Today I want to look at 1 Chronicles 29:1-9 (ESV), which reads:
|A priest with golden Temple implements|
And David the king said to all the assembly, “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the Lord God. 2 So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble. 3 Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 4 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house, 5 and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and silver for the things of silver. Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?”
6 Then the leaders of fathers' houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king's work. 7 They gave for the service of the house of God 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold, 10,000 talents of silver, 18,000 talents of bronze and 100,000 talents of iron. 8 And whoever had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the house of the Lord, in the care of Jehiel the Gershonite. 9 Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.
Verse 1 says, "The work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the Lord God." Just as David gave to the work of the Temple, so we have an opportunity to give to God's work in the church. Believers need to remember that the work that is done there is great, and that it's God's church and not our church. This means giving with no strings attached, because it's not about what man wants--it's about what God wants.
People often ask me, "How much does God want me to give?" Let's look at verse 2, which says: "So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able." How much does God expect you to give? What you're able. God never expects a person to give more than they can give. He doesn't want you to be put in the poorhouse because of your giving. God wants you to give generously, but only as much as you're able. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 reminds us: "...Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." It's hard to be a if you're giving more than what you can really afford.
Then, in verse 5, David says: "Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?” Just as it's hard to be a cheerful giver if you're giving more than you can afford, it's also difficult if you're giving under compulsion. David invited people to give willingly--and Christians today need to give willingly as well. Some churches will audit their members' books and tell them what they should give. This is a violation of God's principle of cheerful and voluntary giving. Make sure that you're giving as you feel led by the Lord to give.
Verse 9 shows that the people considered their gifts as an act of worship: "Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly." Their giving caused them to rejoice before the Lord with their whole hearts. Are you giving half-heartedly, or with the wrong motives? God wants only gifts that are given with good intent and with all your heart. Then your gift is truly an act of worship.
Has God impressed upon your heart that you need to give to the work of the church? His work is great, so make sure that your giving is to Him and not to whatever project you desire. Be sure that you give as you are able. Give generously, give willingly, give joyfully, and make it an act of worship. This is how God wants us to bring offerings for God's house.