Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 11:13 AMApril 18th, 2012
Posted by Kermit
Posted by Kermit
Finally we come to the end of 1st Chronicles. I hate to do this, but I’m going to look back and see when I actually started reading/blogging about this book. December 15th was the day. It has been an unusually ‘crazy’ time in my life since then, and only now, after Lent/Easter does it look like it might start resuming “normal”. I have enjoyed this elongated journey through 1st Chronicles, and will end today with my favorite chapter in the book.
David has gathered all of Israel together to make the official hand-off of his kingly powers to his son Solomon, especially as it concerns the construction of the temple. What I love about this chapter are the lessons about leading, especially as they concern giving. David gives us numerous insights about giving in general, but especially about how leaders are to give, and how leaders are to encourage/teach/lead in this vital area of stewardship/generosity. I may not have time to cover all the lessons, but want to highlight a few.
1) Leaders give generously, and are not ashamed to announce their leadership gifts . Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God…And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. Vs.2-3
Many leaders and many followers subscribe today to this philosophy: Giving is Private. I cannot disagree more. Giving is certainly personal, but according to these scriptures, giving is not private. We learn from Jesus not to make a show of our giving, but we learn from David, that giving generously, and announcing publically, inspires people to give. I wish more leaders would accept this challenge; for the Kingdom of God would be advanced if they would.
2) Leaders are not afraid to challenge people to follow their example. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today? Vs. 5
I am certain that many leaders give well, but we must not miss the second part – challenge people to give. I know many leaders who are afraid of offending people, so they shy away from challenging people. People who authentically love God are not afraid of a challenge! People today are so out of synch with God when it comes to money, finances, and stewardship; they often try to hijack leaders from issuing challenges like David did. My experience is that the more we challenge people, and the more they respond, the more we together get to see God reward our efforts, and encourage us to do even more.
3) Leaders challenge other leaders to give lead gifts. Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals, and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. Vs. 6
David lined up the folks, and in turn they gave willingly. I know this sounds like a ‘fundraising for dummies’ blog, but I’m so convinced that people need to learn how to give today that I’m taking this risk. I know how my life has been enriched by learning to give generously. I know I have many other areas of my life that are out of synch, but I’m so convinced that giving appropriately is a huge spiritual factor in our human lives, I can’t help writing/teaching/preaching/blogging about it.
4) Leaders are not shy to give God Praise for the privilege of giving. Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly:…Yours O Lord is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom…Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything…Everything we have has come from you, and we give only what you first gave us!...O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! You examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously…make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes . Vs 10-17
It is a good thing to remember the source of all we are and have is God. Giving is such a spiritual matter, such a spiritual indicator. If you really want to know how much you love God, examine your patterns of giving. I’ve often maintained I could tell a lot about people by observing their giving – I think David would agree.
I’m so glad God is patient with us, and allows us to grow into our discipleship, even in the area of giving. I just want to encourage you readers today, to accept David’s challenge, and mine, to grow into faithfulness in this vital area of our lives. End of 1 Chronicles! AMEN
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