1 Chronicles 29:17 A Heart Of Integrity

“I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.” 1 Chronicles 29:17

David was getting all the supplies together for his son Solomon to use in order to build the new temple to God. David started by giving out of his own money. The people also gave abundantly to the building fund. He knew that God tests the motives of the heart and wanted to see integrity. Both he and the people had given generously, willingly and with great joy.

A lot of people give to many different needs. This even occurs in the world, outside the church. There are many people who do not believe in God at all, that give millions of dollars to good causes to help other people out.

Although some of those people do it joyfully to help, many in the world do it to look good, or to get a tax write-off. On the outside it appears good, but when God looks at the heart, He is not seeing integrity. They are saying one thing, but in the heart are saying something else.

This even occurs inside the church. A missionary comes to the church to speak, and then comes the time to ask for an offering to raise needed financial support. Some will give willingly with great joy, but there are others who give only because that is what they are supposed to do. Others feel guilty if they do not give. And, yet, others will give to look good to everyone else.

God sees the heart and why you give what you do give. This giving is not just in money, but also in time, physical work, and any other abilities to God or to others.

As you give of anything you have to give, do it with a heart full of integrity. This is doing the right thing, with the right motive, though no one but God can see. Paul said that God loves a cheerful giver.

How are you giving today?

Are you giving to look good to others or to God?

Or are you giving because you want to bless others and God?

I pray today that you will have a heart of integrity before God and man; that you will do things with an honest heart; that you will do all things knowing God is watching; and that God will be pleased with your heart.

Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity

Title: Living Above The Level Of Mediocrity: A Commitment To Excellence
Author: Charles R. Swindoll
Publisher: Word Books Publisher
Date: 1978
Pages: 278

Charles Swindoll takes a look at living a life that is above the average life. Throughout this book, from beginning to end, he uses an eagle for his illustration. Most people love to see the eagle flying through the air, majestic and powerful. The reason the eagle looks so great is that it does things above what the normal bird does, it is willing and able to rise above the average to soar high in the skies.

Going throughout scripture, the author starts by looking at various lives of people in the Bible who lived extraordinary lives above the level of mediocrity. He then looks at lives of people who rejected living above the normal. Most people fall into this category.

Here he takes a look at the various things that put pressure on people to live just like everyone else does and refuse to rise above the normal and soar in the heavens with God. The four areas that he points out that keep people in the normal are: greed, traditionalism, apathetic indifference, and joyless selfishness. People are born to be greedy and selfish, and want only comfort and the easy life with fame following the same way that they have always lived.

Living for God will not always bring about the easy life, and will definitely not be the easy path. Most people will put pressure on a person to not rock the boat and be different or to soar as an eagle. Yet, God is calling every believer to rise above the standards of this world. He wants to do great and mighty things through every believer, if allowed to do so.

In this book, the author looks at what can cause a person to stay average, the battle it will take to soar, and how to stay focused on soaring as an eagle for God in this world that wants to walk on the ground. It will challenge you in the way you live your life for God. It is a call to excellence for God.

He uses a lot of scriptures and puts all of the verses in the text, so that you do not have to go look them up in a Bible. The writing is in everyday language, not scholarly big words.

I would encourage every believer to read this book, even though it was written nearly forty years ago and some of the current examples are now old history. It is well worth reading and taking to heart.

1 Chronicles 28:9 Wholehearted Service

“And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, d serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

David was nearing the end of his life and has made Solomon the next king. As a word of advice to Solomon, he tells him to acknowledge and serve God with a whole heart, because God already knows the inner thoughts of a person. Solomon is also told that if he seeks God, he will find Him, but if he rejects God, God will reject him forever.

In the workplace, most people work with just a half-heart. They really do not enjoy their job or some major aspect of the job, and so they do the bare minimum, if that much. Looking from the outside, some of those people may appear to be doing a good job and really likes their job. Or they are only striving to get a higher level position. They put on a false front, that unless someone is really close to them, it cannot be seen. They are good actors.

This also occurs in the church. Some people do a ministry, only because they have been asked to do so, not because they want to or because God called them to it. Others will do the ministry service to look good to others. Many go to church, call themselves a believer, but in reality do not even attempt to live for God when at work or at home, they purposefully ignore God through the weekdays.

Although people cannot fully see into the heart of another person to know what their real motive behind their actions. These people can look very good, but be very wrong. God, however, sees into the heart of every person. He knows what their real motive is and  where their real devotion is.

God said that if you seek Him, you will find Him. How much are you putting into seeking and knowing God?

Are you doing it with your every part of your heart and life?

Or are you just going through the motions and giving it only a partial effort?

No better advice can be given then to tell you to acknowledge and serve God with all of your heart and mind, and to seek and find Him daily.

I pray today that you will know God more; that you will serve Him with your whole heart; that you will sway in your devotion to God; and that you will seek Him more and more each day.

1 Chronicles 21:4 Rejecting Good Counsel

The king’s word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem. 1 Chronicles 21:4

Somehow Satan was able to get David to choose to take a census of all the people of Israel. This went directly against the law that God had given Moses for the Israelites to follow. Joab tried to get David to back down on his request to take the census, but David’s word ruled, since he was the king. Joab did take the census as ordered, but afterwards, God was angry and many people of Israel were killed by an angel of the Lord.

Most leaders surround themselves with other people who can give them counsel on how to be the best leader possible. The president of the United States has many different people to guide him in various areas of leadership. There is too much information that is needed for one person to understand everything and be able to make the correct decisions on his own.

Each of these people have their belief in what is the best choice to make, based off of information that they believe is correct. Some of these people will be giving counsel that is good for the people as a whole, while others will give counsel that is focused only on being good for a few.

The challenge comes at the point of having to choose whether to follow the given counsel or not.

David was given counsel by the devil to take the census. When warned not to take that counsel and to follow the counsel of God, he rejected it. This caused a downfall and punishment.

There are times in your life when you will be looking to do something that may not be right in the eyes of God. A good, trusted friend, who is a servant of God, may try to give you counsel in not going down that path. Or you may hear a sermon or read something that speaks against that choice. These things are good counsel that is coming from God to guide you.

What choice will you make?

Do not be like David was and reject the good counsel being given. Stop and take a look at what God’s word says and verify that the counsel would be the same as His, and then choose to follow it. Do not bring God’s anger upon you by rejecting good counsel.

I pray today that you will hear God’s word to you; that you will reject the counsel of this world; that you will choose to follow God’s directions; and that you will always walk in God’s ways.

1 Chronicles 17:16 Who Are You?

Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, LORD God, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?” 1 Chronicles 17:16

David had decided that he would build a temple for God. God told him that it was great that he wanted to do that, but he would not be the one to build the temple. God did promise David that He would make his name and family line great for generations to come. David was amazed and wondered who he or his family was that God had even brought him as far as He had already done.

Society often determines how great a person is by what they have or what they have done, regardless of character. It can often be seen where a person of “high” standing, such as a mayor, governor, or congressman, does something wrong. The first thing the person says, is asking the question if the police know who he is. They often feel that because of their position they cannot, or should not, get into trouble. They expect special treatment because of who they are.

Even though David was made king of Israel, he realized that he really was a nobody. He gave God all the credit for his position, for what he had, and all of his accomplishments. With doing that, he could not understand why God would do all those things for him.

As a believer in Jesus, you are in the same position as David. In and of yourself, you are  nobody. There is nothing that you can do without the power of God at work in your life. You did not create anything, heal anyone, or live a truly righteous life. In yourself, you are nothing.

Despite this, God in His great love and mercy, has made you into someone great. He has made you His child. He has promised you a home for eternity. He has promised you life for eternity. He is giving you an inheritance that is beyond anything that anyone on this earth can provide.

How far has God brought you in your life?

What things has God brought you through?

Think about what God has done for you and given you. When you realize what God has done, and who you really are, in yourself, you will stand amazed as David did. You will want to ask God the same question as David, who am I?

It really has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with God’s great love and mercy on you. Give God praise for what He has done and is doing in your life.

I pray today that you will know what God has done for you; that you will realize how far God has brought you; that you will know that you cannot do anything without God; and that you will know God’s great love and mercy.