God loves willing givers!
Scripture reading for April 22: 1st Chronicles 28-29
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all you that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2nd Corinthians 9:7-8
Preachers are sometimes pushy or manipulative in asking the people to give. There are so many needs and money is often a limiting factor in the work of the church, at least in our minds. The love of money keeps many from giving and holds back God’s blessing in the people as well. This area is a touchy area for many because of the various abuses and the strongholds of idolatry to money and materialism in this land.
I love the 29th chapter of 1st Chronicles. In this chapter, King David sets forth what he is personally giving to fund the vision he has been given of building the temple of the Lord. He sets the example of personal dedication by first giving sacrificially himself. A good leader will always lead the way for those he is calling to help. David gives of his personal treasure 188 tons of gold, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze and 3,750 tons of iron. This would be vast fortune by today’s values! From this position of personal dedication, he challenges his other leaders to willingly give as well.
The leaders catch the spirit of generosity that King David had modeled. They also contribute “willingly and wholeheartedly” to the Lord. (1st Chronicles 29:6-9) David rejoices with a psalm of praise to the Lord! In this psalm he praises God for His greatness and power. He attributes everything that he has to God’s grace! (1st Chronicles 29:11-12) We can boast about nothing! All things come from God’s hand to us! He alone is to be praised!
David prays for the people: “And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you. O, Lord, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this desire in the hearts of your people forever and keep their hearts loyal to you.” (1st Chronicles 29:17-18) That is my prayer for each of us today! May you have a willing heart to give! If you are a leader, may you set an example of extravagant giving. May your heart remain loyal to the Lord and open to be generous forever! God does love a cheerful giver!