Posts Tagged ‘Parable’

It seems pretty often that I catch a news headline about a chain reaction of generosity breaking out at a Starbucks.  It’s amazing how one act of kindness can lead to a morning filled with bright smiles and warm hearts as customers pay forward the blessing of a free cup of coffee.

Every chain reaction has to start with a catalyst.  It has to begin with a person who decides to purchase not only their morning caffeine fix, but an extra hit for the car behind them. 

In the life of David, King of Israel, we see a catalytic moment that pays forward for generations.

It began in the field of Araunah the Jebusite when David made an extravagant offering to the Lord on behalf of the nation.

But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”  –1 Chronicles 21:24 (NIV)

Somehow through this encounter with the Lord, David discerned that at the very place of this sacrificial offering, the Temple of the Lord should be established.

Then David said, “The house of the Lord God is to be here, and also the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”  –1 Chronicles 22:1 (NIV)

For the building of the Temple, on the very ground of his initial offering, David makes the most sacrificial offering ever recorded in human history.  The staggering wealth of his offering is recorded in 1 Chronicles 22.

Then he called for his son Solomon and charged him to build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel. David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the Lord my God . . .“Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would . . . “I have taken great pains to provide for the temple of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, a million talents of silver, quantities of bronze and iron too great to be weighed, and wood and stone. And you may add to them. You have many workmen: stonecutters, masons and carpenters, as well as men skilled in every kind of work in gold and silver, bronze and iron—craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and the Lord be with you.”  –1 Chronicles 22:6-16 (NIV)

And, just like a happy morning at Starbucks, David’s generosity becomes a catalyst that ignites a nation to give toward the glorious vision of establishing a house for God to be worshipped on the earth.

Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Any who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.  –1 Chronicles 29:6-9 (NIV)

The story of this threshing floor turned Temple of the Lord is concluded by a verse in 2 Chronicles that ties all of the pieces together.

Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.  –2 Chronicles 3:1 (NIV)

Now, there is more to the background of this property and the purpose of God in this story, but what we see so clearly in this little sliver of history is the impact of sacrifice and extravagant generosity on the story of human history.

When a person makes a large purchase on their own behalf, a common question they may encounter is, “How much did that set you back?” 

When an extravagant sacrifice is made on behalf of the Kingdom of God, the question that only eternity will be able to answer is, “How much did that set you forward?”

I wonder if Jesus was thinking about this field David purchased from Araunah when he told us this story about the Kingdom of God.

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  –Matthew 13:44 (NIV)


Click here to listen to Pastor Eric’s message “The Sacrifice of Generosity.”

On the Radar – Church Holiday Schedule

  • Wednesday, December 2 – Lifegroup / Children / Youth at 7:00pm
  • Sunday, December 6 – Second Sunday of Advent
  • Wednesday, December 9 – Lifegroup Christmas Party / Youth Christmas Party
  • Sunday, December 13 – Third Sunday of Advent
  • Wednesday, December 16 – Hayride, Caroling, & Chiminea Christmas Party
  • Sunday, December 20 – Children’s Christmas Pageant
  • Wednesday, December 23 – No Church Activities
  • Sunday, December 27 – Last Sunday of 2009
  • Wednesday, December 30 – No Church Activities
  • Thursday, December 31 – New Year’s Night of Worship

Revelation Bible study this Tuesday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in my office.  Everyone is welcome to join in, just bring your Bible and a lunch box.  Keep up with the progress at The Watchman’s Gaze.

You Heard it at EFC

Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang?  Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself.  You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. Happy Day” by Tim Hughes
  2. Your Love Never Fails” by Jesus Culture
  3. Healer” Kari Jobe version
  4. Wonderful Maker” Chris Tomlin version

Sunday Preview

Next Sunday, December 6, is the second Sunday of Advent.  We will continue our series on Sacrifice with a look at walking in Sacrifice in our relationships.

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Mandarin GobyPastor lived at the Outpost, one of the few Cities of Refreshing on the outskirts of the Great Desert.  He and his Family enjoyed the strength and courage they drew from the Fellowship they were connected with.  It was his responsibility to help the Fellowship walk in Faith and Unity and find their daily Nourishment from the Spirit and the Word.  Pastor loved the members of the Fellowship, he desired for each of them to walk in the fullness of Life purchased for them by the Son.

Pastor loved Life and found much enjoyment from tending to living things.  He would tend to his Family with focused passion and attention, drawing great satisfaction from speaking the languages of Love to each of them.  He would tend to his Lawn, introducing each Blade to Water and Fertilizer while combating the enemies of Grubs and Weeds.  Pastor also had a great love for his Fishtank, a thirty gallon encounter with the world’s most vast and mysterious resource, the Ocean.

One day Pastor went with his son to Petstore.  It was a marvelous world filled with talking birds, slithering snakes, and new additions for his Fishtank.  It just so happened that this very day was half price day at Petstore, and a beautiful array of fish were available.  As Pastor browsed among the fish, he discovered Mandarin Goby.  Mandarin Goby was a brilliant fish full of vibrant color and delicate movement.  Pastor broke Rule Number 10 of Fishtank ownership and made an impulse purchase of Mandarin Goby, for half price, of course.

Upon arriving at his new home, Mandarin Goby was quickly acclimated to the thirty gallon Fishtank where his beauty and grace made an enchanting addition to the small ecosystem.  Then Pastor set about doing what should have been done before the purchase, he researched the proper care for his new purchase.

Through his reading, Pastor discovered that Mandarin Goby is one of the crown jewels of a Fishtank, valued for its spectacular coloring, but Pastor was disheartened to learn that Mandarin Goby was a four out of five on the difficulty scale of fish care.  Research indicated Mandarin Goby was an extremely picky Eater, would not aggressively pursue Nourishment, and, typically, would only Eat Living Food.  Pastor determined that he would not allow his half price purchase to be in vain.  He blessed Mandarin Goby and declared “Healthy Eating” over him.

As time passed, Mandarin Goby began to get thinner and thinner.  Pastor soon discovered that an emaciated fish is an ugly sight.  Pastor tried a variety of tactics to encourage Mandarin Goby to Eat.  He increased the supply of Food to all of the residents of the Fishtank.  He also isolated Mandarin Goby in a Nutrient Rich Environment of Brine Shrimp.  Sadly, Mandarin Goby still refused to eat.  Finally, Pastor invested in some Copepods, a Living Food especially attractive to Picky Eaters like Mandarin Goby.  Along with the purchase of Copepods came the purchase of Microalgae (neither at half price) to feed the Copepods — everything needs to Eat, of course. 

Pastor became encouraged.  He had provided the right Food for Mandarin Goby!  However, Mandarin Goby was not an Aggressive Eater and had Tankmates who found the Copepods to be an attractive Meal as well.  Mandarin Goby was swimming in a Nutrient Rich environment, but, although Pastor could place the right Food in the Water, he could not make Mandarin Goby Eat.

One day, as Pastor was preparing to leave for a Spiritual Retreat, he discovered Mandarin Goby dead at the bottom of Fishtank.  Pastor’s heart was broken as he provided a proper burial for his departed friend.  His half priced crown jewel was now receiving the Royal Flush.

As Pastor reflected upon his brief adventure with Mandarin Goby, he began to think about his beloved friends at the Fellowship.  “How are they Eating?” he wondered.  Pastor realized how much like Mandarin Goby the Fellowship could be.  He had devoted his life to providing a Nutrient Rich Environment in which the Fellowship could grow, but did they face the same challenges as Mandarin Goby? Would they be aggressive Eaters or would they be picky Eaters?  Pastor could lead the Fellowship to the Word, but he could not make them Think.  Pastor prayed and blessed the Members of the Fellowship.  He prayed they would live their lives with Hunger and Passion.  He prayed they would earnestly pursue Relationship with the Spirit through Study of the Word.  He prayed their hearts would find Nourishment from the Food he provided for them.

He made a Covenant with the Fellowship:  I will do my best to provide Living Food for you, but you must choose to Eat.  And the Fellowship determined that what he said was good.

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