Theme of the Week: Is the Christian Religion Hypocritical or Real?
Bible Verses: “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. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:2-4 NIV
Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:2-4
As we have been learning this week, religious actions in and of themselves are not the issue if done in the right heart, with the right motives, and the glory is given to God. So, we can be extremely generous without worrying about who gets the credit because we have already decided why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s for God!
We pick it up here – Again, Jesus is challenging the hypocrites for giving so they can be seen and honored by others. He’s not saying to stop being generous. On the contrary, Jesus talks over and over about the importance of being generous. In Matthew 6:3, he uses the word “when” you give, implying giving is definitely an important characteristic of being a follower of Jesus.
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus outlines the greatest commandment: Love God first with your whole self. He goes on to give a straightforward summation of the second most important commandment. It also starts with love, but this time it’s directed towards your neighbors.
Think about who your neighbors are. How can you be generous towards them? What are the needs around you? Would you be willing to give to those in need? Sometimes, the last thing we give to God is our finances. But if we do, we can live in the freedom of giving generously at the Lord’s command without worrying about receiving the glory for it. It’s all His anyway!
In a world that can keep us focused on ourselves, it takes discipline and intentionality to stay attentive to our neighbor’s needs. Take some time today to think about those around you and how you can be a blessing to them even this week.
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