Last month, this column dealt with the moving account of King David's celebration over the ingathering for the building of the Temple (I Chronicles 29:9-19). The article ended with a question as to the source of the overflowing joy that dominated the passage. The answer comes from verses 14 and 17:
Of thine own have we given thee.
. . . in the uprightness of mine heart
I have willingly offered all these things.
David had just witnessed God's people demonstrate that they understood a foundational principle of all joyful giving—that what they were giving, and thus, what they had, was not theirs, but God's. This understanding had resulted in joyous and abundant giving, the type of giving we are called to even today (II Corinthians 8:7-12).
As we wrestle with how God would have us manage "our" resources toward becoming joyful givers, it seems to me that we must examine through God's eyes what we are doing with what we have. As we do this, I believe it will become evident why He has entrusted us with all we have . . . to meet not only our needs, but those of others even when, by all appearances, we don't have enough to care for ourselves, let alone to give more (II Corinthians 8:2-6). As we set our minds on things above, He sets us free to worship Him through joyful giving without covetousness.
By so doing, we too will have the upright and undivided heart with which David worshipped, and we will enjoy the blessing of seeing God's word made real to men, women, boys, and girls as "our" dollars follow His direction. And as a bonus we will experience freedom from the bondage that comes from trying to hold onto something that isn't ours.
David concludes with a prayer for us in verse 18 of I Chronicles 29:
"O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare [establish] their heart unto thee. . . ."