A Call for Consecrated Service
1 Chronicles 29:1-9.
“With bowed heads and open hearts we may offer ourselves. We can do no more and we dare do no less.”
It is a great privilege to be able to do anything for God. There is not an angel in Heaven who won’t show glory in every opportunity of service. Why should not His angels on earth do the same? David had an earnest desire to build a house unto the Lord, but this was not permitted him because he had been a “man of war”. War and worship never go easily together. Although not allowed to build the temple, he made great preparations for it.
He gathered gold to the value of $547,500,000, and silver to the amount of $342,000,000. Why should our interest in God’s work be lessened because we are not permitted to do that piece of work, which we so much desire to do? Some slacken their efforts for Christ’s cause at home because their way has not been opened for going abroad. There are others who, if not asked to do some great thing, they will do nothing. Let us take note of what it takes to honor the call for consecrated service.
- The Work
“The work is great, for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God”. It is a great work to prepare a palace for the King of Heaven. David was anxious that God should have a house worthy of His Name and the Lord Himself greatly desired this. But let us not forget that God was as great when in the bush as when in the temple. The glory does not consist in the character of the house so much as in the character of the occupant.
“Don’t you know that your body is the temple, the palace of God and that God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). Does not He desire that you should be a house worthy of His great and glorious Name? This is a “great work.” It is the work of the Spirit of God, in union with our spirits. You are not your own. Like this palace, you are “not for man, but for the Lord God.”
- The Example
David does not ask others to consecrate their service unto the Lord without having first set a worthy example before them. He says, “I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God”. And again, “I have set my affection to the house of my God. Moreover, I have of mine own… gold and silver given to the house of my God”. David’s private gift amounted in gold to $16,420,000, and in silver to $2,394,000. His example was one of love and liberality. He sought first the Kingdom of God. How does this example compare with that of David’s greater Lord? Did He not prepare with all His might for the new spiritual House of God? Did He not set His affection upon this great work? Did He not give of His own untold wealth of grace and suffering? Has He not left us an example that we should follow His steps?
- The Call
“Who then offers willingly to fill his hand this day unto the Lord?” This was a call for full hands and willing hearts. There are multitudes, which are ever ready to fill their hands with service for their own personal profit, but how few are willing to have full hands for God. Full hands imply whole-heartedness. Half empty hands mean half empty lives. Who, then, is willing? It is a call for voluntary self-sacrificing service. It is also an urgent call—”This day.” The King’s business requires hustle. What you do, do quickly, for the day of service and holy privilege will soon be past.
- The Response
“Then the chief of the fathers and the captains with the rulers, offered willingly”. “With a perfect heart, they offered willingly to the Lord”. When the heart is perfectly yielded to the claims of God’s work, the hands will soon be filled with voluntary offerings. The “perfect heart” is needed to make the service acceptable unto the Lord. “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.” The gifts were different in value, but all were needed and acceptable “Gold, silver, iron and precious stones” (1 Corinthians 3:12). Iron may have been the best that some had, but they gave it. There would never be any lack in the house of God if those connected with it had this “perfect heart” toward the Lord. The outstanding characteristic of the great majority of professing Christians is that they “mind earthly things too much”.
- The Result
“Then the people rejoiced and David the king also rejoiced with great joy”. They rejoiced because the offerings were given “willingly, with perfect heart.” Joy is the fruit of the Spirit and is the outcome of the heart made perfect toward the Lord and His cause on the earth. The happiest Christians are those, who willingly fill their hands for God. Joy in the Lord is power, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength “(Nehemiah 8:10).The Kingdom of God is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).