Piety effects your wallet . . . but it is not for sale. This seems to have been at least part of Jesus’ teaching about giving inside of the Sermon on the Mount. In this epic sermon, Jesus polishes the tarnish off God’s Law so that we might see the righteousness of God in all its radiant brilliance. In chapter 5 we saw Jesus clarify God’s righteous standards regarding our anger, thought life, marriages, lying, attitude toward serving, and how we treat our enemies. In each of these categories, religious leaders had misinterpreted God’s Word and thus developed a standard below God’s best. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus re-established God’s standard and called people to holy living.
In Matthew 6 (the next section of the sermon on the mount), Jesus talks about a few areas of the a person’s life where their religion shows up: financial giving, prayer, and fasting. In Matthew 6:1-4, 19-24, Jesus talks about how our piety will impact what we value and where we spend our money. However, this clarion call from the Savior also comes with a warning about HOW we should give. We should not give to “buy” approval from our friends or other people. This is how the world operates . . . financial investments lead to influence. However, it is not so in the Kingdom of God. Since God owns it all anyway, we do not buy influence with our gifts . . . but that does not mean that our gifts are not important!
This Sunday at Wildwood, we will look at this concept by studying Matthew 6 together. Join us in our 8:30, 9:45, or 11:00 worship service as we worship Jesus together!