Thank You Lord, for Your love embraces me, for Your joy uplifts me, and for Your peace which floods me. I rest in You.
Read Matthew 6:1–4
Giving to the Needy
6 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat kind of a giver is God? REFLECT the quiet blessings, those daily gifts you receive from him. Use your reflections as a springboard for your thanks.
Giving, along with prayer and fasting, is a spiritual discipline that kingdom people practice. Notice that Jesus says when you give, not if! Godly giving starts from within (v 4). It is a matter of heart motivation. Are we secretly craving the good opinion of others (vs 1, 2)? Or trying to make ourselves feel good, with ‘our left hand applauding our right hand’s generosity’?* What motivates that sponsored run? Whose approval are we seeking when we volunteer our time?
We are unlikely to herald our donations with a trumpet, but do we use social media to proclaim our good deeds? That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t raise the profiles of good causes or encourage others to consider supporting them, but it does mean we need to think carefully about why we post what we post. God sees everything: the act and the motivation behind it (v 4). Jesus advises secret giving. It not only avoids the temptation of self-centered motivation but follows the example of our heavenly Father. He gives gladly and automatically (because it is part of his nature), unselfconsciously (desiring only to bless others) and unobtrusively.
Why not resolve to practice secret giving this week? Ask the Lord to show you a need that may cost you time, energy, or money and give in a ’God-way.’
Lord, so often I say and sing way beyond the reality of my inner life. Forgive me, may my words and deeds reflect the real me.
* John Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount, IVP, 1992, p132
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