“That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.” (Matt. 6:4) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) So, which one is it, are we supposed to serve the Lord in secret, or in the open where all can see.
“Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” (Jude 1:9) Now, why would the Holy Spirit put that particular moment into the Holy Word of God, why let us know of this occurrence. Satan wanted the body of Moses, and even though the Scriptures are clear that no man knows where Moses’s grave, tomb, is, Satan did. Apparently, Satan was headed that way to get the body of Moses to re-animate, enter into it to deceive the children of Israel, which meant that he had a plan conceived.
Michael was sent to stop him, but apparently Satan is more powerful in certain areas than Michael, and so Michael said, to stop our adversary from fulfilling that evil plan, “The Lord rebuke thee.” (Jude 1:9) Bear with me here.
Michael is indeed powerful, yet he did not exercise that power in this instance, but instead simply said these four words, “The Lord rebuke thee,” thereby bypassing anything within and for himself, but as far as we are told, he did not do so when called upon to assist that unnamed angel when battling with the prince of Persia. (Daniel 10:13)
The Pharisees are an example set forth for us on how not to praise God in certain ways, especially when it came to long prayers and the putting of money into the plate, so to speak. (Matt. 6:2) The Lord went up into a place to pray and be alone with the Father yet performed miracles openly for all to see.
There is a time to honor God in public, and one to honor Him in private, and here is where all those that serve the Lord God come into play, if it draws attention to you, it is wrong, if it draws attention to the Most High, it will be blessed.
The Roman Catholic cult, in most of their churches, to use the word facetiously, and as far as I know, at the end of the fiscal year, puts out a paper with the name of those who attend and the amount of money that they gave. An excellent opportunity to bring shame upon some, and for others to revel in pride. This would be one area where “in secret” would be required, no one but the Lord needs to know how much you give to His work, ask the woman who gave two mites, (Mark 12:42-43) and how much eternal value it had.
“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) Want to guess how many people were around at that moment in time, (Acts 3:9) probably just those three. Any and everything that we do that draws attention to us has no eternal value whatsoever.
“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” (Matt. 6:5)
Those things that we do that are meant to divert attention from ourselves and onto the Lord, whether they are done in secret or in the view of many, are the only ones that will be counted as worthy and will receive a reward in heaven. Was not the widow who gave two mites in view of all? Did not Daniel praise the name of God in public, and in the privacy of his own room, did not Gideon go to war with only three hundred men, but sought the face of God in a fleece in private, twice?
Any person who serves the Lord, or at least says they do, who attempts to draw attention to themselves is flirting with pride, and vainglory, all who die to self seek only the glory of God in all that they do, and they know for a fact that all their works, whether done in secret or in the sight of all men, are as filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) What we do matters only if it glorifies God, and lifts up the name of Jesus, and only those words and deeds that are done through us by the power of the Holy Spirit are of any eternal value.