Willingly

I am reading today in 1 Chronicles 28-29. King David had had it in his heart to build the house of God, but God chose his son Solomon to do it, instead. So, David gathered together an assembly of the people and told them so. And, then he told them to observe and to seek out all the commandments of the Lord their God, that they might inherit the promises of the Lord.

And, then he instructed his son, Solomon, to know God, and to serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind. Then, he said, “If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.” (1 Chron. 28:9-10).

Then, he gave his son the plan for how to build the house of the Lord, and then he told him to be strong and courageous and to do the work of the Lord. Then, he told the assembly that Solomon was going to need help building the house of God. And, he shared with the assembly how God was leading him to provide for God’s house. And, then the people responded by giving freewill offerings to God for the building of his house.

1 Chronicles 29:9 ESV

Then the people rejoiced because they had given willingly, for with a whole heart they had offered freely to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

This is Old Testament here, and yet the New Testament parallels this, as well. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was chosen to build God’s house under the New Covenant Relationship God was to have with his people. Only this is not a building built with human hands or out of brick and mortar. This building is built with living stones (with human lives who believe on Jesus), with Jesus Christ as their chief cornerstone and as their foundation.

And, the way this building is built is with human lives committed to Jesus Christ, trusting in him to be their Lord and Savior, who are surrendered to leaving their lives of sin behind them to following our Lord in obedience to him and to his commands (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).

For, this is a spiritual house. And, we, the people of God, are that house. And, the way our lives are built (developed to maturity) is through serving our Lord with our whole hearts and with willing minds. And, it is through following God’s plan for our lives, too, in doing all he tells us to do.

1 Chronicles 29:14-16 ESV

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.”

Yet, our service to our Lord is not for our own glory and praise, but for the glory and praise of God. For, we cannot live lives which are pleasing to God apart from God. It is only by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, that any of us can be saved from our sins and be given new lives in Christ to be lived to him and to his righteousness. And, it is only as we are empowered of the Holy Spirit of God that we can live holy and godly lives.

So, we give God all the praise and all the glory for what he has done in our lives in delivering us out of our slavery to sin, and for what he is doing in our lives in growing us to maturity in him, and for all that he is doing through our lives toward the building of his temple (his church) in all of our walks of faith with the Lord. For, all that we are, and all that we have that is good comes from God and is for God and for his glory and praise. Amen!

1 Chronicles 29:17-18 ESV

“I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you.”

Amen! For, this is not just Old Testament. This is New Testament, too. For, whether we are reading in the OT or the NT, God’s divine character and will for his people, his followers, is the same. We are to give glory to God not only by our professions of faith in Jesus Christ (in God), but also by our lifestyles, and by our obedience to our Lord.

For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness – all in the power and strength of God’s Spirit now living within those of us who believe on Jesus Christ.

For, whether we are reading in the OT or the NT, God’s message to the people is the same, too, in particular his message to those who profess his name.

We must repent of our sins. And, this means to forsake our former lives of living for sin and self to follow (obey) Jesus Christ with our lives. We must die with Christ to our old fleshly lives, and we must live with Christ to his righteousness. We must no longer be the Lord (boss) of our own lives, but our lives are to be lived in surrender to God/Jesus Christ, and to his divine will and purpose for our lives (Lu. 9:23-25; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 2:20).

So, we need to allow the Lord to test our hearts, to see whether or not this is true of our lives, and whether or not our purposes and thoughts are truly of him and for him, and for his praise, honor and glory. Are our hearts and minds directed towards the Lord? Or are they directed towards ourselves and what we want, and towards what our flesh desires? Is our goal to give God glory and honor by our lives, or is it for our own praise and glory?

Are we serving the Lord in our own power and strength, doing things the way we want, hoping God will be pleased with our sacrifices? Or, are we surrendered to the Lord, committed to his ways, empowered of the Spirit of God, and following his lead? Do we want the glory for ourselves, or for God? Who is being promoted? Our flesh? Or the Spirit of God?

We need to allow the Spirit of God to examine our hearts in this, and we need to honestly respond to these questions, and then allow God’s Spirit to change our hearts if they are not focused towards God but towards ourselves (our flesh). And, then we must surrender our all to the Lord and truly make him Lord of our lives, and then follow his lead in doing what he says the way in which he says we must do it. And, then all the praise for everything that is accomplished in and through our lives goes to God.

It’s All You

Lyrics by Tosin Iyawo Ogaga
Music by Sue Love @ Original Works

May 31, 2019

You are the reason I want to dance.
You are the reason I want to sing.
You are the reason, expressing myself,
I serve You in all the ways You lead me.

You are the reason my heart gives You praise.
You are the reason that I am alive.
I bring out Your best moves
Just so I do embrace You;
Sing out loud as You lead just to please You.

Let myself follow You. I don’t care who watches me.
All I want to do is to make you smile.

Let every fiber of me bring You praise.
Your love has lifted my feet to dance.
Your faithfulness leaves me singing for joy.
You, Jesus, are the reason, it’s all You.

Your grace gives me life.

*full lyrics used by permission of the lyricist

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

2 thoughts on “Willingly

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