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A Proper Gift

“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 they 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 in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly."  Matthew 6:1-4 (NKJV)

One of the greatest gifts we have been given is the ability to give to others. This is because the essence of giving is a selfless act. It can be used with everything we have—from our money, to our time, our counsel, and talents, to simply giving an item we own. And yet for others, it is anything but pleasant, as they cannot bear to give away what they consider theirs. Then there are those who don’t necessarily dislike giving, but they will do it with a different motive in their heart—giving with expecting something in return. 

Jesus warns about this type of giving in Matthew 6, and He instructs the giver not to give like the hypocrites do—attempting to receive glory from those who witness their charitable deeds. Our motives for giving must come from a pure heart before God. This can only be done when we realize an absolute truth—God owns everything. If we truly believe this, then it won’t be hard to share with others. Secondly, God has given us everything, and it is His desire to help those who are less fortunate—He has chosen us to do this. We simply need to be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. 

He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given. Proverbs 19:17 (NKJV)

In the book of Acts, we read of a couple named Ananias and Sapphira who were a part of the early church. They chose to sell some land and give the proceeds to the church—the problem was they were doing it to receive honor, and not with a pure heart. They lied about the amount of money they received from the sale, and then claimed to have given all the proceeds to the church to help others. We can see the outcome in these verses.

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. Acts 5:3-5 (NKJV)

We can clearly see from this account, there is no glory to be received from God when we do things with an improper heart. In fact, just the opposite can be seen. God doesn’t need our money, time, or talent to get things done—He allows us to be a part of the blessing of giving—it is a ministry opportunity to shine His light before others. When we truly understand we are merely stewards of God’s possessions, we will be more readily used to help and to invest into other people’s lives. We have been given a principle of sowing and reaping within God’s word, and we can be sure we will reap what we sow. 

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NKJV)

The secret to properly giving is in knowing where the gift ultimately comes from, and in whom we are glorifying. The answer to both is God.  When we get this part fixed into our mind, the rest becomes easy. 

STUDY QUESTION: What promise are we given in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you believe that everything you have is God’s, and you are only a steward?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord and ask Him whom He would have you help. Give with a happy heart and give all the glory to God. 

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY:  Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me all that I have. Father I acknowledge everything that I have is because of You. Help me to discern when to give and to whom. May all glory be given unto You. In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000