MATTHEW 6:4_That thy alms may be in secret…
Just in case anyone was confused with the right/left hand illustration – Jesus says it plainly – let your alms be in secret.
He’s already called the trumpet blowers hypocrites. He has specified their chief blowing places – synagogues and streets. He has said why they do it – to be seen by men. But lest you still have not caught on, now hear this: DO IT IN SECRET!!
You don’t tell secrets. If you do, they are no longer secrets. You don’t post on social media your secrets. Also, you do not have a banquet in your honor – for a gift you gave in secret.
This does not mean you should not be honored at some time for some great achievement. You may have plaques on your wall given to you by people who have benefited from your good works. But, this was their doing, the beneficiaries, not because you blew your own trumpet.
Luke 14:8,10 (KJV), “8When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.“
True God, Please teach me the secret of how to be secret. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ knows when I need to receive honor—He will do it!
MATTHEW 6:3_let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.
Unfortunately, modern society encourages us to be offended by numerous things. Jesus doesn’t want us to be offended – He wants us to be overcomers. Romans 12:21 (KJV), “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Let’s just agree, left-handers will not be offended because Jesus implies the doing of alms is by the right hand. Personally, I believe Jesus was ambidextrous.
This is not a lesson on hand usage. This is a lesson on secret giving.
In this part of verse 3, Jesus uses graphics again. Picture in your mind to hide from your left hand something your right hand does. It would take some effort – either hiding the left hand behind your back, or in your pocket, or under something. Generally, both your hands are exposed to each other.
If your heart is dedicated to the Jesus lifestyle, you make the effort to live life Jesus’ way.
Jesus knew the world operated on a right-handed system. The right hand thing emphasizes what comes natural to most of the world. It comes natural to want to make your gifts known – especially a large gift.
Turn 180 degrees, and keep it secret.
God of Heaven, I never want my ego to cause me to bask in the glory and praise of people, lest I think I don’t need You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ takes care of my needs—He wants me to believe!
MATTHEW 6:3_But when thou doest thine alms…
Jesus wants you to receive heavenly rewards. Jesus wants you to be generous. Jesus wants you to do good deeds. Jesus wants your righteousness to shine in the darkness. Jesus wants your blessings on others to salt their faith as a preservative.
The truth is, Jesus doesn’t need you to do any of these things. Jesus loves and desires you. Jesus allows His love to flow through you. Jesus chose to let His power be a part of who you are – not something He needed to do. He chose you to do alms (charitable works and giving) for Him. To do alms for Jesus is enough in itself. How incredible is it He wants to reward you for it?
The great evangelist John Wesley caught hold of this teaching. Check out his famous saying:
Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can
Lord Jesus, I want to do good in the world. Please help me use my life in a way that brings glory to the Bible. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ does good to all people—He helps me do good!
MATTHEW 6:2_Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.
A synagogue is a gathering or assembling of people for Jewish religious practices. This particular verse refers to the building where the crowd gathers.
Jesus says hypocrites make certain they sound their trumpets in the synagogues. If they give the largest financial contribution, they want it known! In some synagogues, the best seat in the house was reserved for the largest giver. It was known to the entire gathering why that particular person sat in that particular seat.
Jesus said synagogues weren’t enough for the hypocrites – they also sound their trumpets in the streets. Streets are public places where anyone is allowed. Streets are not exclusive to Jews or Gentiles (although some may be preferences of a certain group). Streets are a much larger and broader way to be sure your charitable deeds are known.
Charitable deeds and contributions are good things. Whenever you can – be generous in deeds and money.
Be careful of self-glory. It is always a snare.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please give me a generous heart and show me how to use it. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ is generous and kind—He will teach me to be!
MATTHEW 6:1_to be seen of them…
Take heed (pay attention) to one simple word – seen. Your righteousness can be seen just like your light. Your light draws and guides to truth and freedom. There is another way to use light – to attract attention to you. This clarifies not doing your righteousness before men.
If your purpose for righteousness is to receive praise – you missed the mark. Showing acts of mercy, charitable giving, giving more than receiving, should all be done to bring glory to God. Any honor belongs to the One who taught you to live in righteousness.
The purpose of being light is not to shine on you, but on Jesus – the Light of the World!
You can’t save anyone – even yourself. You can’t bring anyone out of darkness. The light that shines from acts of righteousness reflects Jesus’ light. He saves. He brings out of darkness. He possesses the power to transform lives, break bondages, heal broken hearts, and when in His will, to heal diseased bodies.
If your light doesn’t reflect Jesus’ light – it’s the wrong light.
Loving Jesus, Please help me not to let my light shine on me, but on You. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Christ wants me to shine for Him—I will!