Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
" 'Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.' " Matthew 6:4
Bible ReadingMATTHEW 6:1-4
Giving money has always been an essential part of the practice of piety. We must not only do it, we must do it rightly.
Our Lord emphasized secrecy when we give money. It is an act of worship. It must be done because we love God. But if this act of godliness is observed and praised by people, the action ends where it startedon earth, before people. It never reaches God. "You did it to be seen by people? Well, people are saying that you're terrific. So you have your reward."
When we give it, it must be unseen by others and unrecorded by ourselves. That line about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing means that we should keep no record of our good deeds. Some people therefore conclude that you may not use your gifts as income tax deductions. That's nonsense. The Lord's point is that we may not attempt to figure out the credit points we gained with him because of what we have given. If we remember our good works too well, we are living by works and not by grace. Some people will spend fifty dollars in a restaurant without giving it a second thought. But if, in a moment of emotion, they give that amount to charity, they feel righteous for weeks. We must give our money because we love God. Then we should not make too much of it, nor should we think much about it.
God is not only the origin of the grace of giving but also the end. The grace that flows from God and through us returns to him in the form of dollars. That's the beauty of giving when it is done rightly.
Money given is not money wasted. "Your Father will reward you." But this will happen only when the money is given in the right way. The art of giving is difficult. The giver has numerous opportunities to "steal the show." If that happens, the giver loses the prize. Our gifts must be flowers of grace presented to God.
What can you apply to your own giving from this Scripture and reading?
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published by Paideia Press in 1977. This updated edition is copyright 2009 by Faith Alive Christian Resources. You can order a copy of this revised version of the book directly from the publisher.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this updated edition of Daylight are from the Holy Bible: Today's New International Version copyright 2001, 2005 by the International Bible Society.
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