We score ourselves based on what we do; God scores on why we do it. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
(1 Samuel 16.7)
Three Reasons People Give
Applause of men (Matthew 6:2)
Applause of self (Matthew 6:3)
Applause of heaven (Matthew 6:4)
How to Gain the Applause of Heaven
Give secretly (Matthew 6:3)
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
(2 Corinthians 9:7)
Give with no expectation of repayment
“And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.”
Hang on a second ...!
“...Let your light shine before men...” (Matthew 5:16)?
Jesus is addressing those who are afraid to step out in that passage. Further, Jesus makes it crystal clear that the purpose of such deeds is to glorify the Father, not the giver.
And what about the public giving we see in the Old Testament and Acts of the Apostles?
David and Barnabas are leading by example in those stories
The heart is the measure; the heart is paramount.
How is Your Eternal Portfolio?
Salvation is by grace through the blood of Christ alone, but that just gets you on the playing field.
(See: 1 Corinthians 3, Ephesians 6:8, & Revelations 22)
Let us aim for the highest reward — our Heavenly Father’s approval.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
New King James Version (NKJV)
Do Good to Please God
1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”