Summary: A stewardship message based on David’s prayer of thanksgiving after he and the leaders of the 12 tribes gave so generously to the temple project (1 Chronicles 29)
Share your Fries
CHCC: April 20, 2008
I want to start by sharing a little story, but let me ask for a show of hands first. How many of you like French Fries? Okay, this ought to be a good story to tell…. And just for this story can we please suspend all thoughts about things like cholesterol, trans-fatty acids, carbohydrates, calories, and how bad fried foods are for you. Just for the moment, let’s admit how good hot French fries taste, especially with generous portions of catsup.
One day a dad was running errands with his little 5-year-old son. They were having such a great day that dad wanted to do something special before they went home, so he asked, “Son, let’s go get a snack. What kind of treat would you like?”
Well, the little guy got all excited and shouted, “I want McDonald French Fries!” and his dad grinned and said, “You want it, you got it!” (Isn’t it great when kids are at the age when it’s that easy to make them happy?)
The little boy was so excited he didn’t even want to play on the toys while Dad ordered. When he heard Dad “super-size” the fries, Jimmy started jumping up and down.
The boy had a big grin on his face when he sat down at the table and pulled his fries out of the bag. Dad brought the catsup over and sat down next to his son. He felt good to see his son so happy over something so simple. He decided to join in the fun and reached over to get a couple of fries for himself.
To his surprise, the boy quickly put his arms around the fries like he was building a fort. He pulled the fries toward himself and said, “No! These are MINE!” Dad sat there in a state of shock. No one was smiling any more. Dad sat in silence while his son sullenly ate the fries.
What was going through the dad’s mind? Here are a few things he COULD have been thinking:
* “Hey, I’m the one who gave my boy those fries in the first place. … And besides that, I even “super-sized” the order!
* Not only that, but I’m over 6 feet tall. If I really wanted the fries, his skinny little arms couldn’t stop me. Doesn’t he know that if I wanted to, I could take all his fries. And if I wanted to, I could go order him so many fries that he could never possibly eat them all!
* After all, I don’t NEED any of his fries. I can afford to buy my own any time I want to. What I want is for my son to let me have a share in His little-boy JOY.
* And most of all, I want to see that my boy is willing to share the blessings I give him. (adapted from “Whose Fries are These?” by Rick Gillespie-Mobley sermoncentral.com)
You’ve probably figured out why I told this story. In fact, I hope whenever you eat Fries after this, you’ll remember that story. God has given ALL of us some French Fries. He’s given some of us small orders, others medium, or large, or even “super-sized” bags of fries.
* And like the Dad in the story, God wants to sit at the table with us and join in the fun.
* He hopes we will understand that all the Fries came from Him.
* He wants us to know that He takes JOY in giving to us.
* He hopes to see us take JOY in giving back what He gives to us.
Today we’re looking at a time when the children of Israel gave back to the God who had blessed them. It was the end of King David’s rule in Israel. His son, Solomon, was about to be crowned as the new King. David knew that God had chosen Solomon to build God’s Temple.
David had done all he could to finance the project his son would complete. David was not allowed to build the temple himself because he was a man of war, but Solomon, who reigned during a time of peace in the kingdom, was given the privilege to build a temple to God’s glory.
In preparation for this project David had given, from his own treasury tons of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, onyx, turquoise and other precious stones, marble and other building stones. Furthermore, at the time of his prayer which we will study today, David added to what he had already given another 260 tons of gold, and 190 tons of silver.
The leaders of the tribes of Israel had also given 190 tons of gold and 185 pounds of gold coins, as well as 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron, as well as precious stones. Now, that, my friends, is a sizable offering! The text tells us that the people rejoiced in the willing response of their leaders who gave so freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. Some people see offering time at church as a real downer, but David and the leaders of the Jewish nation caught a fresh vision of what a joy and delight it would be to build a temple to the Glory of God. And their giving was as generous as it was joyous.