Genuine Giving

Posted on October 25, 2016 by Karah

img_7653Pause

Reflect on this quote by Dennis Bakke:

“What is the chief end of giving? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”

Earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had explained that following Him would affect His followers’ relationships. Then, as we’ll study the next few weeks, He began to detail how that relationship would transform their daily lives and decisions. Read Matthew 6:1-4 in your Bible.

“But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” —Matthew 6:4

The fact that Jesus’ followers would give was a given. Offerings and generosity were already important parts of the Jewish culture. But Jesus wanted His followers to understand that the motivation for giving was just as important as the act. Think through these questions:

-What does unrighteous giving look like? Why is it important that we are genuine in our desire to give?

-According to this passage, what is our reward when we give because we want others to see how good we are? What is the reward when we give because we want to honor Jesus?

-Think about the people you know. Who is a good example of a genuine, righteous giver? How does that person’s generosity help you to know more about Jesus? Explain.

Respond

-There’s no denying that all believers struggle with wanting approval; however, in a heart that has been changed by God, there should be a battle against the sinful desire of seeking the applause of others. Our ultimate goal should be that God be recognized and praised because of our giving.

-Think about a recent act of giving. Ask yourself: Did I give to make myself look good or to glorify God?

-If your motives were less than genuine, repent and ask God to change your heart.

-Thank God for His generosity toward you in Jesus. Stress that you wouldn’t know what true generosity was if the Father had not sent Jesus.

-For further study on how to give, read Deuteronomy 15:10 and 2 Corinthians 9:7.

Behind the Story

The phrase “to announce it with trumpets” in verse 2 could have been a literal description because the receptacles for offerings at the temple were in a shape of a trumpet. When coins were dropped into the repository, the offering made a loud noise, drawing attention. Whether it was a literal or figurative example, the meaning is clear. Jesus’ followers should avoid making a big show of their generosity.

The Point

Jesus’ followers will give to the needy out of grace and mercy rather that to gain praise from the world.


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