Tuesday, June 5, 2012

David's Fundraiser

"Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all."

(1 Chronicles 29:11)

The ladies of our church are great fundraisers. If they see a need they organize a bake sale or a baked bean dinner and raise the funds to do the work of the Lord. Some churches don't agree with fundraisers but ours does and thousands of dollars have been raised for missions, both local and foreign. The ladies also raise funds to care for the parsonage and the church itself. 

They are an industrious bunch of girls who are hard workers with compassionate souls. They have fun being together working as a group for a common goal, but not one of them would ever say that they should have a pat on the back for what they did. In the six years that my husband and I have been privileged to pastor here, I have never heard anyone ever take credit for the things that have been provided for the Lord's house. In fact it is usually the direct opposite: when we try to point out what they have accomplished, they shy away from any accolades. I believe it is because of that attitude that God continues to bless our church.

King David held a fundraiser. In 1 Chronicles 29 we read David's words as he addresses the assembled tribes of Israel:

Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for theLord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen.

David's fundraiser started the right way. He was doing it for a good cause: to build the temple of the Lord. He not only gave of the wealth of his kingdom but he led by example and gave of his personal wealth as well. Because of his example and because they believed in the cause the people of Israel responded in a great way.

Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Anyone who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

Note that the people 'gave freely and wholeheartedly' to the Lord. God loves a cheerful giver. If we are going to begrudge what we give to the Lord or what we do for Him, we might as well save ourselves the effort because we have robbed ourselves of a blessing. God blesses us all so much every day that we should actively look for ways to bless others for Him. 

We once pastored in a church which had a man who wanted the whole world to see and know what he was giving to the Lord. He wanted the credit. At offering time, he would make a big show of taking out his wallet and pulling out a $20 bill. Then he would put it in his tithing envelope, lick the envelope and place it in the waiting offering plate. He always sat right up front so that he caused the usher to wait while he performed this ritual for all to see. God is not pleased with a giver like that nor is He pleased with their gift.

David made sure that everyone knew that they shouldn't be bragging about what they gave to God since everything they had came from Him in the first place. Even if we gave everything we had into the offering plate, it all belongs to God anyway because He gave it to us to use. 

14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

If we bake a cake for a bake sale, why should we say it was our cake that bought such and such for the church, it since it was God who provided the means for us to buy the ingredients? We should be like David and give the credit to God. He alone deserves the glory and the praise for anything we accomplish for Him. Without Him we are nothing.

God looks at the intent of our heart. He knows if we are doing things for the wrong motives. God loves a pure heart, a heart full of integrity, a humble heart. That is a heart that blesses Him and He in return will bless. 

16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.

The day after David's fundraiser, his son, Solomon, was made king and many sacrifices were made to God. And  22 They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day. They ate and drank 'in the presence of the Lord'. God was with them. God was pleased with what they had done for Him because their motives were pure. Because of that God wanted to be around them. He felt welcomed. 

When we do something begrudgingly God is not going to feel welcomed in our hearts nor is He going to be pleased if we give to be seen. Let our motives be pure and our intents honorable at all times. Let's serve our Father with joy and gladness and unselfishness and let's lead by example so that others will do the same. God bless.

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