When you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
After explaining the wrong way to give, Jesus explained the right way to give. Matthew 6:3-4 says, “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Every good magician is a master of distraction. He gets your attention with one hand to distract you from what he is doing with the other hand. Jesus was using that imagery here. He was saying when you give, point people’s attention to the great God you serve so they will not even notice what you are doing with your other hand. Then your Father will reward you.
When I was in high school, I started working and managed to accumulate $700 in my checking account. I thought I was John D. Rockefeller! At the time, I was also volunteering in a little church. One Sunday evening, the pastor shared his vision for a bus ministry that would bring local children to the church. He encouraged people to pray about a sacrificial gift to launch the ministry. I asked God how much I should give, and God said, “All of it.” My first instinct was to look up and say, “Is there anybody else up there who can give me some direction? Because that cannot be right.” But I knew it was the voice of God, and I wrote the check for $700.
I learned two things from that experience. First of all, you cannot out-give God. After I gave that money, out of nowhere I started getting invitations to play my accordion for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Within a few months, I was back up to $700. Now, God does not always reward us materially. But in this instance, He did, and that was such an amazing thing.
The second thing I learned was there is no joy greater than that of knowing you have been used for an eternal purpose. When Jesus talked about our reward, I think He was primarily talking about the joy we receive from being a part of God’s kingdom’s purpose. A. W. Tozer once wrote, “Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.” What we do in the few years God gives us on earth reverberates in the halls of heaven forever. When God rewards us, it is a gift that pays dividends for all eternity.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Straight Talk About Your Worship” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2022.
A. W. Tozer, “Born after Midnight” (Chicago: Moody, 2015), 128.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org