Summary: Here is a brief but powerful revelation, on secret giving which brings a dimmer on the popular method of extorting money and alms from people in the Church setting.
The Power of Secret
By Bishop Dr Perry Edison Newton
“Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of the: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 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 received their reward. But when thou doest thine alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thy alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth thee in secret will reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:1-4
Today the Lord has lain upon my heat to speak on the topic The Power of secret.
This topic will examine the definition of secret; why God requires secret; and the results of secret acts.
As we review the scripture, we are told first and foremost to take heed not to do alms before men to be seen of them.
The words heed means: to pay attention to; listen to and consider. (American Heritage College Dictionary)
Therefore Jesus tells us that we must listen to and consider or that we must pay attention to not doing our alms before men to be seen of them.
Let us define the term alms in its biblical usage: Money or goods given to the poor (American Heritage College Dictionary)
I wish to also extend this definition to include all manner of giving as it relates to the church, to include love offering, special offering, free will offering and tithes.
This subject is of utmost importance to the church in view of what I term the many atrocities that are visited in the name of lifting offering. It is a shame and of course a disgrace, the tactics used in Church to raise offering. I say today that God is not pleased and I must warn you, my friends to take heed to Christ’s injunction, to not do alms before men to be seen of them.
I wish to point out that Jesus does not on this occasion condemns the giving of alms before men; what he does in fact condemn is when it is given to be seen by men; to be recognized by men; to be praised by men for what was given.
Often, when we give it is done in view of men, but it is our attitude in giving which Jesus admonishes us to watch.
If we give from a pure heart; the heart of sincerity, a willing heart; without seeking any praise, then Jesus commends us.
Paul gives us good clarity of this scripture in 11Corinthians 9: 7 when he says: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Here Paul reveals the kind of attitude, which is required of God when we give. God requires a cheerful giver.
In looking further at this same scripture, we see, that the giver, must purpose in his heart what he will give. It is not to be predetermined or determine by another person. When ever we are manipulated to give; we are not giving as we purpose and no doubt it is not cheerful giving. I venture to say this is manipulation.
Further, God requires that our giving be not grudgingly, or of necessity, but willingly.
Grudge means to have a deep seated resentment for; to be reluctant to give;
Necessity means: means force exerted by circumstances; arising from poverty.
Paul suggests that we not only give when there is a need, but at all times as we purpose in our hearts.
Paul also suggests that we do not give with resentment or reluctantly. We must give freely and willingly.
The concept of secret is that it is determined within the walls of one’s own heart. It is determined by the love which one has for God and the cause to which he is giving. This is never to be determined by some one else.
At places in the bible appeals were made for offering; but there was no figure fixed to it. People came and as they purposed in their hearts they gave.
When Solomon was to build the temple the people were told of the project and there response was overwhelming.