Summary: Ten positive relationships with God.
A. INTRODUCTION: MATTHEW 6:1-4
1. What is most imperative? (Three lessons from Matthew 6).
• “When you give” (Matt. 6:2-3) – Relationship to others.
• “When you pray” (Matt. 6:5-6) – Relationship to God.
• “When you fast” (Matt. 6:16-17) – Relationship to things.
2. How do we do the imperative? “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (6:33). Give ourselves primarily to God in all things.
“Be careful that you don’t do good deeds publicly to impress people, because that will not be rewarded by your Father in Heaven. When you give don’t brag like the two-faced hypocrites. Don’t blow a trumpet in church or the neighborhood to call attention to yourself. Those who do that have got all the reward they’re going to get. Give secretly and spontaneously so your left hand won’t realize what your right hand is giving. Your Father who knows all secrets will reward you according to the sincerity of your heart” (Matt. 6:1-4).
B. TEN NEGATIVES IN GIVING
1. Don’t give to get attention from people. “Don’t do good deeds to impress others (6:1, ELT).
2. Don’t let people control what you give. “To be seen of them” (6:1).
3. Don’t be hypocritical in giving. Word hypocrite means two-faced, as an actor.
4. Don’t call attention to your gift. “Do not announce it with a trumpet” (6:2).
5. Don’t let pride govern the amount or timing of your gift. “That they may have glory” (6:2).
6. Don’t forget the real focus of giving. “Gifts of mercy” (6:1, Amplified).
7. Don’t forget the motive of your giving. “Your Father in heaven” 6:1).
8. Don’t lose your rightful reward. “Your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (6:4).
9. Don’t calculate what you will get out of it. “Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (6:3).
10. Don’t get God mad at you. “No reward from your Father in heaven” (6:1).
C. TEN RESPONSIBILITIES IN GIVING
1. You are in control of your money. “When you give . . .” (6:2).
2. You give according to what you have, your giving is not related to the things you don’t have.
a. Time, we all have opportunity.
b. Talent, we all have abilities God can use.
c. Treasure, we all have some resources.
3. You give according to what you know. “To be seen” (6:1); “know” (6:3).
4. You are responsible to direct your giving. “When you give . . .”
5. You give according to need. “Charitable deed” (6:3).
6. You give timely. “Sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart” (1 John 3:17); (a) can’t be responsible when you don’t know need, (b) give according to its urgency.
7. You give proportionately; (a) you can’t give what you don’t have, (b) you can’t give more than what you have, (c) you must give to your family first, “if anyone does not provide for his own . . . household . . . is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).
8. You give sacrificially. “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (6:32).
9. You make God first in your money. “But seek first the kingdom of God” (6:33).
10. You know God will take care of your needs. “If God so clothes the grass of the field . . . will He not much more clothe you?” (6:30).
D. TEN POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD
1. The Father gives to you before He asks you to give to others. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse” (Mal. 3:10).
2. The Father knows your needs as well as the needs of others. “Your Father knows the things you have need of” (6:8).
3. The Father wants to care for you, as much as caring for others.
4. The Father can direct you how to help others. “When you give something to a needy person” (6:1, TEV).
5. The Father wants you to grow by giving to others. “Give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over” (Luke 6:38).
6. The Father wants us to have as good a relationship with others, as we have with Him. “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord” (Prov. 19:17, LB).
7. The Father rewards those who are generous givers. “I will open the windows of heaven and pour blessings on you” (Mal. 3:10, ELT).
8. The Father will add nothing extra to our giving when our motives are wrong. “They have their reward” (6:2).
9. The Father will reward openly when our giving motives are right. “Shall reward you openly” (6:4).
10. Giving requires faith that God will keep His promise to take care of us. “When you do kindness . . . openly . . . your Father will reward you” (6:4, Amplified).