The Book of Matthew

Thursday: Spiritual Giving


Sermon: How to Invest in God’s Program
Scripture: Matthew 6:1-4
In this week’s lessons, we learn about the principle of giving, and the blessings that come from the Lord upon both the giver and the recipient.
Theme: Spiritual Giving
The second great principle of Christ’s teaching is that through his stewardship a Christian is to look for spiritual rewards. If he gives spiritually as God leads him to give, he will receive spiritual rewards from God. If he gives to please men, he will have rewards from men, but not from heaven. He said, “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth, that thy alms may be in secret; and thy Father, who seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matt.6:3-4). 
Once again this is amplified most profitably in one of Paul’s statements to the Gentile churches. It occurs in the letter to the Galatians, and it includes the much quoted phrase: “Whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (which, incidentally, has nothing to do with sowing wild oats, but with the giving of money; in fact, the whole last chapter of Galatians is primarily concerned with this subject). 
Paul writes, “Let him that is taught in the word share with him that teacheth in all good things [that is, the members of a church should give money to support their pastors]. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption [that is, if he spends his money on his body or on his lower nature, the money will be gone and the body will dissipate also]; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting [that is, if he spends his money on spiritual things, the Spirit of God will see that he gets a great reward in heaven]. And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have, therefore, opportunity [that is, depending upon the amount of our income and the ups and downs of the stock market], let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:6-10). 
Paul’s great principle here is that money spent on the body—whether to clothe, feed, house, or entertain it—while it has value for this life, has no lasting fruit for eternity. While money spent in obedience to the Lord to spread the Gospel and to meet the needs of those who are poor and suffering, will have results not only in this life but in eternity also. 
I wonder if you have noticed that these verses also contain another principle that perhaps we need especially to remember. It is the principle that we are not to be weary in well-doing. I sometimes think to myself, as I see the numerous requests that come to church for money (many from very worthwhile causes), and as I pass along scores of them to the members of my congregation as objects for their giving, that there is no end and the task of responding to the needs themselves seems burdensome. Perhaps you feel this at times, and you become weary. Well, Paul knew this too, for he refers to it. Yet, he says that we are not to complain. There will always be one more cause for an offering, but let us give to it as we are best able. Let us not become weary, and let us take confidence in the promise that we shall reap eventually (in this life and in heaven), if we do not lose heart. 
Study Questions:

Explain the second principle about stewardship.
What do we learn from Galatians 6:6-10?

Reflection: When was the last time you evaluated how you spend your money? Are there things you can give up or areas you can reduce in order to have more to give to those in need?

Study Questions
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