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.
1 Chronicles 29:14, 16 (NIV)
Read: 1 Chronicles 29:1-20
Consider: David could have been disappointed when God told him: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts …’ (1 Chronicles 28:6). We read later in 1 Chronicles 28 that David passed over to Solomon all the plans for the temple. Here was a man who did not seek his own glory, but God’s glory. He willingly handed over a project that he had been working on for many years to his son to bring this to fruition. David also realised that Solomon was young and inexperienced (29:1) and that the task needed the commitment of all the people and their leaders. David had already been gathering the financial and material resources needed to build the temple, but more was needed. He then gave of his own personal wealth and the leaders followed his example. In 1 Chronicles 29:9 it says that: ‘The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord …’ The generosity of their leaders impressed the people.
Moving on in our passage we read of David saying: 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 (29:14) and also: 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 (29:16). Realising that everything we have comes from God changes our perspective on giving. We are no longer giving away our own resources, but returning to God what he has entrusted to us. It belongs to God in the first place, he lends it to us and we return it to him, ready for the cycle to begin again. All very efficient, provided the cycle isn’t broken.
The problem with money is that many people are tempted to hoard it. Instead of seeing their resources as really belonging to God, they have a sense that their future security and prosperity is in accumulating wealth and possessions. The Apostle Paul in writing to the Corinthians said this: Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
Pray: Father, give us a proper view of our resources. Change us if we have tended to see our security in wealth and possessions, rather than in you. Give us the willingness to return to you, what you have entrusted to us. Amen
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