Monday, February 21, 2005

The Joy of Giving

“This is not just a place for people to meet each other, but a house for GOD to meet us….because my heart is in this….I’m turning over my personal fortune of gold and silver for making this place of worship for my GOD…And now, how about you? Who among you is ready and willing to join me in the giving?...and the people were full of celebration—all that giving! And all given willingly, freely!...David Blessed GOD in full view of the entire congregation:

“Blessed are you, GOD of Israel, our father
from of old and forever.
To you, O GOD, belong the greatness and the might,
the glory, the victory, the majesty, the splendor;
Yes! Everything in heaven, everything on earth;
the Kingdom all yours! You’ve raised yourself high over all.
Riches and glory come from you,
You’re ruler over all;
You hold strength and power in the palm of your hand
to build up and strengthen all.
And here we are, O God, our God, giving thanks to you,
praising your splendid Name.

“But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. GOD, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface—you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O GOD, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.”

--Selections from 1 Chronicles 29 (The Message)--

Is this our attitude toward building the Kingdom of God? I’m challenged and convicted…anyone else?

Monday, February 07, 2005

Required Suggestions??

I was looking for sermons online today, and I came across something that has made me wonder for awhile now...Someone tell me why we use the term "suggested donation" which denotes a choice, when you really don't have a choice, and what is meant is "you must buy"? If we're going to charge people for stuff, why can't we just be honest say, "here's the price you must pay"? It just doesn't make sense to me...