Freely Given

1 Chronicles 29: 14-18 David said; :But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to make this freewill offering? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. For we are aliens and transients before you, as were all our ancestors; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no hope. 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. I know, my God, that you search the heart, and take pleasure in uprightness; in the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you." (NRSV)

Drew Sappington can't remember his age, but he knows it was the first year he shopped for Christmas gifts on his own. He got some money from his parents and went shopping at an area close enough to home, he could walk there.He went into a jewelry store and laid out his money on the counter. The clerk took time to assist him in picking out a costume-jewelry pin and a purple scarf for his mother. That Christmas, for the first time, he was as eager to watch his mother open her gift as he was to open his own gifts.

Looking back, Drew was very grateful to the clerk who took the time to help him. He also thought: "I could give my mother nothing that hadn't been given to me." She certainly was able to buy far nicer things for herself. Nevertheless, she was delighted with her gift from Drew.

In the same way, we can give nothing to God that didn't come from God in the first place. All our possessions, all our power, all out talents are gifts from God. Nevertheless, Drew believes, and so do I, that God is pleased by what we give.

Almighty God, thank you for all the gifts you have given to us. Thank you for allowing us to offer something in return; willingly and freely like David. Amen.

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