Lessons Of A Lifetime

WRONGFUL WORLDLY GIVING
OR
RUNNING OVER REWARDS
SUNDAY JUNE 16, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“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. 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 you may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”

“But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be seen in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6.1-4

Something To Consider:
Notice that Jesus did not say if you give to charitable causes. But He declared, “But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Jesus is warning believers of not being motivated to give by all the wrong reasons. It was customary for religious givers to do so with all the pomp and fanfare that could be generated.

The dominating fact and idea behind some giving then and still remains true today, was and is doing so for the recognition that could or that can be gained from the world for much giving and thereby having their only reward being a worldly reward. The temptation is great for both the giver and the receiver to fall into the terrible trap of being wrongfully motivated to give. Jesus was aware of this powerful temptation, therefore He addressed giving from a proper perspective.

How many times have pastors, preachers, or evangelists, primed the financial pump in a so-called church service by claiming God was telling him or her, that someone was going to give, and then announced a large denomination of money? If the audience was slow to respond the speaker would add, “Stand to your feet all those who God is dealing with about giving a certain amount of money.”

And yet, according to Jesus, our giving is to be motivated out of a heart of compassion and Christ-like concern and not by a human compulsion or need for attention. Should we give? Yes, but we should give with the proper biblical motivation while fleeing the temptation of seeking or desiring undue attention!

Something Else To Consider:
Our financial giving should not be motivated by our wanting to be seen by the world as a generous giver. This warning of Jesus comes with the promise of a reward from our heavenly Father, only if done in secret. Otherwise we are to enjoy the momentary human applause and very short-lived recognition for wrongful worldly motivated giving. If this is our reason for giving then we have our worldly reward.

But according to Jesus, our motivation to give should be from a grateful and thankful heart, filled with appreciation for all that God has given to us, including the greatest gift of all, eternal life in and through Jesus Christ of Nazareth. If the promise of eternal life and the forgiveness of our sins is not enough to motivate us to properly give, then I doubt our giving would truly be from the heart.

Luke wrote in Acts 20.35; “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” But this truth must be believed by nothing short of faith in God fulfilling His promise. For part of the Christian giver’s rightful reward according to Jesus, is found in Luke 6.38; “Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

I hesitate to use that verse in speaking about wrongful worldly giving, but it has been one of the verses used for decades by the seed faith movement false teachers. But the preceding verses are actually teaching us as true Christians to be merciful and forgiving in our giving as God has been forgiving and merciful to us. Wrongful worldly giving to seed faith millionaires is not the merciful giving Jesus proclaimed in Luke chapter 6.

Something More To Consider:
The choice is ours, wrongful worldly giving, which is recognized by others and then forgotten, or our giving in secret from the heart in order to help others while receiving our reward from our heavenly Father. Let me add what the writer of Psalm 37.25 declared; “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.”

The writer of Psalm 37 continued in verse 26, by stating for the record; “He [God] is merciful, and lends; and His descendants are blessed.” The writer adds a warning, by proclaiming, “Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell forevermore. For the Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.”

The bible is full of examples of the separation that God makes between His righteous saints and those who have chosen to live their lives steeped in evil and unrighteousness. At the time of what we call Noah’s flood, and yet it was actually God’s flood of judgment upon the unrighteous people of Noah’s day; at that time there was a great separation. Again, in the time of Abraham and Lot, God’s judgment was brought upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and created a distinct separation between the righteous and the unrighteous.

Jesus spoke of another great day of separation between the righteous and the unrighteous in Matthew chapter 24. After His mentioning the days of Noah and the second coming of the Son of Man, Jesus declared; “Then two men will be in the field [working as usual]: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill [going about their daily routine]: one will be taken and the other left.”

Jesus followed up by stating for the record, “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord [Jesus] is coming.” Jesus is coming again as promised and as predicted. And when He comes, after the tribulation of those days, those taken to be with Him will receive running over rewards not for their wrongful worldly giving, but because of their thankfulness to Him for all He has done for them.

A Few Final Words:
Wrongful worldly giving is wrong! But as a true present tense child of God we will inherit running over rewards both here and in the hereafter. Therefore, let us heed Jesus’ warnings to not do our charitable deeds or charitable giving before the eyes and approval of men, women, and young people. Let us not sound a trumpet by our announcing in public our willingness to give with the wrong worldly motive.

Let us not broadcast to our left hand what our right hand is doing as it pertains to our giving. Spiritual giving for all the right reasons is indeed a lesson of a lifetime, that many times and for many people takes an entire lifetime to learn. As we approach these fast extremely close at hand end times, let us be open to God’s Spirit as it pertains to giving.

Let us be wise in our giving not merely generous, thus not finding ourselves funding false prophets and false messages of coming to God and giving your way into financial wealth and monetary prosperity. Let us not be deceived because of our human and sinful nature of greed. Rather, let us heed the words of Jesus, “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.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may we be rightfully motivated by Your Holy Spirit to give in secret and out of a heart overflowing with love for others. In Him Always, Amen!

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