When you give to those in need, do not announce it through marketing campaigns as the hypocrites do, to be honoured by others. I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your donations may be anonymous. Then God, who sees what is done anonymously, will reward you.
Once some thieves came to an old hermit and said, “We are taking everything in your cell.” He answered, “Take whatever you need, my children.” They took almost everything in the cell and left. But they missed a little bag of money that was hidden. The elder picked it up and went after them, crying, “Children! You forgot something!” The thieves were amazed. Not only did they not take the money, but they returned everything that they had taken. “Truly,” they said, “this is a man of God.”
The ironies of the internet age. Yesterday I gave away a fridge on facebook. We had one to give away but were not sure who might need it, so we broadcasted. As it turned out, there was a family who responded from just a few houses down the street. I went global to find it was needed local. Thing was, unless I had I might not have found out. Have you ever had any experiences like this?
This morning we heard a powerful sermon on giving.
This afternoon we had the privilege of seeing giving in action.
During the last week my wife has been collecting bags full of clothes from the overflowing generosity of other members of our church for a family in need, whom we’ve been looking out for. It was wonderful to see all the girls trying them on, getting excited. Our lounge room floor was a mess (Smiles).
It reminded me of Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian elders:
“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” (Acts 20:35)
It is indeed.