As I’ve been preparing for my message for Sunday morning, I have been meditating on Matthew 6:1-18. This passage speaks to certain testimonies of righteous living: giving, praying, and fasting.
It is notable that each of these are introduced by speaking against these deeds as practiced by the “hypocrites” (which at any moment might be any of us). It is far too easy to do things to be seen by others and receive some public honor through doing this.
In particular, it is rather striking in this day and age how few people appear to want to be secretly generous with what God has given them. We design our charitable programs to publicly name benefactors, but what I was wondering…have we simply made our righteousness a business transaction instead of a love-filled act for God and others? Have we done nothing more than provide something for being generous (despite what our charitable contribution receipts specifically have to note)? Has our “generosity” degenerated into nothing more than a transaction to purchase a good name?
Lord, help me to give secretly knowing you see all that is done in secret and you will indeed reward me, and to not give to receive the passing praise of others but to receive the enduring reward from your hand.
[originally blogged on May 30, 2012 at bluechippastor.org]
Some of My Publications
Community: Biblical and Theological Reflections in Honor of August H. Konkel
Pentecostal Theological Education in the Majority World: The Graduate and Post-Graduate Level. Vol. 1
Receiving Scripture in the Pentecostal Tradition: A Reception History
A Theology of the Spirit in the Former Prophets: A Pentecostal Perspective
"Emerging Homiletics: A Pentecostal Response" in
"N.T. Wright's Justification and the Cry of the Spirit" in
- Concerning Contexts for Interpretation of Scripture February 19, 2022
- Hearing the Prophets on Justice: A Response April 27, 2021
- Proverbs 31 and the Virtuous Woman March 11, 2021
- Genesis 2.18 and the “Not Good” of Creation: Random Reflections February 3, 2021
- A Quick Exodus: A Brief Response January 4, 2021
- baptism in the Holy Spirit
- Biblical hermeneutics
- Biblical Interpretation
- Christ Jesus
- Holy Spirit
- literary interpretation
- Old Testament
- Society for Pentecostal Studies
- Trinity Bible College