfect life, his death for our sins and his resurrection, it is Christ who has won the right to be the final judge of the human race” (David Feddes).

Celebrate our risen Savior and final Judge!

Steve Cornell

See also: “The final judge of all people” (from Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758).

Christ appears in Heaven for us!

When we are told to “set our affections on the realities of heaven,” the reason for doing this is that it is the place “where Christ sits at God’s right hand.” 

Think about these great words: “For Christ … entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence” (Hebrews 9:24).

Heaven is so desirable not because of the absence suffering (as great as this will be), nor because of our reunion with those who died before us (as wonderful as this will be). Heaven is so desirable because it is the place where Christ sits at God’s right hand — for us.

We join with the apostle Paul and say, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far” (Philippians 1:23).

After Jesus finished His mission by dying for our sins and being raised from the dead, He returned to heaven and took the seat of highest honor to appear before God “for us.”

These two words “for us” are amazing!

Those who know Christ as their Savior are represented in the highest court. Let these words sink deeply into your heart: “Christ went into heaven itself to appear in the presence of God for us.”

“For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:3-4).


“The Christian’s whole and only status before God is in Christ. True and wonderful though this is, however, the sphere of the Christian’s existence is still here on earth. He is still beset by temptations; he is hampered by weakness and frustrated by failings; he falls short of ‘the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ’ (Eph. 4:13); the perfection for which he longs is not yet. He needs a holiness not his own, made available to him by the Lamb of God who has made atonement for his sins and who now interposes himself as his representative in the heavenly sanctuary. And this is the representation which Christ fulfills as he appears in the presence of God for us” (Philip E. Hughes, Hebrews, p. 349).

For deeper meditation on Christ’s representation, see: Romans 8:33-34; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:23-27; John 2:1-2. The apostle John said those who confess their sin (I John 1:9), have an “advocate” with the heavenly father (I John 2:2). The N.I.V. translates advocate as, “one who speaks to the Father in our defense.” It pictures a legal setting with Christ as counsel for the defense. And His position as advocate is based on His redeeming work (cf. 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

“Our advocate doesn’t plead that we are innocent…He acknowledges our guilt and presents His vicarious work as the ground for our acquittal” (John R. W. Stott, I John, TNTC, pp. 81-82).

We must guard against misguided understandings of representation. We should not picture a dualistic situation where a well-pleasing son is trying to persuade a hostile father to look on us with favor. God was the one who was in Christ reconciling the world to himself (II Corinthians 5:18-21).  God “spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all” (Romans 8:32; cf. 1 John 4:9-10).


“The intercession of the Son, then, is in no sense a pleading with the Father to change his attitude toward us. Nor does the Father have to be reminded of the full redemption that he himself has provided for us in his Son—the very thought is preposterous! The presence in heaven of the Lamb bearing the marks of his passion is itself the perpetual guarantee of our acceptance with God, who gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. In ourselves, however, though we have the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ and though we are united to him in love and trust, we are unworthy because Christ has not yet been fully formed within us (cf. Gal. 4:19) and we still sinfully fall short of the glory of God (cf. Rom. 3:23). This consideration explains our continuing need of the advocacy and intercession of him who alone is accounted worthy before God (cf. Rev. 5:1-10). It is in his worthiness that even now we rejoice in the blessings of the divine favor, for by the grace of God his merit has been reckoned to us as our merit, his heaven has become our heaven, and his eternal glory our eternal glory” (Philip Hughes, Hebrews).

 Do we need the assistance of saints or angels to bring us to God?

“To imagine that saints or angels can be influenced to intercede for us is not only delusion; it is to cast doubt on the perfect adequacy of the intercession of Christ on our behalf and thus to deprive ourselves of the fulness of the security which is available to us only in Christ. Our Lord clearly taught that no man can come to the Father except by him (John 14:6) and that our requests to God are to be made in his name (John 14:13f.; 15:16; 16:23, 24, 26), precisely because there is no other name which avails and prevails with God (cf. Acts 4:12) (Philip E. Hughes, Hebrews, p. 353).

Christ alone is our mediator, advocate, intercessor, high priest, and way of access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; John 14:6). “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He (Jesus Christ) is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (I John 2:1-2; cf. Hebrews 7:26-27). “And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ” (II Corinthians 5:18). 

Let your heart dwell on these great words: “Christ went into heaven to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24).

Steve Cornell 


Things are no longer equal


All things being equal, God does desire that no one should perish. But all things are not equal. Sin is real. Sin violates God’s holiness and righteousness. God also is not willing that sin should go unpunished. He desires as well that His holiness should be vindicated…. When the preceptive will is violated, things are no longer equal.

From Can I Know God’s Will? pp. 22-23.

HT: Steve Cornell

Encouragement from Jonathan Edwards

“Now, it is for the abundant comfort of believers, that their own Redeemer is appointed to be their judge. That the same person who spilled his blood for them has the determination of their state left with him, so that they need not doubt but that they shall have what he was at so much cost to procure.”

“What matter of joy to them will it be at the last day, to lift up their eyes, and behold the person in whom they have trusted for salvation, to whom they have fled for refuge, upon whom they have built as their foundation for eternity, and whose voice they have often heard, inviting them to himself for protection and safety, coming to judge them (Adapted from: “The World Judged Righteously by Jesus Christ” Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)).


Remind yourself often that the one before whom you will stand is your advocate with the father, “Jesus Christ the righteous one” (I John 2:1-2). He is your “merciful and faithful high priest” (Hebrews 2:17) and “not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). He “…is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Identify with this prayer

“O God of Grace, You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and imputed His righteousness to my soul.” If Jesus had not been made sin for me and I had not been made righteous in him, where would my hope be placed? (see: II Corinthians 5:21).

Steve Cornell

Warnings for Church leaders (and others)


As one entrusted with spiritual leadership, I must meditate often on the truths in these five texts. 

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (NIV)

“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”

Thought: On that day my “work will be shown for what it is” not for what I want others to think it is. 

I Corinthians 4: 2-5 (NIV)

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust (stewards) must prove faithful. I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.  My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent.  It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring  to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

Thought: What will happen when the Lord comes? My work will be shown for what it is because He “will expose the motives of men’s hearts.  At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

2 Corinthians 5:9-10 (NIV)

“So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (cf. Romans 14:12; John 12:42-43; Matthew 22:16; Proverbs 29:25 cf. Proverbs 3:5-6).

Thought: The words “all” and “each one” remind me that I cannot skip this appointment and I won’t be hiding in a group session but will have a personal session with the Lord. “Good or bad” will be determined when the Lord exposes “the motives of men’s hearts.” 

Matthew 6:1 (NIV)

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Thought: There will be no “praise from God” if my motive was to seek the affirmations and accolades from men.

 Matthew 5:16 (NIV)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Thought: I must shine so that others will see my good deeds without the motive of being seen in a way that does not glorify my Father in heaven.