Giving; March 2, 2022

1 Chronicles 29:14 “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.”

As was common for kings of the era, David was fabulously wealthy, but he managed to maintain the perspective that it all came from God and thus belonged to Him. Here, he is rejoicing that he is able to give so much toward the building of the temple. It really does feel good to be able to give. Paul quoted Jesus as having said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) Our flesh doesn’t want to acknowledge that, but it is certainly true. However, until we get a real understanding that everything is based on grace, we have trouble believing it. There is immensely more satisfaction in being able to bless others out of the fruit of your own labors than in “sucking on the government teat,” as the saying goes. That definitely applies to giving back to God as well. It’s amazing to me how many people think they are being “noble” in putting $10 (or the equivalent of ¥1000) in the plate at church whenever they show up, when the Bible tells us a tenth of all our income is an appropriate sign that we know where it all comes from. This isn’t compulsion. That would be a tax, not an offering. As Paul also noted, “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) That applies whether we are giving to God or to our neighbor. Like David, we should rejoice that God has so provided as to enable us to give.

I was taught to tithe as a small child. My allowance was 100 yen a week, back when it was 360 yen to the dollar, and I was taught to give 10 yen every Sunday. Also, at Christmas nothing was “from Santa,” but rather from specific people, and we opened gifts one at a time. I still remember getting a bigger thrill out of watching the mem­bers of my family open the gifts I had chosen for them, than in opening what had been given to me. As a young adult I got away from tithing, but around the time our second daughter was born we felt strongly we were to get back to tithing, even though we were actually quite poor, and God responded by multiplying our finances. Now, though we still don’t have enough income to have to pay taxes on it, it gives us great satisfaction to be able to give 15%. God is indeed our supply, and there is great joy and blessing both in giving back to Him and in giving to others.

Father, thank You for Your grace on so many levels. Thank You not only for meeting our needs, but also for teaching us the joy of giving. I do ask for wisdom in giving, that everything You place in my hands may accomplish what You intend for it, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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