TOPIC: CHILDREN OF THE KINGDOM AND PIETY (I) TEXT: MATTHEW 6: 1 - 6 Acts of piety are directed towards people and God. But whatever you do must be rooted in godliness. It is good to practice piety towards God and man but one must know that it is God's business and must be done in God's way. Through the act of giving alms, God desires His people to support the less privileged. In Deuteronomy 15:7-11, giving to the people of Israel was a sacred practice and an act of righteousness. But during the time of Christ, it was practiced with pride and for self-glory. Thus, Christ condemned that way of giving alms. Thus, we should give alms to assist the needy and please our Father in heaven Who alone can reward us (Psalm 112:9). There is no need for one to have an overabundance of clothing and goods while some of his Church members have no clothes to wear and no food to eat. Many people behave in public as if everything is well with them or between them and others in the society or Church but they have made up their minds to revenge every offense committed against them. However, as the true transformer, the Lord responded with the phrase, "You have heard... but I said..." to point out the correct position about this issue. The first response was that the offender's punishment should not exceed the crime. Although this does not negate nor nullify the basic principles of justice, His teachings call for a change of attitude that abolishes vengeance. Second, the law in Leviticus 19:18 stipulated that one should love His neighbor as himself but did not mention the last part - which is for one to hate his enemy. Paul wrote in Romans 12:14-21 that believers should love even their persecutors and leave vengeance to God. Though it's difficult to love one's enemy, it is the true mark of believers. Therefore, believers should accept and live by the truth. We must love our enemies to reflect the true nature of our Father in Heaven.
How do you evaluate what and how you give? PRAYER
Heavenly Father, please enable me to give wholeheartedly and for your glory alone, in Jesus' name, Amen.