Matthew 6: 1-4
1″Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, 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 men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Acts of Righteousness:
Matthew 5:6 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Those who follow hard after Jesus will find Him and be filled!
2 Timothy 4:8
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
Ephesians 4: 20-24 (Message) 20-24
But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance,eve rything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.
Works of Righteousness Giving – Praying – Fasting
Note: Jesus didn’t say IF you do acts of righteousness – but WHEN
Jesus uses the Jewish term “acts of righteousness.” Everyone in his day understood that these were things that anyone interested in knowing God did. Jesus doesn’t question that.
Do these things in secret Vs. 2-4
“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 men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Hyperbole – obvious and intentional exaggeration.
Giving. Time, Treasure, Talent
How do money and spirituality relate?
Matthew 6: 20-24
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22″The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24″No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
In the Parable of the harvest, Jesus said that “the deceitfulness of riches and cares of this world” choke out our spiritual life. Money is a spiritual matter!
Matthew 13:18-23 (The Message)
The Meaning of the Harvest Story
“Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road. 20-21″The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it. 22″The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it. 23″The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.”
Psychotherapist Jessie H. O’Neill claims that the big affliction of our time is not influenza but “affluenza.” O’Neil calls it a spiritual disorder.
She lists the symptoms of this over accumulation of stuff:
loss of personal productivity and motivation
an inability to delay gratification
an inability to tolerate frustration
a false sense of entitlement
a loss of self-confidence
If not checked, “affluenza” leads to a preoccupation with externals, depression, self-centeredness, and assorted addictions and compulsive behaviors. The more an afflicted person has the more he wants and the less satisfied he is. Translation: money is a spiritual matter.
The psychiatrist Karl Menninger observed, “One sign of mental health is the ability to release money – to give it away.”
From Jesus’ words in our text we learn two valuable lessons.
#1 He teaches us to give
#2 how not to give
#1 Give I John 3: 16-18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
Proverbs 19:17 says,
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given.”
Proverbs 29:7, “The righteous considers the cause of the poor, but the wicked man does not understand such knowledge”.
Psalm 41 says, “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble”
Life Shattering Verse In Deuteronomy 15:11,
the law of God said, “For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ’You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.”
AS CHRISTIANS We should be people with open hearts, open hands, and open pockets to those in need.
#2. How not to give – “Don’t be like the hypocrites,” Don’t give for the praise of men but for the praise of God
What you own will own your soul!
Freedom of the soul only comes to the person who can let go of his or her possessions—freely, generously, and selflessly.