1 Chronicles 29:13:Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
I sat with my boys and we talked about some things that we are all so thankful for. The three of us listed some things, all very important, but every single one revolved around something we were given. As I read the verse above, I wanted to know the context of it (always read scripture in context!...I quoted it below so go ahead and read it yourself). David and the leaders of the tribes of Israel had just GIVEN to the Lord for the furthering of His ministry. Say what?!??! They were thanking God, not only because of what He had given to them, but because of their ability to GIVE! So, I am going to jump to an assumption - If they had not given, they would not have been thankful.
Sit and think about things you are thankful for. Why are you thankful for those things? Is it all because you were given something? What if you haven't been given much? Maybe you had things taken from you....how can you be thankful for that? Thankfulness in these verses came from a heart of "willingly contributing." They were ecstatic to GIVE. I must admit....because of my son being "taken" from me, I am having a hard time being thankful for the hurt I feel. But giving to others by ministering through Jacob's life has made my soul dance with joy! The feeling of giving to others is unmatchable....it is from the Lord.....it is a gift to give. I have never felt regret after giving....in contrary, the feeling that giving results in encourages me to do it more often. But after reading these verses, I realized that I relish the feelings giving brings but I do not turn to the Lord and praise Him for it....I just eat it up and keep it to myself....honestly, I have never uttered anything comparable to what David praised after he and his people gave. I need to do that...I want to do that.
Giving brings about thankfulness....if you do struggle to be thankful, give....give freely because everything comes from the Lord. Take your eyes off of you, give to others, and then praise God for his goodness, dance for joy and "praise His glorious name!"
Christmas is right around the corner, and we all get in the spirit to give then, but this giving 1 Chronicles is talking about is a lifestyle thing, a spiritual thing, a God thing.....not just a season. We should have a heart of thankfulness all the time which means we should be giving all the time. So many of you have given to us with time, talents, thoughts, prayers, finances, encouragement....I have thanked God for that, but have you thanked Him for doing that for us? Does it make your heart sing for joy that you have touched our lives? Be touched. Sing. Praise His name for the ability to contribute to the Fahmer's and then give again and again and again to more and more families as a result of your thankfulness to be able to give.
Tomorrow, when I sit with my boys, on our Nation's Thanksgiving day, I will be sure to rephrase my question. Instead of asking what we have that we are thankful for, I will ask what they have willingly contributed that brings about thankfulness in their heart. And then I pray we can pray the words of David.
1 Chronicles 29:1-18 King David then said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and immature; the work, however, is great, for this castle is not intended for man, but for the LORD God. For this reason I have stored up for the house of my God, as far as I was able, gold for what will be made of gold, silver for what will be made of silver, bronze for what will be made of bronze, iron for what will be made of iron, wood for what will be made of wood, onyx stones and settings for them, carnelian and mosaic stones, every other kind of precious stone, and great quantities of marble. But now, because of the delight I take in the house of my God, in addition to all that I stored up for the holy house, I give to the house of my God my personal fortune in gold and silver: three thousand talents of Ophir gold, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the rooms, for the various utensils to be made of gold and silver, and for every work that is to be done by artisans. Now, who else is willing to contribute generously this day to the LORD?" Then the heads of the families, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the overseers of the king's affairs came forward willingly and contributed for the service of the house of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze, and one hundred thousand talents of iron. Those who had precious stones gave them into the keeping of Jehiel the Gershonite for the treasury of the house of the LORD. The people rejoiced over these free-will offerings, which had been contributed to the LORD wholeheartedly. King David also rejoiced greatly. Then David blessed the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, praying in these words: "Blessed may you be, O LORD, God of Israel our father, from eternity to eternity. Yours, O LORD, are grandeur and power, majesty, splendor, and glory. For all in heaven and on earth is yours; yours, O LORD, is the sovereignty; you are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor are from you, and you have dominion over all. In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all. Therefore, our God, we give you thanks and we praise the majesty of your name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should have the means to contribute so freely? For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you. For we stand before you as aliens: we are only your guests, like all our fathers. Our life on earth is like a shadow that does not abide. O LORD our God, all this wealth that we have brought together to build you a house in honor of your holy name comes from you and is entirely yours. I know, O my God, that you put hearts to the test and that you take pleasure in uprightness. With a sincere heart I have willingly given all these things, and now with joy I have seen your people here present also giving to you generously. O LORD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep such thoughts in the hearts and minds of your people forever, and direct their hearts toward you."