When I reminded my husband that his 39th birthday was just around the corner, he declared that he didn’t want any presents. Yeah, right, I thought, and I continued to press him for gift ideas. That’s when he told me he wanted to give away the money we would have spent on his birthday.
The Bible calls us to give willingly—not grudgingly or of necessity—to support God’s work and to help people (2 Cor. 9:7). This kind of freewill giving often results in joy for the giver. When King David donated his personal stash of gold and silver to help build the temple, many Israelite officials followed his example. After they contributed bronze, iron, gemstones, and precious metal, “the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly” (1 Chron. 29:9).
As part of the celebration, David praised God, saying, “Of Your own we have given You” (v.14). His point was that God owns everything. Remembering this allows us to give eagerly, because we are just returning our resources to their rightful owner—God Himself.
The next time you contribute cash, services, or belongings to support the cause of Christ, examine your attitude. Are you giving freely and willingly? God loves a cheerful giver. — by Jennifer Benson Schuldt (Our Daily Bread; 1/8/12)
Lord, You love the cheerful giver,
Who with open heart and hand
Blesses freely, as a river
That refreshes all the land. —Murray
How we give is more important than how much we give.
READ: 1 Chronicles 29:1-14
1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the LORD God.
2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house.
4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:
5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the LORD?
6T hen the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,
7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the LORD, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.
10 Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
11 Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.