Today on Summit Life with J.D.
Greer. Nothing you have belongs to you. Nothing. Those clothes on your body, not yours. That house you live in, not yours. Those talents are not yours. Not a penny you have, not a thing that you own at all, is a trust from God to you. And see, that changes everything, doesn't it? Because then the question becomes, if it all belongs to God, what did he give it to you for? But what does he want you to do with it? Welcome to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian, J.D.
Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vidovich. We're opening our Bibles to 1 Chronicles chapter 29 today as we study the life of King David. Already in this series, we've seen that Israel selfishly wanted a king, not to glorify God, but to calm their own fears and give themselves a sense of national identity among neighboring tribes. For that same reason, David took a census and because of it, God brought judgment on the whole nation. In today's message, we're continuing our study by looking at David's response to this judgment and what we can learn from it.
Pastor J.D. titled this message, A Life Responding to the Gospel. You know, sometimes there's something that happens toward the end of somebody's life that just kind of sums up or wraps up or epitomizes their life just in one quick scene.
Sometimes it happens, you know, with a last word, a last scene, maybe even a gravestone epithet. Well today, what you're going to see is a scene from the life of King David that just kind of wraps up and summarizes his whole life in one picture. Now explain to you last week that the writers of 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles both choose a different event to summarize the life of David. In case that confuses you, if you're a little unfamiliar with the Bible, there are some books in the Old Testament that are written as parallel accounts of the same events. 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel are a couple of those books and so you have two different kind of angles on the life of David. So they choose two different events to summarize David's life. However, however, both of them have as David's last final act, David responding with an offering to God's lavish mercy in his life. 2 Samuel, which we studied last week, after God stopped the plague, David buys the field where God had shown mercy and David dedicates that piece of ground as the place for the building of the future temple. What's interesting is that when David goes to the guy who owns the field, a guy named Aranah to purchase the field, Aranah says back to him, he's like, hey man, don't worry about paying me for this, it would be my honor to just give this to you for the temple. And David's response back to him, 2 Samuel 24, 24 is this, he says, no, I will purchase it from you at full price because I will not give to the Lord that which cost me nothing. In other words, David is saying God has been so generous to me. He's shown me so much grace. I want to do something that shows my love for God for him in return.
I don't want to give to him a secondhand recycled gift. Well, at the end of 1 Chronicles, which we're going to study today, David takes up an offering for the building of that temple. And then he prays a prayer that is stunning in how well it epitomizes David's life philosophy, a life that stands amazed by God's grace toward him, a life just clamoring to respond to God. So if you have your Bible, I want you to take it out and I want you to open it to 1 Chronicles chapter 29.
Let me summarize the first part of the story for you. David says to the people of Israel, he said, you know, the one thing I always wanted to do in my life that God did not let me do was I wanted to build a temple where God's presence could dwell and a place where we could offer sacrifices for sin. But God told me that because my life had been characterized by so many mistakes and because it had been characterized by shedding so much blood, God told me not to build the temple but that he would have my son build the temple. Then he says, but as the leader, as the leader, what we can do now, even though we can't build this temple, is we can take up an offering to collect everything for him so that when it comes time for him to build that temple, he'll have everything we need, everything he needs. So David leads off in that offering by giving, verse 4, three thousand talents of gold and seven thousand talents of silver. Scholars say that in today's terms that was about five billion dollars that David gave.
Scholars say this was probably David's entire personal treasury. In other words, David did not give out of his treasuries, David gave his treasuries. This sacrificial gift would have led to a significant lifestyle change for David. Well, the people respond after they see David's generosity and they respond when their own generosity, by the time it's all said and done, they got stuff flowing out everywhere for this temple, right? This offering was huge, it represents a significant part of their national economy and livelihood being redirected in the ministry and so Solomon, David's son, would be able to build this temple with all cash and no debts.
Now, as awesome as that is, what is important here, most important, is not the amount they took in. What is most important was the hearts of the people that went into this offering. David expresses their hearts in a prayer and I want to walk you through this prayer because it shows you the internal workings of a gospel-saturated, gospel-driven heart.
So let's begin reading in 1 Chronicles 29, 9. Then the people, it says, they rejoice because they've given willingly for with a whole heart. By the way, in Hebrew, that is literally shalom hearted.
Shalom means peace, with a peaceful heart, with a heart brimming with peace and joy they'd offered freely to the Lord. There was peace and joy and freedom in their giving. What they used to depend on money for, they have found now in God. So they can be generous with their money.
They have a free heart about their money because they no longer look to it to do what God could do much better than money could. Verse 10, David the king also rejoiced. Therefore, David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly and David said, verse 11, Yours, O Lord. Yours is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty. In other words, God, all these battles, all these battles we won, all of them. Going back to David and Goliath, that battle, starting with that one, all of them have been because of your power and your grace, not ours. Everything we have as a nation, everything we've become, when you delivered us out of Egypt, when we were slaves, you took us, you made us a nation, you gave us your presence. Everything we have that is worthy of anything has been a gift that comes from your hand for all that is in the heavens, verse 11, and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all, not me. Verse 12, In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.
I mean, this is awesome. What David is amazed by right here is not the people's generosity. What David is amazed by is the greatness of God. Their generosity, the people's generosity, David says, is merely a response to God's generosity and God's greatness.
Verse 14, But who am I, David says, and what is my people, that we should be able to thus offer willingly, David acutely aware of how much grace God has shown to him and to these people. For all things come from you, and of your own we've given to you. We didn't give you anything that was actually ours.
All we did is return some of what you gave to us back to you. Verse 15, For we are strangers before you and sojourners as all our fathers were. All our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. In other words, God, this is your world. We didn't bring anything into this world.
We're not going to take anything out. Everything is a gift from your hand. Verse 16, 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. Verse 17, And now I've 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.
In other words, God, this is what I'm asking for as my final act as king. Would you keep the spirit alive in our people? Would you keep their hearts always recognizing and acknowledging how much grace that you've shown to them?
Would you show them how dependent they are on you to supply their needs, how everything comes from you? And would you show them how nothing matters except for you and your kingdom and direct the hearts of your people, verse 18, towards you? Verse 19, Grant to Solomon my son. Solomon my son, a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all that he may build the palace, the place for you to dwell, for which I am now making provision.
God, what I want on the eve of my death here, the thing I most desire, is for my children and my children's children to follow and know the God of grace that I have known. Verse 20, Then David said to all the assembly, Bless the Lord your God. And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers. And they bowed their heads, and they paid homage to the Lord.
Verse 22, And then they ate, and they drank, and they got jiggy with it before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And now, my friends, here is the official end of our story of David, the official passing of the baton. And so they made Solomon the son of David king, and they anointed him as prince before the Lord. And David quietly passes off the scene, and he dies shortly thereafter.
Here's what I want to do. I want to give you three elements from that prayer that undergird David's life philosophy, three things that summarize it. These three things, I believe, should also summarize your life philosophy. These are the three core components of the gospel-centered life.
I'm gonna give you all three at once, for you type A people like to know where we're going, and then I'm gonna break them down one at a time, okay? Number one, everything we have comes from God. That's gonna be in verse 14. Number two, we are the recipients of great grace. That's verse 12.
Number three, this life is just a shadow. The kingdom of God is forever. That's gonna be in verse 15. We'll return to our teaching here on Summit Life in just a moment, but I wanted to quickly share a little bit more about our current resource available to our financial partners this month. We want to take the opportunity to help you prepare your heart for Christmas. We're excited to offer a 25-day devotional for Advent called He is Here. It covers much more than the birth story of Jesus. Most of the stories actually come from the Old Testament, and that's because what we celebrate at Christmas, God coming to earth, was God's plan all along. In each story, we see God interact with someone from the Bible, and it's obvious that meeting God changed everything for these people. And guess what?
It can change everything for us too. Give us a call at 866-335-5220 or go online to jdgrier.com and reserve your copy today. Now let's get back to today's message with Pastor J.D.
Greer here on Summit Life. One at a time. Number one, everything we have comes from God. Verse 14, David said, all things come from you. They all come from your hand.
They're a gift of your power. That means two things to David. That means, first of all, God owns it all. Secondly, that he's the one to whom we look to provide what we need in the future. He owns it all.
Yo, that is a revolutionary truth. Nothing you have belongs to you. Nothing. Those clothes on your body, not yours. That house you live in, not yours. That second house you have, not yours. I'm not against second houses, by the way. I hope you have one.
I hope you invite me to come and stay at your second house sometime, okay? I hope you have one, but the point is, it's not yours. Those talents are not yours. Nothing you have belongs to you. Not a penny you have, not a thing that you own. You truly have possession of. It all is a trust from God to you. And see, that changes everything, doesn't it? Because then the question becomes, if it all belongs to God, what did he give it to you for? But what does he want you to do with it?
That's what the question becomes after you realize that. Now I realize some of you may have objected that, and you'd be like, no, no, no, everything I got, I earn. Everything. Oh, really? What'd you earn it with? Your talents, where'd you get those? You're trying to tell me that if you were born a homeless kid on the streets of India with AIDS, life would have turned out the same for you?
Probably not. I'm saying probably you have a lot more that's been given to you than you realize. And David says, ultimately, all of it comes from God. And because it all comes from God, our question is now, what did he give it to us for?
What's he want us to do with it? You see, the Bible teaches there are multiple reasons why God gives us the things that he gives us. One of the reasons he gives us money is to provide for our needs, like a father with a child. God gives you money to provide for your needs. Another reason he gives us money is so that we can have some enjoyment in life. 1 Timothy 6 16 says that God has given us richly all things to enjoy, which means that God is glorified as you delight in certain things on earth. He loves it when you love the meals you eat. He loves it when you like the clothes that you wear.
He loves it when you enjoy yourself on vacation. It's like a ray of the sunshine that shines on your face, that warms it, that you look back up along the ray and worship the sun from which it comes. God gives you some of the money like a father gives to a child because he wants you to enjoy life. He gives you some of the money he gives you, 2 Corinthians 8 says, to share with the poor. 2 Corinthians 8 says that God gives to some of us a little more than we need because there are others who don't have as much as they need.
And so God will give to us with the expectation that we take some of the extra that we have been given and we share with those who don't have anything or those who have much less than us. All right, but the whole point I'm making here is he owns it all. Nothing you have truly belongs to you. Nothing, not watching your arm, not yours, that necklace around your neck, not yours. Nothing you have belongs to you. You know, the Bible actually gives you a very clear test to see if you understand this principle, a very clear test that it gives you to see if you understand this principle.
You know what it is? It's called the tithe, the tithe. From the very beginning of the Bible, God has prescribed that his people return a tithe, 10% of what he's given to them back to him. It is a test to see if we will acknowledge that everything we have comes from God and that he is the one responsible to provide in the future. So people say back to me, they're like, I can't afford that.
That's actually kind of the point. God tells you to give to him even when you feel like you can't afford it because he takes that as your statement of trust that you trust in him to provide your needs and are not looking to only yourself. Now I realize as soon as I start talking about this, I know we all love each other. I know y'all love me as your pastor.
I love you, okay? But I know that some of y'all, as soon as I start saying this, y'all are like, you're just trying to get our money. That's all you're trying to do. No, you give it somewhere else.
That's fine. If this is an obstacle for you right now, if you feel like I'm saying all this as a ploy to try to get your money, you give it somewhere else, you don't give it to this church. You're like, but the church will go bankrupt. No, we got enough people at this church who believe in the mission of this church that we're doing just fine, we will do just fine, and we don't need your money, okay?
So if this bothers you, you give it somewhere else. I'm saying the issue is not our church budget, the issue is whether or not you have actually ever learned to trust God. This is a part of a much bigger issue for you, and that is, have you ever learned to acknowledge that everything you have comes from God, it all belongs to him, and if you can't even trust God in this one area, see, what does that mean about the ways that you trust God the rest of your life?
This is a trust issue. Here's your second principle that David gave. As recipients of great grace, we respond with lavish generosity. That's verse 11 and 12. Let me go back to 2 Samuel for a minute.
David insisted on paying full price for the field, and when not given to God, that would cost him nothing. You see, a heart that has been touched by God's grace wants to, has to respond. Jesus once was sitting in a house of a guy named Simon the Pharisee, and as he's sitting there, a woman comes in, burst into tears, and began to wash Jesus' feet with her tears and dry his feet with her hair. Now, lest you think that was just something they did back then in that culture, no, okay, that was as awkward then as it would be now.
If in the middle of the church service, some woman came up here, started crying on my shoes, and started wiping them off with her hair, that would just be awkward for all of us. This is a very awkward moment, and everybody starts whispering about what's going on with this, and Jesus says, don't you say a word to her, because awkward though it is, this woman gets something that you don't get. This woman has an acute sense, Jesus said, of my forgiveness of her. And then he made that great statement, those who have been forgiven much, love much. And the reason you are not moved to lavish generosity, Simon the Pharisee, is because you have no concept of what God has actually forgiven you of. Because an experience, listen, of God's grace always produces a grateful heart in response. And that means that if you are not freely and joyfully and peaceably generous, what you don't need to hear from me is a bunch of sermons about being generous. That's not what I'm trying to do right here. I'm not trying to be like, you know, be generous, because that works one time. That gives me one offering, and that's not what I'm going for.
You have a problem with the generosity of spirit, that's because you have no real taste of God's generosity to you, because once you've got a taste of that generosity, it produces generosity in response. Two ways to keep a balloon afloat, right. If you fill a balloon with your breath, it won't float, it'll just stay there on the ground.
So the only way to keep it in the air is to smack it and hit it, you know, so it stays up. And I've told you that's a really good metaphor for mine and some of your relationship, right. You start to kind of, you know, float down spiritually, you're kind of sagging, and my role is for you to come in here on Sunday and just smack you as hard as I can. So I'm like, be generous, and you're like, you start giving money out everywhere all week, you know, and you're being generous, and then next week you're floating back down here, you're sagging spiritually, and I preach on reading your Bible. Preach your Bible. You're like, oh, I'll read my Bible. You know, you come back in here and I talk about sharing Christ, and that's our relationship, and that's why we don't get along, okay, because you sag spiritually and I smack you.
There's another way, there's a whole nother way for a balloon to float, and that is you put helium inside of it, and then it floats on its own. You see, the way that the gospel produces generosity is not by commands to be generous. The gospel fundamentally reshapes and restructures your heart so that generosity is not what you do, generosity is what you are, and generosity is not something you need to be commanded to do. Generosity is as natural to you as breathing because you have tasted of the generosity of God, and if you have a concept of that, you look for places that you can be extraordinarily generous with God and with others, it just flows out of you as naturally as breathing. Those people who are not moved to generosity have no concept of God's generosity to them. In fact, Jesus said in Luke 18, this is the thing that reveals that many who sit in churches and call themselves Christians are not really saved because people who have really been saved have a concept of God's unmerited grace and lavish generosity in them, so they can't help but be generous in return. So that means if you're like Simon the Pharisee who doesn't really understand and kind of has a dreadful feeling about those kinds of acts of generosity, it means you're probably more into religion and less into the gospel because Pharisees have never understood generosity, but people who understand deep forgiveness have always understood generosity in response to the generosity of God.
Number three, here's your third component. This life is temporary. The kingdom of God is forever. This life is temporary.
The kingdom of God is forever. That's verse 15. David says our days are like a shadow. There's no abiding for us. David now on the eve of his death is starting to see life a little differently.
Doesn't that always happen? When you start to see things from an eternal perspective, it changes everything, doesn't it? You see, what we have to ask when we see our lives from the perspective of eternity is what are you doing and what are you investing your life in now that will last forever?
What are you doing now and what are you investing your life in now that will last forever? If this life is temporary and eternity is forever, then the most valuable thing on earth is the next generation coming to know Jesus. That's what David sees. That's why David's thoughts turn toward his son and his son's sons and the generations of Israelites there in front of him. He says from this point, from this point, what matters most to me is that my family and this generation come to know the God of grace like I have because in eternity, that's really the only thing that matters. Most of you know my grandmother passed away from standing beside that casket of my grandmother or my three daughters. I'm telling you, in that moment, the only thing in my mind is with a little glimpse of eternity is the thing I want most is when they get there, that they're prepared to meet God and they've leveraged their life so that they've invested in eternity. I realize some of you in here are like, well, I don't have kids, right?
Fine. Invest in my kids, okay? The point is not kids. The point is that from the perspective of eternity, you see, listen, every person in every nation will stand before God and everyone who has been saved by Jesus enters eternity with him, and those who do not will perish apart from him. The most important question that will ever be asked of him is, do they know Jesus? And when you live in the light of that knowledge, I'm telling you, your life will change.
It has to. Pastor JD Greer, helping us ask and answer questions that matter here on Summit Life. Today's message is titled A Life Responding to the Gospel, and it comes from a teaching series on the life of David called Search for a King.
As I mentioned earlier, this month, we have a timely resource you'll want to grab right away. It's a book meant to help us all prepare our hearts for the Christmas season called He is Here, 25 Devotions for Advent. JD, who is the ideal audience for this latest book that we're sharing with our friends? Yeah, I think the primary audience we had in mind for this were the listeners of Summit Life, perhaps for your families. It could be for a married couple, could be for your small group, could be for an entire church to just walk through together to prepare your hearts to experience the presence of Jesus this Christmas. It's kid friendly. It's quick enough to be used around the dinner table, regardless of what ages your kids are.
I'd say especially if they're teenagers and older. I think it'll just give you some new language, some new insight into some very familiar stories if you've been around church. And I think you'll find yourself wanting to pass on some of the insights you get to others.
One of the greatest discoveries that I've ever made is how Jesus is on every page of the Old Testament and learn to worship Him as I work my way through. I think this will really enrich your Christmas season. So go get your copy today at jdgrier.com. Thanks, JD. Ask for the book titled He is Here When You Donate to Summit Life Today. You can give over the phone by calling 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.
Or give online at jdgrier.com. We're so grateful for your support because your generosity brings gospel-centered Bible teaching to people across the country every day through the radio and our online archive of Pastor JD's sermons. So thank you so much for partnering with us. I'm Molly Vidovitch. Tomorrow we'll be wrapping up this study on King David, so you definitely don't want to miss it. We'll see you again Wednesday, right here for Summit Life with JD Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer Ministries.
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