Secret Giving

Secret Giving

The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were looked up to because they took their religion seriously. What we call the Sermon on the Mount was Jesus addressing their wrong attitudes and actions. They were most certainly devout but they missed the heart of God. They focused on an external righteousness and life by showing others how good they were. Modern religion makes many of the same mistakes. We spend a lot of energy trying to change behaviors. Moving people from bad to good. Don’t forget that from the beginning the Lord forbade Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowing Good and Evil. He invited them to eat freely from the Tree of Life. When our focus is just on changing behaviors we lead people to eat from the wrong tree.

Matthew 6:1–4 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. These were offerings above their tithes and sacrifices at the Temple. They were primarily gifts of benevolence to help the poor. The scripture is full of reminders to care for the poor. He calls us to take great caution how we go about giving. We aren’t to give for personal recognition. When we give to receive recognition that is its own reward. Christ in us is calling us to a deeper level of giving.

Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. There were certain of the Pharisees who actually announced their arrival in the streets by calling the poor to them and to receive praise from others. They were pretending to practice righteousness but their motives were completely contrary to true righteousness. They were self-serving and seeking the glory and praise of men. When we give for the motive of being recognized the recognition we receive from men is the only reward we’ll receive.

But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, I think the point here is that we are to give spontaneously as the Spirit leads, generously and freely – seeking no recognition, no praise, and no glory from men. We live in a world that loves to be recognized for what it does. In Christ, recognize all we have is from Him, so we are simply stewards of what He places in our trust. We give in response to the leading of the Spirit by being careful not to publish our generosity.

that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. What we do, how we give and serve, is an act of worship to our Lord for His glory and praise alone. New Covenant giving is a free will offering to the Lord; a response to the leading of His indwelling life; and He promises to bless our obedience. We will experience giving as a joy instead of a burden.

This Sunday immediately following second service we’ll be having a baptism service. Baptism is a beautiful picture of our identity with Christ and new beginnings in Him. If you’d like to be baptized please let me know.

Have a great week.

You are loved!

Pastor Tim