Scripture Reading: 1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30 / 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 / Psalm 93:1-5
Years ago, criminal wanted posters were placed in Post Offices and public gathering places. They usually gave the name, description, crime and amount of reward for a criminal’s capture. Some would even have in bold letters, “Wanted: Dead or Alive”. That phrase meant that a reward would be given if the criminal were delivered in a body bag or handcuffs.
The “Wanted: Dead or Alive” principle is often reflective of our society that is consumed with results. Motivations and methods are minimized and often compromised for the sake of success. Prideful spirits and deceptive practices are acceptable and even praised as long as there are results. God has a different and higher standard for our lives.
David was making preparations to build The Temple and asking the people to give willingly to the project. Offerings were not to be given begrudgingly or by manipulation. Motivations were to flow out of a willing and pure heart. Methods were to be direct and unpressured. David understood that God was not concerned with acquiring man’s riches but touching man’s heart.
“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent.” (1 Chronicles 29:17) God is not impressed with the amount we give but with the attitude of our giving. If we give of our finances, talents or time for our own vain glory, there will not be a heavenly reward.
David personally gave 110 tons of gold and 260 tons of silver! The Israelites also gave over 190 tons of gold and 375 tons of silver! That is impressive…but God did not see the amount of gold and silver but saw the intent, motive and desires of their hearts. Giving starts in the heart, not in the head.
We certainly cannot ignore wisdom and give foolishly yet God doesn’t ask us to give what we don’t have but what He has given us. David declared, “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.” (29:14) May our giving reflect a thankful heart and God’s bountiful provisions in our lives!