It is quite common, for people to contribute to the church just because it will help them with their taxes. Sometimes, at the end of the year people will give to the church just to get a receipt, so they can declare contributions in their taxes.
Do not get me wrong, those offerings are great and sometimes they really help churches close the year in the black. My concern is that they are doing it for self-interest. They are doing it because they love themselves. We are learning in this series that stewardship is not about money, it is about love. So, let us take a look at what kind of love.
1 – A LOVE THAT PRAISES GOD
This love should be expressed in worship and praise to God. Here is the text about David’s offering:
“1Chr. 29:10-13 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, O LORD, God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.  Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.  Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.  Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
David, in this text is using his poetic vein, he is putting in words beautiful expressions of praises. He praises God.
- FOR WHO HE IS – Here are the expressions that he uses to define God, “You are our Father, you are Eternal, Great, powerful, glory, majesty, splendor”
- FOR WHAT HE DID – David describes what God did and has done. Here are the expressions that he uses: “Creator, everything comes from him, wealth and honor, He is the ruler, in His hands are strength and power.”
- WITH THANKSGIVING – Finally, David expresses his gratitude: “Now, our God, we give you thanks.” A love that praises, also gives thanks. When we learn everything that God is and does, we should throw our arms and hands up and give Him thanks.
2 – A LOVE THAT GIVES BACK
The second lesson that we learn with David about this kind of love is that love gives back. Here is the next part of the prayer:
1Chr. 29:14-16 “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.  We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope.  O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.
We also learn in this prayer that stewardship is about love and a love that gives back.
A. GENEROUSLY – David says, “who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?” Humanly it would be impossible to do that. David is recognizing that they could not do it by themselves. They were giving beyond their expectations.
B. RECOGNIZING THE ORIGIN – And then, David realizes that everything that they have belongs to God, and what they are giving is from God Himself, it came from His hands.“Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” They were just reciprocating, what God did for them. God gave to them, so they would be able to give back to God.
My friend, we should give, not to obtain some advantage in our finances. We give because we recognize who God is, what He has done in our lives. The giving is an expression of our gratitude. He has given us so much, and this is why we should give generously.
Have a blessed week,