REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional—first posted on June 5, 2015—is provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, who in the past has served as a staff at several AMI churches. He is a graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Don’t Be Cheap!”
2 Samuel 24:21-24
Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” “To buy your threshing floor,” David answered, “so I can build an altar to the Lord, that the plague on the people may be stopped.” 22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.” 24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
I purchased my wife’s engagement ring online. As I opened the Fed-Ex envelope it came in, I was pretty nervous. Sure I did my research on the four “C’s” of diamonds (clarity, cut, color, carat), but practically speaking, I didn’t really know what any of that stuff meant. For example, an “F” color rating is supposed to represent a “colorless” diamond; however, I was still a little scared that my wife’s diamond would bear a slight resemblance to yellow snow. Mercifully, upon arrival, everything was perfect (or at least as perfect as could be expected at my price point). The ring glimmered, the proportions looked right, even the box it came in had an elegant look and smell to it.
As I sat there grateful for my purchase, the realization hit me that this tiny thing I held in my hand, that was less than an inch in diameter and weighed mere ounces, represented the second most expensive thing that I had ever purchased in my life (car being number 1). It took me months of saving so that I could give this ring to my then girlfriend as an expression of my love and desire to spend the rest of my life with her. The day I proposed, I carried that ring around in my pocket for several hours. I was so nervous it was going to fall out, that I think I checked my pocket every 10 minutes that day.
For all the wrong that David did in his life, you catch these glimpses of why the Bible describes him as “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14). I am ashamed to admit that I’m so cheap, that if Araunah offered me his field and oxen, I probably would have taken them and thought, “The Lord has provided!” But David understood an important truth to offering and sacrifice—it must be costly to be meaningful.
When you make offerings to the Lord, are they costly? Or do you give him what is left after you’ve paid your mortgage, car payments, retirement, savings, entertainment, etc. Has giving to the Lord ever interfered with your plans or purchases? Is your service truly a sacrifice of your time, or do you only serve in weeks when you have time to spare? Has your service to the Lord interfered with a deadline or family function (sometimes it happens)? Maybe you felt the call to go on missions instead of vacation? I don’t know what it means for you to give costly offerings to the Lord, but I hope when the time comes, you are able to do so because you love Him.
Prayer: Lord, help me to be a living sacrifice (Rom.12:2). Let my time, possessions, money, and even myself be fully Yours. May I give greatly because I love greatly. Thank you that you showed the way by sacrificing your own Son. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 12
Lunch Break Study
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Questions to Consider
1. What is the attitude with which we should give?
2. What can we learn about giving and God from this passage?
3. How is God glorified when we give?
1. We should give generously (v. 6) and cheerfully (v. 7).
2. God gives to us, and He is able to supply all of our needs (v. 8-10). God blesses you so that you can be generous (v. 11); this is kind of the opposite of a televangelist’s message: “If you give us money, God will reward you 10 times over.”
3. Giving to others not only results in people praising God for you, but it represents a thank offering to God (v. 12).
How is your giving? Are you generous? Not only to the church, but to people and organizations in need? Do you give with a cheerful heart? Do you give more than your money, but serve with your time as well? Is there an area in your life that you feel compelled to give more?