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All That He Has
by General Deborah Green
I AM CONTINUALLY making the claim, and I believe it, that according to the way of the Lord, that the time for tithes-paying as was set forth in the Old Testament has passed away with the order being changed in the New Testament dispensation. Now when most people hear that, they are greatly excited, not because they are right with God, but because they are wrong with God! That is, they are greedily thinking how they may keep what they have for themselves and not have to give the obligatory “ten percent” to the Lord any more, as most conventional churches have taught them is the requirement. But while they are jubilant in the selfishness of their greed, I go on to explain that in this time, the Lord requires ALL THAT WE HAVE, ALL THAT WE ARE, ALL THAT WE WILL BE, TO BE GIVEN TO HIM.
Now, Jesus, being the firstborn of many brothers, was our example, and He gave His all for the will of God. He gave His all that He could manifest the complete sacrifice, and in order for the temple to be built not made with hands, He sacrificed His body to that cause. In looking at the pattern, there is no way that an honest follower, that is a disciple of the Lord, can content him- or her-self with a mere ten percent and abide satisfied. Because the call of the Lord is the call to ALL, and as we give that, we will find that He becomes the all-in-all to us. We do not find contentment in giving only a pittance when the Master has given all, but we find great joy, everlasting joy in following His example and giving everything for the cause of Christ.
I thought it interesting to note that King David in the twenty-ninth chapter of I Chronicles gave us a beautiful example of dedication to the Lord, although he was back before Christ. Yet, He gave a preview of the way of the Lord. Reading from the Living Bible translation:
“And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of God, I am giving all of my own private treasures to aid in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected. These personal contributions consist of $85,000,000 worth of gold from Ophir and $20,000,000 worth of purest silver to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings. This will be used for the articles made of gold and silver and for the artistic decorations. Now then, who will follow my example? Who will give himself and all that he has to the LORD?” I Chronicles 29:3-5.
In looking at the challenge that King David made to the people, he set the example of abandonment to the Lord, of completely giving what he had for the building of the Lord’s temple. That is what God desires of His people now, is that we would give ALL THAT WE HAVE to the building of the Lord’s temple. Now the temple does not mean some literal “church expansion program of some power hungry pastor”, but that temple is the Body of Christ universally. God desires that we as leaders would give ALL THAT WE HAVE for the building up of that and also that we would give ALL THAT WE HAVE for the edification of His people that they could become more well pleasing to God. Our example needs to be one of complete abandonment and surrender to the will of God as the most important thing.
As we read on in the same chapter we find that God’s people responded favorably to the example given and they too gave of themselves in abandonment to the cause at hand. Then King David expresses this beautifully as he gives a prayer of thanksgiving unto God after the response of the people through “the clan leaders, the heads of the tribes, the army officers, and the administrative officers of the king,” as these leaders wholeheartedly responded to King David’s challenge. In his prayer of thanksgiving unto God, King David says,
“Yours is the mighty power and glory and victory and majesty. Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honor come from you alone, and you are the Ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength. O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be permitted to give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we only give to you what is yours already!” I Chronicles 29:11-14.
King David is expressing in his prayer of thanksgiving a very important eternal truth that applies to all of our lives today, that everything that we have has come from God and that we are only giving (when we do give) what belongs to God already.
This principle put forth so clearly in the Living Bible translation shows us that we are meant to return to God what belongs to God and that as we give the glory (e.g., our riches, treasure, time, talents) back to God, that God’s glory remains and increases in our midst. As King David was conducting this time of dedication to the Lord, there was great joy amongst the people because God was lighting upon their sacrifice and it was acceptable to Him.
If we want to know the joy of the Lord then we have to be willing to give the sacrifice that is acceptable to Him and do so in abandonment and willingness of heart. Notice that King David asks the question, “who are we that we are permitted to give to you what is yours already?” So evidently there is an attitude of humility before the Lord which makes the sacrifice acceptable to the Lord. Truthfully the Lord has at times told me to refuse offerings of certain people because they were given in an attitude of resentment and begrudging towards the Lord. Such offerings are a stench unto the Lord because they are not given willingly and fully, but grudgingly, and such an attitude is abomination to the Lord. God fully instructs us in His Word to serve Him with gladness and that means that we are to give unto the Lord with gladness likewise.
The people all were joyful as they had given of their substance out of a heart of willingness and gladness towards the Lord, which is something we need to consider, and that is, are we giving with gladness and willingness towards the Lord? If we are, then we will experience His joy, but if we are not then we will feel the burden of our own animosity and negativity towards God. These foul spirits which are indeed troubling to the believer have their roots in an evil heart of unbelief, because of mistrust of the Lord’s ability to replenish what has been given. But if we read in verse twenty-eight of the same chapter, we find that the Word of God says of King David, “He died at an old age, wealthy and honored, and his son Solomon reigned in his place.” So we see that he died wealthy, not in poverty because he had given his all to God, but obviously the Lord had replaced the wealth that he had given to Him. So it is only too evident that the Lord is able to replace whatsoever it is that we give willingly unto Him.
Therefore let’s rejoice for the privilege to give our all unto the Lord and to give out of a willing heart and mind, knowing that all that we have ultimately belongs to the Lord and it is indeed a privilege for us to offer again unto Him that which He has entrusted to us. For when we give unto God in the attitude of gratitude, we will live in His presence and experience His joy in our lives.
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