1 Chronicles 21:24
But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
I have always heard this passage use in the context of a fundraiser. Where the preacher urges the congregation or his audience to reach deep within their pockets and give an extravagant financial gift.
I love the simplicity and the power of this challenge, but too often my desire to give disappear because the challenge is coming from, well, another TV evangelist, who always seem to want my money. My somewhat skeptical feeling is somehow true – because half or none of what I am being asked to give, really goes toward that cause.
I think, in many ways, we have lost the act of motivating others to make greater impact with their substance and the act of inspiring them at the same time because of so much abuse from the pulpit. People are longing to be moved, recruited for a cause greater then themselves. Unfortunately,
We have allowed greed to steal the show and dishonesty to ruin a beautiful thing. We need to allow people to see the importance of our causes, and inspire them to see the impact they can make – than back off and allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives.
Too often, the only goal is to simply get people to give and support our causes. To make that happen, many turnto ungodly and unscriptural means. This is exactly what turns this beautiful idea into a scheme that it has become.
The first thing we need to realize is that:
There is nothing you can give to God except a repentant, broken and contrite heart that can appease his wrath. In many cases His mercy alone appeals, appeases and does a better job.
The second thing we need to realize is that:
This is not a formula to get favors from God, it is simply one man’s love for His God – an occasion that made one man realize how overwhelmingly gracious God is. No one walks away unaffected by that knowledge – it makes them want to love more.
The third thing we need to realize is that:
One man’ s disobedience brought an unnecessary wrath upon innocent people. We realize that God is Holy and He desires obedience more than he does sacrifice.
Finally, we need to realize that this “I will not offer anything to God that costs me nothing” should never be reduced to financial gifts and offerings.
I would love to hear this challenge in the following context:
When I decide to spend time in fasting and praying
When I decide to give myself away to a cause
When I sign up to serve my church and community
When I serve my family
When I set aside my tithe and offering every week not just on special occasions or when the one anointed to Tell me I will have a hundred fold return comes to town.
When I kneel in prayer for the missionaries I support and plan how I should support them.
How about making it a new year’s resolution? Make it a lifestyle or a goal of life:
To love more than is required
To go the extra mile
To surrender unconditionally
To empty oneself of whatever gain – all trophies, all degrees, successes, net-worth – lay them all down at his feet. Draw inspiration from this rich example:
And when he was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, as he lay at table, there came a woman having an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly; and having broken the alabaster flask, she poured it out upon his head. (Mark 14:3 DARBY)
Lord take it all – everything, my world, my life – because I love you more. May 2015 finally be the year to offer God everything.