Giving Is Good for You

Pray: 

God, all I have is Yours. I am Yours. May my life reflect this truth.

 

Read: 1 CHRONICLES 29:1-20

[1] Then King David said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God. [2] With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God-gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble-all of these in large quantities. [3] Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: [4] three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, [5] for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the LORD today?" [6] Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king's work gave willingly. [7] They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. [8] Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the LORD in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. [9] The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly. [10] David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, "Praise be to you, LORD, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. [11] Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. [12] Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. [13]Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. [14] "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. [15] We are foreigners and strangers in your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. [16] LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. [17] I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. [18] LORD, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you. [19] And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided." [20] Then David said to the whole assembly, "Praise the LORD your God." So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the LORD and the king. 

 

Reflect: Do you give generously?

Many church leaders become shy about asking for money; a few seem to relish it. I know one who would say to his congregation, "I know you've got the money. You know I know you've got the money. Just release it!" As the saga of the Temple project continues, David exercises shrewd leadership skills in relation to money.

First, he leads the way (2-5). In effect he says, "I've put my money where my mouth is--will you do the same?" The effect was gratifying as it usually is in response to such boldness. Then in his prayer, David uncovers the spiritual dynamic behind all stewardship in words that have become well-known and oft-quoted: "For all things come from You and of Your own have we given You" (14). We really are only stewards, and that realization has the power to loosen our grip on "our possessions."

Finally the whole mood invoked by David is one of abandonment: "willingly, joyfully, freely, thankfully..." the words pour out. What is the secret? Read and ponder verse 17. Once again, David, "a man after God's own heart," points to the fundamental need for a heart that is right before God.

 

Apply: 

Ask God to search your heart. Is everything relinquished to the Lord? Do your actions demonstrate it?

 

Pray

Jesus, You gave all willingly, joyfully, and freely. You are worthy of the same from me.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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