Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Living life Open-Handed

Is this how you live your life?

Or is this?

I only have one day left in my study by Beth Moore entitled, "A Heart Like His" focusing on the life of David. Today we find David concluding his address before the officials and leaders of the nation of Israel. His son Solomon is now King and the days of David on this earth are growing short. If you missed part one of his address, please see yesterdays post.

David has set all things in order for his son to take the throne and the leadership of the people of God. It was God who chose Solomon and He fully equipped him for this role. The only thing he lacked was age and experience. David admonished the leadership to follow and support his young son. And then he does what a well seasoned leader does, he led by example.

David has spent the last several years gathering everything that would be needed to build the temple of God. God had not allowed David to build it himself because "he was a warrior and had shed blood", but he prepared Solomon for the task. Now David stood before the people and said,
"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: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, 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 ?" 1 Chronicles 29:3-5
David had given his entire life in service and devotion to the Lord. Throughout his life he gave of his time, talent and treasure. And in a final act of leadership and sacrifice he gave his personal treasure back to the Lord.

In response to David's sacrificial act of worship before the Lord, the people joined in the giving. It was overwhelming, spontaneous and courageous as the leaders reached into their pockets and gave whole-heartedly - not giving to David, but to the Lord.

As the leaders gave, the people rejoiced. Praise broke out among the assembly and David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly. Spontaneous praise and worship! David was overwhelmed by the greatness of God and His glory and Majesty. His heart was full of thanksgiving and praise for our glorious God. He ended by saying,
"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you." 1 Chronicles 29:14-16

David learned a lesson in his lifetime that I hope each of us will learn too. EVERYTHING that you have, that belongs to you, God has placed in your hand. With that wonderful blessing comes a choice. You can close your fist tightly around what you've been given and say, "This is mine". Or you can open up you hand and with thanksgiving, give it back to Him to be used for His glory.

The choice is yours. What I've found in my life is that God cannot put more into a hand that is tightly grasped. With an open hand, the more I give back to God, the more He is able to place in my hand to bless others.

David led the people to give that day and for the first time He witnessed the entire kingdom in unity before God.
Then David said to the whole assembly, "Praise the LORD your God." So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.
Face down in praise before the Lord. What better place to be!

Will you follow the example of the King? Will you live your life with an open hand, ready to give, ready to bless, an example for others? Who knows what God will do in your lifetime.


Crown of Beauty said...

I am sure that our lessons run on parallel paths. Yesterday my post my entitled Servanthood, Emptied of Self. I was looking for a suitable picture of an open hand, and when I couldn't find one that I liked, I settled for a picture of servanthood. But the thought is the same. Living life with open hands... Thank you for sharing from the life of David. He is one character that has touched my heart time and again.

Have a meaningful Holy Week ahead of you.

LisaShaw said...

This is powerful! I pray that I'm living with my hands open ready to bless as our Lord blesses me.

Love you sister!

Yolanda said...

Blessings and love!


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I truly hope and desire that my life will be lived with an open hand instead of a fist tightly holding on to what I think is "Mine"!

Thanks for the truths you brought out today!

Happy Easter!


sailorcross said...

I have learned through a very hard process that God gives and God takes away. Everything that I consider to be "mine" is really "His"--given to me by God, and it is given to me by Him with the expectation that if someone else needs what I temporarily have--given by Him-- then it is my responsibility to see that the person in need is supplied for by what I considered to be "mine".

A hard lesson for many, many years--but I think I've finally "got it"!!