Give Cheerfully or Not At All
Eternal and Almighty God, all glory and honor and praise is due You. There is no other God beside You.
Read 1 CHRONICLES 29:10-20
 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.  Yours, O 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, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  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.  Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.  “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.  We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.  O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.  I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.  O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.  And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, requirements and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”  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 low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat does David acknowledge about the gifts given to God?
Over time, many groups of believers have raised money for church buildings, but David’s vision for the first Temple required some serious fundraising (see 29:1-5)! To his great delight, the people of Israel responded to the challenge with overwhelming extravagance. They gave out of a deep understanding of the worthiness of God to receive the very best of what they had (10-13). They gave because they knew that everything they had was his anyway (14). They gave because God is eternal and their wealth was transitory (15). They gave because their first loyalty was to God (18), as did the Macedonians who Paul commended for giving so generously because “they gave themselves first to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:5).
It can be hard to give away money, time or resources, and when we do, we often do it fearfully, resentfully, stingily and from a heavy sense of obligation. God tests our hearts (17) and knows better than anyone the attitude with which we reach into our pockets. He is able to give us the wholehearted devotion that is the source of worshipful generosity. Start by praying that he will teach us the art of joyful giving. Where we go from there will certainly be an adventure!
Examine your attitudes toward giving. Ask the Lord to show you how you can give more generously.
Lord, You have given so generously to me. May I have a thankful, generous spirit that gives out of gratitude to You.
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