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?