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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Secret

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional

Verse for the Day – Matthew 6:3-4
But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

Daily Scripture ReadingLuke 10

Puritan Catechism
Question #6: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer: There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one God, the same in essence, equal in power and glory (1 John 5:7; Matt. 28:19).

Devotional Thoughts
We learned yesterday that we are not to “toot our own horn” and perform our acts of mercy and ministry so that we can earn the praise of men. Today, Jesus tells us how we are to minister. Remember, WHEN we do our charitable deeds (never "if", always "when"), we are ministering in the sense or attitude of giving money, clothing, food, or other needed resources to the poor, especially fellow believers in need. When we do these things Jesus tells us that we are to "not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing."

What does He mean by this strange phrase? I think John MacArthur sums it up extremely well in his commentary on Matthew. He says that this phrase was "a proverbial expression that simply referred to doing something spontaneously, with no special effort or show. The right hand was considered the primary hand of action, and in a normal day's work the right hand would do many things as a matter of course that would not involve the left hand. Giving to help those in need should be a normal activity of the Christian, and he should do it as simply, directly, and discreetly as possible."

We are to give whenever and wherever possible. "But wait!", you might exclaim , " I haven't got enough money to give to every single person I see who has a need." Hold on! Jesus is not necessarily talking about money here.

Let me take this opportunity to share with you Scriptural principles of giving. A good place to start to see a few of God's principles of giving can be found in 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15. Here we find some of the standards that God sets for our giving. There are 14 of them from this passage, so hang on!

1. (2 Cor. 8:1-4) - Outward circumstances, even difficulties, should never interfere with generous giving.
2. (8:5) - All monetary giving should be preceded by the giving of self.
3. (8:6-7) - Seek to become an excellent giver.
4. (8:6, 10, 11; 9:5) - Finish what you start. If you commit to give, give.
5. (8:8-9, 24) - Give motivated by sincere love.
6. (8:8-9) - God's grace is the example of the grace of giving.
7. (8:12) - The willingness to give is more important than the amount given.
8. (8:13-15) - In God's economy, the sufficiency of one meets the deficiency of another.
9. (8:16-21) - Give to honor the Lord, do vital ministry, and in a manner that will avoid criticism.
10. (9:1-2) - A generous spirit is contagious.
11. (9:5-7) - The heart condition of the giver is of utmost importance to God.
12. (9:8-11) - Generosity moves God to supply and meet ALL needs.
13. (9:11-14) - True generosity will generate praise to God.
14. (9:15) - Giving without hesitation is the natural result of receiving God's indescribable gift!

Be sure to visit our Sermon Audio page to download these MP3 sermons preached from 2 Corinthians 8 by Pastor Way: The Grace of Giving, Completion, and Proof of Love).

When we worship and minister, it should come naturally. It should not be announced and paraded about in front of others. Often times it can be totally anonymous. Other times, people will see. At those times our attitude and motivation is of utmost importance.

If we do as God commands, then He will see our obedience. And God, who sees every thing we do in secret will one day reward us openly! We do not obey for the reward. We obey out of love. The reward will simply be another offering to the glory of Christ, the One who gave all for us!

Let us work to be generous and cheerful givers today. Give yourself to God and others. And do all we can with what God gives us to minister to everyone who has need. Remember above all, God is the Source; we are the resource He uses. And when we do these things as a natural part of everyday life, then we know that we know Him!

In Scripture God teaches us that we win by losing, live by dying, and get by giving. This is the paradox of discipleship. So trust Him with the fruit of your life and GIVE.

Puritan Voices
We are reading a small portion each day from The Sin of Man-Pleasing by Richard Baxter.

The Advantages of Pleasing God Rather than Men

1. If you seek first to please God and are satisfied therein, you have but one to please instead of multitudes; and a multitude of masters are hardlier pleased than one.

2. And it is one that puts upon you nothing that is unreasonable, for quantity or quality.

3. And one that is perfectly wise and good, not liable to misunderstand your case and actions.

4. And one that is most holy, and is not pleased in iniquity or dishonesty.

5. And he is one that is impartial and most just, and is no respecter of persons, Acts 10: 34.

6. And he is one that is a competent judge, that hath fitness and authority, and is acquainted with your hearts, and every circumstance and reason of your actions.

7. And he is one that perfectly agrees with himself, and puts you not upon contradictions or impossibilities.

8. And he is one that is constant and unchangeable; and is not pleased with one thing to-day, and another contrary to-morrow; nor with one person this year, whom he will be weary of the next.

9. And he is one that is merciful, and requires you not to hurt yourselves to please him: nay, he is pleased with nothing of thine but that which tends to thy happiness, and displeased with nothing but that which hurts thyself or others, as a father that is displeased with his children when they defile or hurt themselves.

10. He is gentle, though just, in his censures of thee; judging truly, but not with unjust rigour, nor making your actions worse than they are.

11. He is one that is not subject to the passions of men, which blind their minds, and carry them to injustice.

12. He is one that will not be moved by tale-bearers, whisperers, or false accusers, nor can be perverted by any misinformation.

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship


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