Follow Our Weather Update

Secret & Generous

As we continue to listen in on the best sermon ever preached - Jesus' sermon on the mount, Jesus presses in on the crowd to deal with the hypocrisy that lives within them and likely us.  What was the hypocrisy?  Doing things for God, only to be seen by others.  The hyper-religious in Jesus' day wanted their generosity to be seen and celebrated by others.  They wanted their prayers heard and noted by others.  They practiced their righteousness for others' attention and applause and as Jesus put it, they received their reward in full. No reward for their generosity.  No action on their prayers.

Why is this?   They weren't giving to God.  They weren't praying to God.  They weren't living for an audience of one - God.  They were living to be seen and known by the crowds. That's why Jesus reminds us to keep our hearts right by practicing our acts of righteousness like giving and prayer in secret.  Because the things are done in secret are no secret to God.  He sees.  He hears.  He acts.  He blesses.

When you are tempted to show off your godliness or to toot your own horn for your good acts, don't virtue signal.  Don't do it for others.  Instead, trust that what you do in the secret matters.

Jesus then goes on to teach us about our secret, generous giving as we keep reading.  Check out my quick look at Jesus' teaching in Matthew 6 and Paul's teaching from 2 Corinthians 9.


1. Generous people plan to be generous.  
7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  2 Corinthians 9:7

If you want to grow in any area of your life, you need some consistent habits.  Give as Paul instructed the early church. Pray and set something aside each week to give

2. Generous people always “roundup.”
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

You can't out give God so you give because God has given so much to you!  Cheerful givers don't give out of obligation or compulsion but out of great faith.

3.  Generous people give with eternity in mind.
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. MATTHEW 6:19-20

Storing up treasures in heaven is investing in the kingdom of God.  It's knowing that your giving is one of the ways that God reaches others and changes lives.  I love how Mark Batterson puts it, "Your generosity is someone else's miracle."  When you give, you don't know how God will use your generosity, but you can know that God will work!

4. Generous people give from the heart.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  MATTHEW 6:21

Your giving is 100% between you and God.  That's why Jesus returns to the heart of the matter.  What we treasure is shown in what and how we give.  What we treasure will show if we serve our money or if we use our money to serve God.

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  MATTHEW 6:24

In these challenging economic times, don't dismiss the teaching of Jesus.  Instead, use this season to rely on Jesus and grow in generosity.
Posted in