Monday, October 26, 2015

The Other Hand: Wasting Your Eternal Reward.

Matthew 6:1-4. "Secret giving" is becoming a thing of the past, more and more we're seen charity becoming a way of self-promotion. What is really impressive (to me) is that in human history, we never had so many charitable organizations live we do today, everywhere we look we find one. One day I was watching tv and was impressed by what I saw: A very famous Hollywood actor in Haiti working hard to improve the lives of those affected by the January 2010 earthquake (that left over 314,000 dead, 300,000 injured and 1.6 million people homeless). He is there since 2010 spending his money and giving himself away for the sake of people who will probably never repay him (financially speaking). Is he doing that for self-promotion? Is he truly helping the poor because he is a compassionate man? What is he gaining by doing that? God knows the answers, but one thing is for sure: He is doing what God told us (Christians) to do!  Here are some verses that shows what God thinks about helping the poor: Proverbs 19:17; Deuteronomy 15:11; Proverbs 22:9; Hebrews 13:16; 1 John 3:17-18. When Jesus says that those people who gave, were only interested in self-promotion (to be seen), He said that there will be no other "reward" besides the one they already received. He is implying that whatever we do that brings us "earthly rewards", it won't be counted as a reward in heaven. I'll use myself as an example: I am a musician and I play a few instruments. Before, I tried to write songs (I wrote 2 or 3), but never had the gift (talent) to write. A while ago, few people prophesied that God would give me the gift of writing songs and I would write beautiful ones. Well, I started writing and already have some (if good or bad, it's just a matter of taste). Let's say I write a beautiful one and then record it. The song is a hit and I am nominated for the Grammy's and I win. If I accept the honor, I already received my reward! Why? Because the song was inspired by God, for His glory and honor and if I receive the honor, that is God's because He inspired me, I already received the reward that I would receive in heaven. In this case, because God inspired me to write it and it was not written by my own ability or talent, the glory or honor is God's alone, it doesn't matter how many "glory to God" I give during my acceptance (speech). You may disagree on this, but as you are an intelligent person, think about this: Why did Jesus say that many will tell Him that they prophesied, healed, sung, prayed, preached, etc., in His Name and He will say "I don't know you"? Because those people already received the glory (honor) that was God's alone and God says He does not share His glory with no one else. Jesus called those people "workers of iniquity". We're living the last days, where many times, the "sacred" is as "profane" as the profane itself! In a world where churches are filled with "stars" and "idols", where it's hard to find someone who is committed to worship God despite the money and recognition. When Jesus says "take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them", it goes far beyond charitable works, it encompass everything that is done for God. Why do you think Paul the Apostle said this? 1 Corinthians 4:6-13. He said that because he refused to receive any honor or glory coming from man, just like Jesus Christ did, and for that cause they were despised and rejected. What did Jesus mean when He said "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing"? Are we the "body" of Christ? If we are the body of Christ and the body has two hands (persons), then He is saying that one person shouldn't tell the other about his (her) charitable deeds, much less to the world! Let's go back to the beginning where Christians glorified God, not other Christians.