Dear Presby Family: How To Live, Give, & Pray

My guess is that you’ve heard the idea, “It’s possible to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons.” In the church, it might play out something like this: We can read our Bibles, go to church, put money in the collection plate, and live an exemplary life, yet all as a means of serving ourselves. Perhaps we do these things to ease a guilty conscience; perhaps it’s to impress others, or perhaps it’s to try to earn God’s approval or secure blessings from God.

Jesus calls all that acting. In those days, some people went to great lengths to do all the right things for all the wrong reasons. They made public displays of giving money to the poor. They made a great fuss as they brought money to the temple. They did all they could to draw attention to themselves. But their giving was not pleasing to God because they gave to serve their own purposes.

Jesus wants our generosity to be motivated by love and gratitude. When our hearts are filled with the knowledge and richness of God’s kindness to us, our natural response should be generous in the way in which we live, give, and pray. Instead of doing things for recognition or reward, we do them for God’s glory and pleasure.

As we gather together this week, we’ll be doing the difficult work of reflecting on whether we do things to be noticed by others, to be noticed by God, or to give God glory. What is the motivation of our hearts? Our hope is that we will develop the kind of spiritual habits that point to Jesus and reflect his love to the world around us.

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Aaron

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