Last week, Pastor Paul, continued his challenge to be generous in giving in preparation to build the new church building. He emphasized that he is not just asking us to give money. No, he wants us to understand the Biblical concept of generosity so that we will be generous in all things.
Pastor Paul used a story from 1 Chronicles 29 to clarify our goal … becoming generous. In this story, King David is preparing the people to rebuild the temple. He knows that he himself will not build it … his son Solomon will. But David tells the people that he has willingly given us his wealth to assist Solomon in building a palatial structure.
Then David does something curious … he doesn’t ask the people to give from their wealth. No … he says,
“Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?”
It’s important to note that our giving comes out of devotion to the Lord! First we consecrate ourselves, and out of that submission, we give of ourselves, our time, talents, and wealth.
The people of Israel gave mightily that day … they exhibited generosity! They gave freely and wholeheartedly! David and the people rejoiced!
But the story doesn’t stop there. David begins to pray and he prays a curious statement …
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.
That’s the point! All that we have comes from God in the first place! So our giving is not really out of our own wealth but from God’s hand to our hands and then back again … we are simply returning what he has given to us.
The pastor challenged us to go home, and put our hand on the thing we cherish the most. Am I willing to give that “thing” back to God?
Create in me, O God, a generosity that cannot be squelched! Thank you for the abundance that is mine … loosen my grip on things … so that my focus, reliance, consecration is totally yours!