Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the Lord?” (1 Chronicles 29:5)
Picture yourself among the crowd that King David has called together to announce his plans to build a temple for God. To get the ball rolling, David announces that he is personally contributing nearly $5 Billion dollars’ worth of gold and silver to the cause (in today’s currency). He then invites the assembly to follow his example.
But, look closely at what David first asks of them. He wants only those who are willing to join in this offering. A willing contributor was one whose motivation came from within, as opposed to being pressured by outside forces. David invites such people to join him voluntarily – not under compulsion…for David understood what Paul would later teach…
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Cheerful is literally a funny word, for the Greek word Paul used here is “hilaros” (we get hilarious from it) and carried the idea of being favorably disposed toward something because the giver is “satisfied.” It describes someone who is cheerfully ready to act because they are “already persuaded.” Persuaded that God is enough; persuaded God will provide for their own needs, etc.
But, notice that David’s first directive to the assembly was not to bring their gold and silver to God. No, David wants for those who were willing to first consecrate themselves. We often think of consecrate in terms of being holy and set apart; and rightfully so. However, the word used here means “given in full.” David wanted the person to be fully given to the Lord before their possessions were given.
How about you? When you give, is it willingly and cheerfully? Or under compulsion? Are you fully given to the Lord? Is there any part of yourself that you’re holding back? If so – why? –Dave
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