North Anderson Baptist Church
Our Motivation for Giving
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
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“Charles Spurgeon and his wife, according to a story in the Chaplain magazine, would sell, but refused to give away, the eggs their chickens laid. Even close relatives were told, "You may have them if you pay for them." As a result some people labeled the Spurgeons greedy and grasping.
They accepted the criticisms without defending themselves, and only after Mrs. Spurgeon died was the full story revealed. All the profits from the sale of eggs went to support two elderly widows. Because the Spurgeons where unwilling to let their left hand know what the right hand was doing (Matt. 6:3), they endured the attacks in silence.
We'd all like a reputation for generosity, and we'd all like to buy it cheap.”
Let’s look at the passage this morning that has to do with the motivation of giving.
1. What is the motive for your giving to the needy?
Everyone who gives to the needy will be rewarded based upon the motive of their heart.

a. Giving privately, unto the Lord Vv.1-2

“Proper motives are essential in Christian service. This is especially true in the giving of our money. The Lord is more concerned with why we give than with how much we give. We must have a right heart attitude. Therefore we should never give in order to receive the praise of others, but because we love God and desire to see His name honored and glorified.
An experience in the life of English preacher and theologian Andrew Fuller illustrates this truth. James Duff, in “Flashes of Truth”, told of a time when Fuller went back to his hometown to collect money for foreign missions. One of his contacts was an old friend. When presented with the need, the man said, "Well, Andrew, seeing it's you, I'll give you five dollars." "No," said Fuller, "I can't take your money for my cause, seeing it is for me," and he handed the money back. The man saw his point. "Andrew, you are right. Here's ten dollars, seeing it is for Jesus Christ." Duff concluded, "Let us remember, it is not the amount we give toward helping the Lord's work; it is the motive He looks at." (I guess you can tell this was a long time ago,)
When we have the opportunity to contribute to some worthy Christian cause, may we do so with the right purpose in mind. We should never give just because we feel obligated to organizations or persons, nor because we desire to receive selfish recognition or reward. The apostle Paul said, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity; for God loveth a cheerful giver" (2 Cor. 9:7). We should honestly say, "It's for the Lord!" - R.W.D. (Our Daily Bread)
Remember what Jesus said, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.” We should all carefully consider how we give. Do we want others to know how much we have given to the poor or the needy or for that matter anything else, or are we seeking to give for the glory of the Lord? When we give as Jesus is teaching, then the intention of our heart is seen, we seek to be holy in all our giving and that makes the motivation of our heart to be pure and righteous. Jesus gives us a cautionary word, “Be careful.” Why? He knows our heart and what tendencies we have to seek attention for ourselves. Evidently the Spurgeons understood those tendencies and kept their giving to themselves in spite of the criticism.
“This is a parable. (Applied Bible Commentary - Applied Bible Commentary – Applied New Testament Commentary: Applying God's Word To Your Life.)
The left hand sees the right hand giving money or other help to the needy. The left hand says, "Ah, what a good person I am. Look at how much I am giving." The left hand represents our pride. It also represents our selfish nature. The left hand says, "You don't need to give so much. To appear righteous, you only have to give a little." The left hand is always calculating what our right hand (the spiritual part of us) should give. Let that not be. Let us give without calculation, freely, for God's sake. Just as God gave to us without calculation, let us give to others without calculating. God will calculate what we give from our hearts, and reward us accordingly.

So, what are those rewards that God so graciously will give unto us who freely give for the glory of God, and not for men to see, those who give secretly and not openly for the world to know about?
b. Giving openly for all to see. Vv.3-4

Jesus gave the “Be careful” to those listening because He knew there were those who were a part of the group who gave openly so everyone could see them. Their motivation was seen each time they gave to the poor. They made a big deal out of the giving and some believe they may have even made it such a fanfare that they had trumpets sound to gather the poor around them to call attention to the time and to their giving. Some say though, that “sounding the trumpet” is a figure of speech that said, they were making it known that they were there to give to the poor and needy. Their motivation was evident to Jesus...they wanted praise of the people and to be seen by all. They pretended to be pious and religious but all the while they wanted praise from people. That is called, being a hypocrite.
“The word hypocrite is taken from stage-players, who act the part of others, or speak not their own sentiments, but the sentiments of others. It means here, and in the New Testament generally, those who dissemble or hide their real sentiments, and assume or express other feelings than their own; those who, for purposes of ostentation, or gain, or applause, put on the appearance of religion.” As Jesus said, that if their motivation was to get the attention and praise of people then that is their only reward, the applause of the people to whom they give.

“The Pharisees used alms giving to gain favor with God and attention from men, both of which were wrong motives. No amount of giving can purchase salvation; for salvation is the gift of God
And to live for the praise of men is a foolish thing because the glory of man does not last.
It is the glory and praise of God that really counts!

We are not very different from the Pharisees; “our sinful nature is so subtle that it can defile even a good thing like sharing with the poor.” “The heart is deceitful above all things ... who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Pharisees wanted the praise of God but had to settle for the praise of men. God knew the motivation and saw the open and hypocritical way they gave to the needy.

Verse 4 “so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” When we read what Jesus says here, there is a natural question that comes, “Does this mean that it is wrong to give openly? Must all giving be anonymous? According to the (Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - New Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 1.) not necessarily, for everyone in the early church knew that Barnabas had given the income from the sale of his land.
When the church members laid their money at the Apostles' feet, it was not done in secret. The difference, of course, was in the motive and manner in which it was done. A contrast is Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), who tried to use their gift to make people think they were more spiritual than they really were.
Again it is the motive of one’s heart that makes the difference.
Leslie B. Flynn, in Resource, July/August, 1990
The outstanding Baptist preacher, Dr. George W. Truett, was helping a struggling congregation raise money for their church building. They still needed $6500. Truett found the response weak. With only $3000 pledged he said in exasperation, "Do you expect me to give the other $3500 needed to reach your goal? I'm just a guest here today." Suddenly, a woman near the back stood. Looking at her husband seated on the platform recording pledges, she said in a shaking voice, "Charlie, I wonder if you would be willing for us to give our little home? We were offered exactly $3500 cash for it yesterday. If the Saviour gave His life for us, shouldn't we make this sacrifice for Him?"
Truett reported that the fine husband responded with equal generosity. "Yes, Jennie, I was thinking the same thing." Turning to Truett, he said, "Brother Truett, if it's needed, we'll raise our pledge by $3500." Silence reigned for a few moments. Then some of the folks began to sob. Those who fifteen minutes earlier had refused to do more now either added their names to the list or increased their donations. In a short time, their goal had been achieved, and Charlie and Jennie didn't have to forfeit their home. Their willingness to sacrifice had stimulated others to similar generosity.
In contrast, I have heard of people who gave a lot of money to a university or a hospital to have their names on a building for a memorial to them. If their motive was to get personal glory for the gift, then having their name there until the building is torn down is their reward; but if they gave money with a motivation of love and concern for the institution, then God will be their judge and reward accordingly.
If we sum up what Jesus has said to us today, we can say that if your motives for giving is to glorify the Lord and you seek to the best you can to secretly share the gift, then there is a great reward waiting for you. Sometime we know that God rewards us here and in the time He will reward us when He takes us home to heaven. But, we know for sure, based on what Jesus has said, that if our motive for giving is for people to notice us and give to us the praise of man, then that will be the only reward we get. There will be no reward from the Lord. In light of all of that, then we need a check-up on our motivation for giving.
Ben Rogers shares this illustration that has an unknown source.

When you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, "Does this hurt? How about this?" If you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there's something wrong, and the doctor will say, "We'd better do some more tests. It's not supposed to hurt there!"
So it is when pastors preach on financial responsibility, and certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard. Or perhaps there's something wrong. In that case, I say, "My friend, we're in need of the Great Physician because it's not supposed to hurt there."
Here are three quotes about the motive for giving.

God judges what we give by what we keep. - George Mueller

It's not what you do with the million if fortune should ere be your lot, but what are you doing at present with the dollar and quarter you got. - Anonymous

Give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving - Peter Marshall

Let me quote some statistics that are from 1993, way back. I doubt that they are much different today.
Percentage of personal income in America gave to charity last year: Poorest households: 5.5 percent. Wealthiest households: 2.9 percent.(Youthworker Update, quoted in Signs of the Times, March, 1993, p. 7)
What is your motivation for giving to the poor or the needy? Or, do you give at all? Maybe you say, “I am the needy or the poor, why should I give?” There is always someone else who is more poor or more needy than you. Even by these statics above, you can see those from the poorer homes gave even more to the poor than those who are wealthier. Because it is right.
It is obvious from our passage this morning that God cares about our giving habits. Have you given any thought about yours? Jesus didn’t say you had to give a lot of money to the poor, He is concerned about the motivation of what you have given. Where is your heart in regards to giving? We have not talked today about our financial stewardship God expects us to be faithful to. But, He will address this as well later.
I ask you today what is your motive to doing anything in your life? Paul has said in the inspired Word of God from Colossians 3:17,
Dear friends in Christ, we are to live for Christ and all that we do will be for His glory. “Whatever you do” covers everything we do in our lives. Are you doing everything you do to the glory of God?
Christian, God knows everything and He knows when He has called you and me to make a decision for Him and He is aware whether we have been obedient or not when He calls. I suggest that we all respond to His directions when He calls. Now is the time.
To those here today that are loved of God but yet you do not love Him and you have not yet surrendered your life to Him, make that decision today by faith to give your heart and life to Him. Accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died on the Cross for your sin, believe that He is Lord and repent from those sins and surrender to Him as Lord and Master of your life.
He will give you new life full of hope and peace and joy! There will be a transformation from old to new because God knows what you need. John 3:3 says that we all need to be “born again.” That is a spiritual birth of the soul and spirit. Only God can do that and all of us need to be born again. If you come forward today we will talk with you and share the full gospel with you and help you see Jesus Christ as the One and Only God.

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com