***(The Audio File is here)***
Monday, June 30, 2014
Revival and Reformation Pt 12: 1 Chronicles 29
***(The Audio File is here)***
Revival and Reformation Pt 12
1 Chronicles 29
Moving Revival and Reformation Forward
O Lord God, to whom all things belong, and from whom all good things come, in whom there is no variation or shadow of change; by the enriching presence and power of your Spirit, open our eyes to the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives, make known your heavenly glory; that your Son may be honored. Amen.
I hate talking about money. I grew up fairly poor and, for example, am used to wearing everything until it falls off in threads and patches. And I especially dislike talking about money and church. For one reason I can’t stand the accusation (that is sometimes true of certain ministries) that all those people talk about is money. I don’t want that ever said about me or us. On the other hand, the two items (church and money), when connected, give me the willies. Every time the deacons and elders get together and review the budget I want the floor to open up and swallow me. So if I come across as antsy during the sermon, those are some reasons why.
Last week….one sermon, two parts: Moving Revival and Reformation forward. Keep the Faith (chapter 28) and Contribute Freely (chapter 29).
A. Contribute Freely
1. David leads the way: 29.2, 3 (2xs), 17. David is out front leading the way. Generous and willing. A good leader leads from the front (Civil War movies vs some of my military experiences). The Good Shepherd also leads from the front (Hebrews 12.2-3).
2. 29.5c, 9, 17-19. “Israel after the exile was faced with the same sort of challenge to commitment as the Israel of the early monarchy had been. And it is still to be met in the same practical way: the giving of oneself, expressed by the giving of one’s wealth” (Michael Wilcox, “The Message of Chronicles,”113). 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, “…their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity… they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us… For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich… The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” And David prays for their future generosity (29.17-18).
3. 29.10-16. It’s God Kingdom, God’s Church, God’s wealth, and God’s lavish gift (10b-13); therefore we’re able to give joyfully and lavishly because God has given to us (14b and 16b). God gives lavishly first so that we can give in the same lavish way!
4. Feasting and Festival again (21-22a).
5. Pleasant Conclusion to 1 Chronicles (22b-30). Everything is in place and Good order looks to be ensuing. Revival and Reformation is being moved forward to the next generation!
Bearing – For those coming out of exile, drawing near to God in the gracious way he has opened should result in an unstingy, ungrudging, unsparing response. The same to us – now – especially after God’s costly, generous gift of his Son: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8.9).
And pulling these two chapters together we see that the way of moving revival and reformation forward is by keeping the faith and contributing freely.
O Lord our God – the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David – the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ – keep forever such purposes and thoughts as we have learned here in our hearts and perpetually direct our hearts toward you; for yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. Amen.