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Friday, December 06, 2013

Sacrificial Summit Prayers of Ascent - Day #6


Matthew 6:2-4 - "2 So when you give, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
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This is one of my favorite giving passages in the Bible.  As we ascend the mountain in our Sacrificial Summit, we must let these inspired Words of God to seep into our souls protecting us from vain imaginations and vain glory.  Our condition of our hearts as we give are infinitely more important than our gifts themselves.

This passage is teeming with Touchpoints to guard our hearts in this season of surrender and sacrifice.  Let me surface a few of these generative gems of generosity…

#1 – No one should be gloating as they give.  The more anonymity in giving, the more God gets the glory for moving in a person’s heart and the person stays in the shadow of God’s grace.
#2 – Hypocrisy + Generosity = To be seen and approved by men.  Anonymity + Generosity = To be seen and approved by God.
#3 – When you give to get recognition that will be your full reward.  There will be no blessing from God in that, you’re blessing is fleetingly temporal.  
#4 – We are the body of Christ…don’t worry about how much the other parts of the body are giving.  Think about the part you play and trust that God is telling others the part they are to play.  We don’t need two left hands.  That’s dysfunctional. 
#5 – God rewards the silent and secret gift of humble sacrifice.   We must trust his quiet voice of affirmation even when our flesh longs for fanfare. 

Obviously, as we’re receiving gifts this weekend, our Financial Director and our Executive Pastor know the gift and the giver in order for the monies to be collected and accounted for with integrity.  But the greatest glory to God will be found when no one in our church knows who gave what, but every one finds out in the end what everyone collectively gave. 

As John proclaimed, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  This is the hope this weekend…that as people give, they become anonymous and God becomes magnanimous.  People become transparent and God becomes apparent.  People play a part in the story, but God gets the glory.

“Not to us, Oh Lord, not to us, but to your name be all the glory because of your love and faithfulness!” – Psalm 115:1  

“This is our prayer as we ascend to your throne with our sacrifices this weekend.  We want to announce your glory and your grace and your goodness and your greatness!  Let us not rob you your honor, God.   If there is any public announcement may it be how great it is that a God like you could use a people like us.  Our gifts are a response to your unspeakable gift…your only begotten Son.  Let us hide in the shadow of your glory.”

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