Manifesting Good from a Sincere Heart
Published November 20, 2023
Table of Contents
2. The Three Basic Principles of Faith
3. Drawing the Ire of God
– God despises insincerity
– God despises the disingenuous heart
4. God Loves the Sincere Heart
– Have a sincere heart in giving
– Be cheerful in giving
5. The Good We Can Give
– Sowing our spiritual wealth
Watch & Listen
Are you manifesting good in the world? If you choose to bring forth good in the world, is that “good” being manifested from a sincere heart? This is a question I believe we, especially as God’s children, need to give much consideration. Some may wonder to themselves, what kind of good? As we know, what is considered good can be very subjective.
The Three Basic Principles of Faith
However, the good that I speak of is the good that I have focused on all year; it is holy and righteous and that which is holy and righteous can only be defined by the Lord. As God’s children, we know that we should be manifesting nothing but good in the world. Yet, there are many who profess to labor for the Lord but they labor in a manner that can best be described as insincere and disingenuous; a manner that betrays the basic principles of being a child of God.
When Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy, laboring for the Lord was clearly on his mind as he started the letter by telling Timothy to “wage the good warfare” and ending his letter by telling Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Tim. 1:18; 6:12).
In my key verse, we will see that Paul said that the purpose (the goal) of the command (the work) he had given to Timothy was to love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith. (Paul had charged Timothy to tell others to minister nothing but sound doctrine – 1 Tim. 1:3-4.) Paul’s charge to Timothy summed up the basic principle that our faith and labor for the Lord is founded upon — love.
Now, in the King James Version of my key verse, “love” is replaced with the word “charity” which I believe is better suited to translate what Paul desired. You see, when we think of charity, we think of the act of giving out of goodwill, right? As you have heard me say in the past, both faith and love should move; it is not enough to verbally say that you believe or that you love. However, when both our faith and love actively moves, it can separate us from those who are insincere and disingenuous.
So, with this understanding in mind, we should understand that Paul desired for Timothy and believers to move with a sincere heart; we should move with a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. These three points are the manifestation points for believers to manifest God’s glory and bear good fruit in the world. Again, I ask, are you manifesting good in the world through sincere faith with a pure heart and a good conscience?
Drawing the Ire of God
There are many that will say they are doing good in the world, but as I said from the start, many move in a manner that is insincere and disingenuous. If we say that we are a child of God but labor in a manner that is insincere, we should consider that we will draw the ire of someone who we should not want to upset.
God despises insincerity
In Matthew 23, Jesus warned multitudes about a certain group that had drawn His ire because of the way in which they labored proclaiming to labor for the Lord.
Jesus said to the multitude in Matthew 23:2-3, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” So, in other words, the people were to do as the scriptures taught and as the law commanded but not do as the religious leaders did in their actions.
The religious leaders had their outward profession of faith, but as the saying goes, “actions speak louder than words.” As James said in his letter, “faith without works is dead (Jas. 1:20).” However, because Jesus was specific on this point, we must add to James’ thought: one’s works must be sincere and not simply works for works, or works dressed up to make one look good.
Of the religious leader’s works, Jesus said in Matthew 23:4, “they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” The religious leaders would feel they had good works because they instructed and dictated to others to live by the law. However, Jesus pointed out that they didn’t do enough because they didn’t show people how to live through their actions.
In Matthew 23:5, Jesus said, “all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.” The religious leaders didn’t have good works because their labor was not sincere! The religious leaders put on a show for the people in order to make a name for themselves because they loved themselves, their title, more than the people and the Lord; this selfish love is what drew the ire of Jesus!
We will see in Matthew 23:7, that Jesus pointed out how the religious leader’s efforts of putting on a show of doing good, drew the praise of the people. Jesus said, “[they love] greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’” Jesus’ words against the religious leaders’ works, speaks to how people today will only do good if they are praised by people for the good they do. Are you laboring to do good with such reasoning in your heart?
God despises the disingenuous heart
The reason why Jesus warned the people about following the actions of the religious leaders was because those actions were born from a disingenuous heart. Rather than having a sincere heart, Jesus said that on the inside, they were “full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27)”; they were “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matt. 23:28).”
If their hearts were in the right place, the religious leaders would have been opening the doors to the heavenly kingdom for the people. However, Jesus said that the religious leaders “shut up the kingdom of heaven against men (Matt. 23:13).” These men were crooked and truly wicked in their hearts! The religious leaders drew the ire of Jesus because as leaders, they should have known God’s word and how to properly labor for the Lord, but these leaders truly lacked in good works.
True believers, again, should be compelled by a sincere faith, a heart that is pure, and have a good conscience; all of which these leaders lacked! How crooked were these men? I, again, reference Jesus stating that these men devoured widows’ houses (Matt. 23:14); they preyed on those who were in need rather than move in peace and help those in need!
Again, I consider what Paul said of the perilous times that we live in when he said, people would be “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, proud, blasphemers, unthankful, unholy, and unloving (2 Tim. 3:2-3).” Do we truly think that the Lord would be pleased with anyone moving in such an insincere and disingenuous manner? Jesus warned that those who labor as the religious leaders did, will face greater condemnation for such insincere labor (Matt. 23:14).
God Loves the Sincere Heart
With these things in mind, knowing what draws the ire of the Lord, we, again must consider our labor of good. As I have said all year long, our purpose as God’s children is to bear much fruit (John 15:7-8). However, we must ensure that the fruit we bear is being manifested from a sincere heart.
Have a sincere heart in giving
In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus taught the disciples, and therefore all of us, an important lesson when it comes to charitable deeds (works of love). To the disciples, Jesus said, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them (Matt. 6:1).” Jesus is saying that your works of love and good don’t need to be done to be seen by others; it is good when we are simply being a blessing to the one in need.
Jesus then said, “When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets (Matt. 6:2).” This is a statement that certainly calls to mind the actions of those religious leaders. Those that like to draw attention to the good they do are certainly doing good for the wrong reasons. Jesus said in that same verse, “[they do good so] that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.”
Jesus said in Matthew 6:3-4, “When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret.” This was Jesus calling on believers to move with a sincere heart and not with ulterior motives. This kind of charity (love), Jesus said, is the charity that the Lord will reward openly as God loves a sincere heart.
Imagine desiring to be praised by men rather than being praised by the Lord. Those that labor in such a manner will have their reward of praise in the world, but that praise will soon vanish away while the glory of the sincere heart will rest in eternal glory. The child of God should desire to do good because we are meant to be a blessing. Let this be clear: don’t ever do anything with the desire to be glorified by man.
Be cheerful in giving
Scripture encourages us to do good works. For example, many of us consider what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” In our consideration, many of us labor to reap bountifully, which is good, but we must not let our labor become filled with insincere works. Yes, the notion that Paul was speaking of was to be bountiful (plentiful) in our giving and in our works.
Many of us have let this part of Paul’s notion become very burdensome on ourselves as we will labor and give of ourselves when we don’t have much to give. Should we keep laboring and giving when we don’t have much to give? To answer this question, we must pay very close attention to Paul saying, “So let each give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).”
Charity – doing good – should be sincere rather than being done just for the sake of being done. The ministering of love should be a joyful experience for all parties. If you are unable or regretful to give in your charity (ministering of love) whether it may be, then you would be better keeping it to yourself. I want you to understand that God does not desire mechanical charity (love); He desires for you to be zealous (passionate) and happy in your charity and labor (Rev. 3:19).
Do you understand why the Lord desires for you to be happy and passionate in your charity? As James said, God desires passionate charity because “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God (Jas. 1:20).” Disingenuous and insincere charity, in the end, will profit nobody in their soul, no matter what anybody says.
The Good We Can Give
Many of us often wonder, when it comes to our charity, especially around this time of the year, what goods can I give and how often should I give? Some of us may even feel pressed at times to give especially if we may lack to give monetarily or materially; don’t let the commercialism of giving get to you. When we, as God’s children, begin to believe we can only give monetarily or physically, then we limit ourselves in our works, our labor, and the fruit we can bear.
Sowing our spiritual wealth
For what we may lack monetarily and physically, do you know that you have great wealth spiritually? The child of God has gained a great deal of wealth spiritually through our intimate relationship with the Lord; we know and understand God and His word. Through our understanding of the Lord, we know that He is able to bring life to the soul that is stagnant, lifeless, and in need. The wealth of riches that we have spiritually should be shared.
A door has been set before us. Do you realize how often we miss out on our blessings because we limit ourselves in the manner of works (giving) we can manifest? Jesus said, “ Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38).”
So, with this thought, I am reminded of Jesus’ familiar Parable of the Talents. In that parable, two servants had sown all that they had received from their lord, whether it was much or little. In all that they sowed in their labors, they grew double and for their labor, their lord praised them, saying “Well done, good and faithful servant.” They were both rewarded with being made a ruler over many things as they entered the joy of their lord; they were greatly blessed (Matt. 25:20-23).
Then there was one more servant that also received from the same lord but he chose to bury what he had received (Matt. 25:25); this means he kept it for himself. Was this servant rewarded? Did this servant hear, “well done, good and faithful servant”? No. This servant drew the ire of his lord as he was called wicked and lazy (Matt. 25:26). The unprofitable servant was then cast into the outer darkness for his actions of wickedness (Matt. 25:30).
This parable speaks of God and our labor. What the Lord has blessed you with may not be monetarily or materially, it may not be as much as what others have received. However, He certainly has blessed all of us with His love and we should labor to manifest good in the world, sincerely.
I don’t know about you, I much rather hear Jesus say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant” rather than hear Him call me a hypocrite, an unprofitable servant. I have no desire to be cast into outer darkness! As God’s children, we all have good to manifest in this world so consider the good you can manifest in the world today and make sure you are manifesting that good from a sincere heart. For this, you will be praised and rewarded by God.