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Viewpoint from Roger Hill 01/01/2010

Member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Burnt Lane, Gorleston



ViewpointColour250Jesus sat by the collection boxes at the temple and watched people drop in their offerings. Some rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in a farthing. Jesus said to His disciples that poor widow has given more than all those rich men put together. They gave a little of their great wealth while she gave all she had, even though her gift was by far the smallest.  Jesus said don’t do your good deeds in public to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in Heaven. 
When you give a good gift to a beggar, don’ROGERfor webt shout about it as the hypocrites do – blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity. They have received all the reward they will ever get. When you do a kindness to someone, do it secretly – don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. And your Father who knows all secrets will reward you. An Atheist friend of mine used to get quite annoyed because his neighbours were very proud of the charity work they did. Each organisation they assisted they stuck a card with its name in the windows of their porch.
God judges our motives. It is not only doing a good deed that counts but why we do it. The value of a gift is not determined by the amount, but by the spirit in which it is given. Two men went to the temple to pray. One was a proud self – righteous Pharisee, and the other a cheating tax Collector. “Thank God I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially that tax collector over there,” he said. “I never cheat, I don’t commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I pay tithe one tenth of all the money I earn to God.” 
The tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes, but beat upon his chest with sorrow, sayingDove right “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus said this sinner, not the Pharisee returned home forgiven. “The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results” James chapter 5 verse 16 last part.  God is more likely to listen to the requests of someone who is obedient and humble than one who is proud and motivated by self esteem. 
The Apostle Paul says in Romans chapter 12 verse 3 (Amplified Bible). “I warn everyone among you…. Not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance, but to rate his ability with sober judgement.”    Paul was a Godly man committed to the service of God and others, yet he called himself “Chief of Sinners.” Jesus when addressed by a Pharisee as “Good Master” said “There is none good but God.” It would seem the most difficult secret for a man to keep is the opinion he has of himself! Too many of us suffer from serious I trouble.   May God help me to stop blowing my own trumpet and to develop a humble contrite heart.