WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 13, 2020
TOPIC: JOYFUL GIVING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly” (1 Chronicles 29:9 New King James Version).
It was the desire of David to build a house for the LORD. He was concerned that while he dwelled in a house of cedar, the ark of God dwelled inside tent curtains. He shared with the prophet Nathan this vision of building a temple for the LORD.
The prophet Nathan told him to go and do all that was in his heart, for the LORD was with him. However, in the night, the LORD told the prophet Nathan to tell David that he was not the one to build a house for Him. The LORD said when David died, He would raise up one of his descendants, who would build a temple for His name (2 Samuel 7:1-12).
In 1 Chronicles 28:2-3, David recalled how the LORD prevented him from building a house for Him: “Hear me, my brethren and my people: I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made preparations to build it. But God said to me, ‘You shall not build a house for My name, because you have been a man of war and have shed blood’” (New King James Version).
Earlier, he had said a similar thing in 1 Chronicles 22:7-8. God chose David’s son, Solomon, to build the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:9-10; 28:10).
Nevertheless, David prepared abundant materials for Solomon to build it. If he had not been sincere, he wouldn’t have bothered to prepare materials for the project. After all, the credit would not go to him, but his son. But David’s motivation was not his personal glory.
As the king, David prepared abundant materials for Solomon to undertake the project (1 Chronicles 22:2-4, 14-16). “Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance” (1 Chronicles 29:2 New King James Version).
In addition, David gave his personal treasures of gold and silver (verses 3-50), which many parents would have kept and handed down to their children as an inheritance. After telling the assembly of the Israelites what he had given to facilitate the building of the house of God, he challenged them to willingly consecrate themselves to the LORD (verse 5).
If they could willingly consecrate themselves to the LORD first, they would be able to give to Him willingly. The Bible says 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 (verse 6).
Just as David had given generously, they gave almost 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, about 375 tons of silver, about 675 tons of bronze, about 3,750 tons of iron, and numerous precious stones.
Significantly, the Bible says, “Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly” (verse 9 New King James Version). This is what I call joyful giving.
David had given generously. He didn’t compel the people to give. He only challenged, persuaded, or invited them to follow his example. The people gave freely and wholeheartedly, and therefore, rejoiced greatly. Also, David was filled with joy. This happened in the Old Testament. The people were not compelled or manipulated to give. This is how giving to the LORD should be. Nobody should be coerced or compelled.
If these Israelites gave freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD in the Old Testament and they rejoiced greatly, Christians should not do anything less in this dispensation of grace. That’s why Paul said, “You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:7 New Living Translation).
In the time of Moses, the Tabernacle was built through the voluntary offering of the people. Moses only encouraged them to give. “This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: ‘Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD” (Exodus 35:4-5 New King James Version). In addition, he gave them a list of the things they should give (verse 5b).
The craftsmen working on the project later told Moses that the people brought much more than enough (Exodus 36:5). Consequently, Moses told the people, “Let neither man nor woman do any more work for the offering of the sanctuary” (verse 6a New King James Version).
The Bible says the people were restrained from bringing, for the materials they had was sufficient for all the work to be done — indeed too much (verses 6b-7). The people gave willingly and in excess of what was needed. Such a giving is rare in the church today!
Why was it easy for David to give generously to the Temple project? I think David gives us the answer in 1 Chronicles 29:1b: “Because the temple is not for man but for the LORD God” (New King James Version). David knew his giving was to the LORD because the building was for Him, not the Israelites.
The LORD even gave David a plan for the project. “‘Every part of this plan,’ David told Solomon, ‘was given to me in writing from the hand of the LORD’” (1 Chronicle 28:19 New Living Translation). It was not a project to make a name for himself. The Temple was for the LORD (1 Chronicles 22:5).
Also, in David’s praise to the LORD after their gifts to Him, we can see again why they gave abundant resources to the LORD. David said what they gave to the LORD actually belonged to Him and their stay on earth was temporary.
Anyone who knows these two statements of truth will not have a problem with giving joyfully to the LORD. Whatever you give to the LORD is from what He has given you and you won’t be alive forever to enjoy your possessions. It’s, therefore, useless heaping up wealth. Give joyfully to the LORD.
David said, “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. For we are aliens and pilgrims before You, as were all our fathers; our days on earth are as a shadow, and without hope” (1 Chronicles 29:14-15 New King James Version).
He continued, “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from Your hand, and is all Your own. I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You” (verses 16-17 New King James Version).
Did you notice that David said in that scripture that he willingly offered the gifts he gave to the LORD in the uprightness of his heart? (verse 17a). In other words, he had done everything with good motives or an honest heart. Do you have good motives for your gifts? Do you give with an honest heart?
After he had praised the LORD, David told the people to bless Him and they did. They bowed their heads and prostrated themselves before the LORD and the king (verse 20).
David and his people had no regret about what they had given to the LORD. They were full of joy. This is how God expects our giving today to be. If we understand as David did that all that we have and whatever we are giving to the LORD came from Him and belongs to Him firstly, we will give joyfully. When we know that our stay on earth is brief, we will be rich towards the LORD (Luke 12:21).
Whatever you give to the LORD belongs to Him. And your gift is not a waste; He will give you back much more. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says if you sow sparingly, you’ll also reap sparingly, and if you sow bountifully, you’ll reap bountifully.
In order to give joyfully, observe the following:
1. Give yourself first to the LORD and acknowledge that all you have belongs to Him. This starts with giving your life to Jesus (John 3:3, 7). Emulate the Macedonian Christians (2 Corinthians 8:5). Make the LORD number one in your life (Matthew 6:33).
2. Purpose in your heart what you want to give and avoid giving grudgingly or emotionally. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 New King James Version).
3. Give according to your ability. “Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea” (Acts 11:29 New King James Version).
4. Give with love. From 1 Corinthians 13:3, we understand that it’s possible to give without love. But we cannot love without giving. “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3 New King James Version).
5. Give to the LORD your best. “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces” (Proverbs 3:9 New Living Translation).
6. Give to the poor and needy without seeking people’s attention (Matthew 6:2-4). “If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD — and he will repay you!” (Proverbs 19:17 New Living Translation).
7. Give to your enemies. “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you” (Proverbs 25:21 New King James Version).
Give joyfully, either in the house of God or to fellow human beings, especially the poor and needy.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for all Your blessings in my life. I shall be rich towards You and not be stingy. I will give generously to projects in the Kingdom of God and to the poor and needy. I repent from every tendency to hate my enemies; I shall leave them to You to judge and not seek revenge or be bitter towards them.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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