God’s first act of creation was to separate the light from the darkness, and He’s been doing the same thing throughout time.
Scripture says that Jesus is the Light of the world.
. . . I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. —John 8:12
In turn, Jesus said that we, as His followers, are also the light of the world.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. —Matthew 5:14
As believers, we are like prisoners who have been led out of the darkness and into the light.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
And broke their bands apart. —Psalm 107:14
For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son. —Colossians 1:13
Therefore, we are to live as lights in a dark world.
For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light. —Ephesians 5:8
Regarding Matthew 6:1-4, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them . . . when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Do you think that reporting charitable giving on our income taxes is in conflict with this?
Do you think that reporting charitable giving on our income taxes is in conflict with this?
No, not at all. There is a difference in trying to let everyone know that you were the one who gave the money for the pew (or piano, or building, or whatever) by putting your name on it, versus being a good steward by writing off a portion of your income against your taxes, as allowed by law.
As most returns are processed electronically these days anyway, it’s really between you and the IRS’s computer. Even if you were in a high profile position, such as a politician who would have their returns scrutinized by the public, it would still be hard to make a scriptural case against taking the deduction.
Remember, God looks at the heart, not the action!
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” —1 Samuel 16:7
It’s not what or how much you give, it’s WHY you give that will be rewarded on Judgment Day.
Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” —Mark 12:43-44
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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.
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