(Red-letter portions of the New Testament)

Matthew 6:2, "So when you give to the needy, 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 they have their reward in full."

Giving to charity helps the needy and does some good. Giving to charity to get something in return, still helps the needy, but does you no good with God, because you already received your reward. There's no double dippin' with God.

Freely we have received, freely we are to give. We are to give expecting nothing in return, nothing, not credit, not a pat on the back, not even a thank you. We don't give to get a thank you. We give because God gave to us. We give because there is a need. That is what Jesus did.

Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Jesus did not die, so we would owe Him. He died so he to obey and glorify the Father and because if He didn't, we'd be lost in our sins and headed for eternity in hell. Jesus died for people He knew would never appreciate Him. He died for them anyway.

It was Jesus who said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." The blessing of giving that he spoke of comes from God, not from the approval of men or even from self. The blessing of God is greater than anything we could receive from men.

Giving for tax write-offs, civic recognition or memorial plaques will cost us any reward from God. It's up to us who we want reward from. God's reward is eternal.

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