. . . Then the people rejoiced because of their leaders’ willingness to give, for they had given to the Lord wholeheartedly. King David also rejoiced greatly. Then David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly. David said, “May you be blessed, Lord God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to you. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from you, and you are the ruler of everything. Power and might are in your hand, and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all.
“Now therefore, 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? For everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your own hand. For we are aliens and temporary residents in your presence as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. Lord our God, all this wealth that we’ve provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand; everything belongs to you. . .”
from 1 Chronicles 29:1-19
My son has a bit of a sweet tooth. My family and I were in the Children’s Ministry area at Brentwood Baptist when he approached me with two hands full of candy and asked me if he could have it. I asked him where he got the candy. He said it was behind the desk, and it must be okay to take it because there was no one there. I said, “I wish that actually worked!” I could see a Lamborghini in a parking lot and say, “I can take that—there’s no one there!”
The obvious problem is that the candy did not belong to him. Sure, he had it in his hands, but that didn’t really mean it was his. The fact that he didn’t see the real owner was beside the point. The same is actually true of us. We hold lots of things in our hands. Our tendency is to believe that because we hold these things, they belong to us and we can do with them as we please.
King David knew the truth about the incredible amount of wealth he held. Although God had blessed him with so many things, they ultimately belonged to God. God owned it all. It was simply in David’s possession. David wanted to use what God had blessed him with to honor God and to help build the temple.
There are two things that strike me about this account. The first is David’s heart. He gave joyfully. He gave willingly. The second is the response of the people following David’s generosity. The people gave generously as well, not because they were under compulsion, but because they saw the heart with which David gave and were inspired to do the same.
We do not own what is placed into our hands. We have been entrusted by God with what we possess for His purposes. Let’s pray that, like David, we would have a joyful heart in giving and that we would give from a heart of love for God. Pray also that our giving would become inspiring and even contagious, so as others follow our example, God’s plans and purposes for what He has entrusted us with will be fulfilled.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How do you view the things you hold in your hands? Do you act as if they belong to you, or as if they belong to God?
- Do you give with a contagiously joyous heart? What would it look like to do so?
Find a day that is weather friendly and set up a stand outside (maybe lemonade, maybe hot chocolate) and give this out to others who walk or drive by. Take the brief moment that you have with those passing by to share your joy that you have not to receive, but to brighten the day of others! You might even encourage them to pay it forward and bless others because they have been so blessed by you!
Pray for global workers in Central and South America. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with those who are searching spiritually during religious holidays.