Sunday, September 4, 2016

September 4 - 1 Chronicles 29

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Chronicles 29. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • The collection for the temple, and Solomon becoming King, probably happened in 970 B.C.
  • Solomon is given the task of building the temple for God, and all of the people join in by giving generously, and with great joy, because "they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord" (verse 9).
  • David prays for his son to have a "wholehearted desire to obey all Your commands" (verse 19). That would be a great prayer for us to pray for ourselves and for our loved ones.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The people follow David's example in giving sacrificially, with great generosity, to God. We need to follow their example. Throughout the Bible God calls us to give generously and sacrificially. In fact, the Bible talks more about giving than just about anything else. Why should we give? We get several great reasons in David's prayer from this chapter:
    • God is worthy (see verses 10-11). We should give because God is worthy of all our worship and devotion, and He's commanded us to give generously to Him.
    • Everything belongs to God. All we have was given to us by Him (verses 12 and 14 and 16). Really, we never give to God; we can only give back to God. And if our money truly belongs to God, we shouldn't decide what to do with it, God should.
    • Our lives are temporary (verse 15) but when we give to God, our money can have an eternal impact. The things we spend our money on rot away, but when we give to God our money makes a difference for all eternity. (See Matthew 6:19-20).
    • God watches us, and loves it when we give willingly and joyously (verse 17). Money is a test. It's a test of what we truly care about, and God is watching to see if we pass the test. We want to please Him.
    • Giving helps us to love God more (verses 18-19, also see Matthew 6:21). The Bible makes it clear that money is all about love. How we spend/invest our money reveals what we love. And when we give to something, we love that something more.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where are you at with giving back to God through your church? Is God (and the example we see in 1 Chronicles 29) calling you to a higher level of generosity? Or to give with more joy? Or to better understand why we give? -- Take some time to pray about this.