Summary: The motivation for building or renovating a church’s building should be to honor God as an act of worship.
BUILDING TOGETHER FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
I have known of young people and some that were not so young that made a choice to go into the ministry. I have seen some that abandoned careers that would have taken them to positions of wealth and power in the business world to be a preacher and pastor to a small congregation in rural America and I have heard people say, "What a waste of talent and potential." I guess that the argument was that this person could have made a lot of money in business and could have paid a lot of taxes and given a lot to charity and helped the poor. Nearly two thousand years ago, a young lady took a jar of expensive perfume and poured it out on a man named Jesus. That perfumed ointment was worth a typical wage earner’s yearly salary and many said, "What a waste, that could have been sold and the money given to the poor." About one thousand years before that, a very famous man, a very powerful man, a king had a desire to build a house for God. King David gathered materials for the job that would be undertaken by his son Solomon. The result was, as all of you know, called Solomon’s Temple. Usually when I think of David I remember the description of him that is given in the Old Testament as "a man after God’s own heart." I think of the Psalms and the depths of worship that are contained in those passages. I see David’s consuming desire to provide a house for God as his consummate act of worship. I see worship in what Mary did when she poured out the perfume on Jesus. and I see worship in the people that sacrifice career and material wealth for a call to the ministry. In a sense, whatever we do as an act of worship will be classified by the world as "such a waste."
When we go through a process in our churches of deciding to build or to fix up the present facility we need to approach them as acts of WORSHIP. In a real sense worship and sacrifice cannot be separated and we have coming up in the life of our church an opportunity to demonstrate to ourselves and to God how much sacrifice we are willing to make. What kind of commitment of prayer, love, service and money will be a sacrificial amount for us? The Old Testament provides examples for us of expressions of worship. One such example of the extent to which people were willing to go is found in the story of David and the preparation for building the Temple.
1 Then King David said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God. 2 With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God--gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble--all of these in large quantities. 3 Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: 4 three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, 5 for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the LORD?" I Chronicles 29:1-5 NIV
The assembly David was addressing were the leaders or elders of Israel. He was telling them that the job was going to be a big job and that their help and experience and example were going to be important. David recognized that the structure that was going to be put up was not for man but for God. It was a great work because it was for God. In our building efforts here as we try to be good stewards and plan for the future, we must first realize that we are doing this for God and not for ourselves. If it is not being done for God, then it really is a waste. If it is being done for God then it is worship. David had already gathered a lot of the materials that would be needed; however, he was not satisfied with just that. He also gave of his personal fortune of gold and silver. We have trouble relating to a talent of gold. Three thousand talents is about 110 tons. That’s 220,000 pounds or over a billion dollars worth of gold at today’s price of gold. The silver he gave would be worth over 40 million dollars today. David, as leader of this nation, was setting an example of sacrifice for them. The question was who was willing to follow?