1 Chronicles 29:10-20
Children are amazed and enthralled by magicians because they are unaware of the true source of the magic. When a magician appears to pull a quarter from behind a child’s ear, the child does not realize the quarter was in the magician’s hand all along. Simple card tricks surprise children because they cannot see the extra cards hiding underneath the magician’s sleeves. As followers of Christ, like children, we can be guilty of forgetting or denying the source of all our resources. God is the source, the owner, and the provider of everything we have. He is the empowerment for anything from which we benefit. We are merely receivers and dispensers of what He has provided. Therefore, we should be generous in response and our submission to the goodness of God.
In 1 Chronicles, David and the Israelites brought generous offerings for the temple, which served as the house of God. They acknowledged they could only give back to God what He gave them. In the New Testament, the house of God is the church. God’s house is intended to provide spiritual ministry, which is the proclamation and application of God’s Word. The church also offers social ministry where people’s needs are met. God’s house is also the place for the expansion of ministry impact. The church’s goal is to invade the culture with God’s Kingdom agenda. God’s people are meant to support God’s house to provide for these ministries and accomplish these goals. If we withhold from God and forego generosity, we will not have a strong church capable of doing what God has called it to do.
A failure to be generous is a failure to recognize God as our source. This failure reveals that we think we can be our own source and put ourselves in place of God. When we give, we respond rightly to a generous God. We cannot merely agree in our minds and say with our mouths that we owe God everything; we must demonstrate it with our lives. We show our gratitude to God in our worship, praise, prayer and giving. Our giving strengthens the church in critical ways. Once we acknowledge God as our source, we can appreciate how worthy He is of our praise. Then we can realize what the church is supposed to do and become who we have been created to be.
- Have you ever been the source for someone or something and been overlooked or not acknowledged for your provision? Can you think of someone else in your life who may have experienced a lack of acknowledgment for what they have provided?
- Are children naturally generous or selfish? How could you teach a child to be generous?
Let’s Get Personal
- What has been your heart toward generosity in the past? What motivates you to be generous now, or what prevents you from being generous?
- In what areas are you denying God as the source? How is this failure affecting you and your spiritual walk with God?
- How have you witnessed the impact generous giving makes in expanding ministry? How has generous giving impacted you and your family personally?
Take the Next Step
- How can you participate with your church in giving, prayer, and worship starting today? How can you help your church begin transforming the culture?
- In what areas of your life do you need to recognize God as the source? How can you demonstrate your gratitude for His kindness to you? Pray with an accountability partner this week to grow your heart for gratitude and generosity.
- Want to go deeper? Take time to look at the following passages: 1 Chronicles 29:10-20; Luke 6:38; Psalm 50:7-15; Deuteronomy 8:11-18; Proverbs 3:9-10; Psalm 24:1; Revelation 4:11; James 4:17; 1 Timothy 6:17; Deuteronomy 14:22-23; Malachi 3:8-12; 1 Timothy 3:15; Proverbs 11:24-28; Philippians 4:19; Psalm 89:11; 1 Corinthians 4:7.
Renew Your Mind
“Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:12-13