Give of Your Resouces
This past weekend, my husband and I rented a movie…Soul Surfer. WOW – what a great movie (and a tear jerker at that). If you haven’t seen it, I definitely recommend it. Interestingly enough, while the movie was good, it wasn’t Soul Surfer that stuck with me hours/days later…it was a preview…this preview.

I haven’t seen this movie yet, but it does leave a powerful message. How far would you go…how much would you risk…how hard would you fight…to save a life? And that’s exactly what I had on my mind as I went into this weekend’s church service where we continued the Unpacking Hope series…and this past week’s message: Give of Your Resources. I’ve continued to think about both the movie and the message over the past few days…isn’t it funny how a lesson can hit you right between the eyes? 

I think it has a lot to do with me regularly avoiding any discussion of money…and when I think of resources, I immediately jump to money. For the record, I’ve been tithing for the past couple of years. Our church makes it quite easy – we can make automatic withdrawals from our checking account. Furthermore, Mr. Derek provides a great lesson on budgeting. CLICK HERE…it’s hilarious! I’m not sure that’s the issue. If I take a step back at the big picture, as Americans (and potentially the rest of the world, but we’ll just pick on Americans for now), we have and waste a lot of stuff. Consider this (applies to the United States):
  • There are twice as many shopping centers as there are high schools.
  • We have 100,000 storage facilities with over 10 million storage bins
  • Since 1950, our homes have at least doubled in size
  • If you make $20k per year, you are in the top 10% of earners in the world
And we all know that we can’t take it (our stuff or our money) with us when we die, but when it comes to intentionally altering our lifestyle to give back to God’s kingdom, we have such a hard time letting go…even harder time trusting him. We’re way too concerned about being popular, wearing the latest trends, having the newest gadgets, driving a cool car, having the best camera gear, or keeping a fat bank account to hear the needs of those around us. I know I’m guilty, but 1 Chronicles 29 has helped me put things into a little more perspective.  
Ruler of All Things RS
Setting things up: For many years, people worshiped God within a mobile tabernacle (tent). At this time in history, the people were more like nomads so they would travel across the country, keeping God in a box. When they would set up camp, they would bring God out of the box and set up a place for worship. When it was time to leave, they’d pack it up and put God back in the box. Many years later, we find King David looking out of one of the windows in his palace. He doesn’t feel that it’s right that he lives in this beautiful palace while God still lives in a box. So, he wants to build God a temple…except, God doesn’t want David to build the temple…he wants David’s son Solomon to build the temple when he comes into power.
1 Chronicles 29:1-6, Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God… 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… Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the LORD today?” 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.
King David has put a lot on the line to build this temple – he says all of his resources and his personal treasures. If you translated all of his giving into today’s dollars, he would have given roughly $7 billion. This particular event is meant to raise additional funds to build the temple. The people then follow by giving what would now be another $1 billion…and they rejoice.
1 Chronicles 29:9, 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.
I wonder if King David were alive today and asked us for money to build God’s temple, if we would give so freely, so willingly, so wholeheartedly? I think the more likely response would be for us to either ask a bunch of questions or see how little we can get away with (as is evidence by how much I give beyond tithing). But King David’s people…they know what’s up…they know the difference between being an “owner” and being a “manager.”
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And it’s not just that we are to manage his resources…we are to trust in God that our every need will be provided. If we just do our part, God will do his. Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message translation) says, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. God is able to do way more than we’ve ever imagined.” To be honest…I’m not sure that I’ve ever tested God’s greatness – I’ve never asked for the impossible and then trusted that he would provide. Then I read stories like this (CLICK HERE)…GOD IS GOOD.

Everything belongs to God and everything is dispersed by God…we are just managers of his resources. Our question then is not how much we should give or where do I give, but how can we use his resources he’s provided to further build his kingdom…in much the same way that King David did? And I’m pretty sure that this not only applies to our financial resources, but our spiritual gifts as we discussed last week.

I think the whole point…and I guess the message that keeps hitting me is that we are all here for to support one another – emotionally, spiritually, financially, whatever. Our creator has given us everything we need and it’s up to us to use those resources. Consider this, if today was your last day…would you do anything different?
So, where does this leave us? If nothing else…a lot to think about. 
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20 COMMENTS

    Oh my gosh, this is awesome that you’re talking about this. I was JUST getting connected with our local USO, offering my photography for FREE and other awesome things in the works. LOVE this post :-)

    such a great post! It really has been hitting me lately about how I always want better camera gear, want more clothes, want better shoes, want more food, want new stuff! And this helped drill the nail in my head… in between my eyes. :)

    It’s a way of putting God first in our lives though I detest the way that the prosperity preachers and many Christian TV stations try to use the scriptures on tithing to encourage people to get rich in the name of Jesus………. and enable those same preachers to have their luxury homes, fancy cars,private aircraft etc etc.

    This post is really great! I think so many people use tithing as their example of how they’re giving back to God, but it’s so much more than that. When we allow ourselves to do God’s will as well (ie, giving our time and talents, as well as our treasure) that He really does move our spirit and change us for the better!

    Great read and it makes you think a little

    Great post

    Love Soul Surfer! Definitely a tear jerker! love love love that last photo! :)

    So true. I wish I could rid of my wants. I’m cheap, but I have way too many things.

    I definitely want to watch Soul Surfer. And To Save a Life looks like a very good movie. Very thought provoking.
    This week I wrote a Hello Msg to an old classmate of mine. I know he’s been going through years of depression. I hope I made a TINY difference…maybe a little brightness in his day! Then I sent him a little cheerful quote.

    fantastic thoughts, Ashley. always timely . . . GP gave a sermon just two weeks ago about our relationship with money and how deceived we are as Americans about our true wealth {$20,000=top 10%}, yet so often we complain about not enough. we need this reality check over and over and over.

    Soul Surfer really touched my heart. I am so thankful for my beautiful family, & our normal everyday life… God is LOVE! This was such a good read. It’s so easy to get caught up with all the “things” we think we need. I’m going to really make more of an effort to give to others who have less than me. Thanks for sharing these wonderful words Ashley!

    great post Ashley!

    i haven’t watched soul surfer and i wanna watch it now! i bet it is pretty inspiring. your post is inspiring too ashley!

    LOVED Soul Surfer! Although I wonder if Hollywood watered down their faith a bit. It seemed that way to me a couple times. Anyway, this is a wonderful post! I know I personally have to take a step back and look at all the wealth we have (although we’re not wealthy by most American’s standards) and just be thankful.

    I couldn’t agree with this post more. We owe everything to Him. It’s just not that hard to give back. I haven’t seen Soul Surfer yet, but I will definitely add it to my list of must see’s!

    So much to say and yet I don’t want to write a book comment here. Ashley GREAT JOB HIS FAITHFUL servant for writing this post! Wonderfully written and illustrated.

    Nothing is ours. He gives and takes away.

    If not done for eternal things – than it was done in vain. If spent on things that will not further your walk with Him and draw you closer to Him – bought in vain. Lovers of this world and all that it gives us – end up empty! You can spend and spend and have and have – but will end up empty. You can’t fill an bottomless pit no matter how much you try.

    Hold onto anything too tightly and you are sure to lose it or kill it.

    Hugs and much love!
    Jill

    Awesome post….so much to think about, you are right! Have a good one, I love that you are able to put it all out there for us:)

    Tiffany

    You really are a wonderful communicator, sharing valuable messages from a place of grace and vulnerability. I also think your church must serve some great meat on Sundays!

    First, thanks for sharing the trailer. I will be watching it for sure.

    Secondly, this has been an area of particular focus for us the last several months. Like you, we tithe and give in a few other areas, but I have been very convicted about how much I waste on stuff we do not need.

    Thank you for posting and for continuing to drive the point home in my mind that living simple is the best way, so keep striving even when it is difficult and I mess up.

    as always!! well done…I could comment forever on this.. but maybe I will wait for a blog post. You rock!


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