November 9, 2012

Stand // Day 20

A Legacy that Stands

David served God’s purpose in his own generation….” Acts 13:36 (NIV)

STAND has been a campaign unlike any other we’ve ever done. It hasn’t been about building buildings or material goals but about building people who will leave a legacy of faith that stands for generations to come. We’ve each had to ask the question, “Will we simply maintain where we are or will we believe God for greater things?” “What kind of eternal footprint will we leave? Our challenge as a church is that if we stand fearless, stand determined and stand together; then what we do will stand forever!”

Every generation must face that same challenge. David accepted it in his day. The Gospel writer, Luke, records it in Acts 13:36 when he wrote, “David served God’s purpose in his own generation….” We’ve seen how he courageously stood against the giant Goliath, became the greatest King Israel ever had and led them to become the most powerful nation in their day politically, economically and spiritually. Think about it. David could have simply coasted out the rest of his days in ease! Yet, there was one longing, unfulfilled dream in his heart. David passionately pursued his desire to build a Temple for God, a permanent resting place for the presence of God to dwell among the people of God. Up to this time, Israel still worshipped out of a tent that went back to their wilderness wanderings with Moses. Now was the time, he thought! “This will be a lasting legacy of faith for generations to come to secure the spiritual welfare of Israel!”

David’s love for God extended far beyond his own lifetime and personal comfort. He wanted future generations to know God and love Him as well. In Psalm 22:30-31, David wrote, “Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.

God honored David’s heart. Although David was not permitted to build the Temple for God, he was promised a lasting dynasty and a son who would build it. With that promise, David called all the officials of Israel together and challenged them to stand fearless, stand determined and stand together so that what they would accomplish would stand forever! I love the way he does it. In 1 Chronicles 29:3, David says to the entire assembly, “And now because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction … Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?” What a challenge!

And did they respond? The Bible says, “Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave about 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron. They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord …. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.” 1 Chronicles 29:6-9 (NLT)

Their offering led to a spontaneous expression of praise and worship. The Bible says “… the entire assembly praised the Lord!” David offered this prayer before the assembly:
O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor your holy name comes from you! It all belongs to you! I know, my God, that you examine our hearts and rejoice when you find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously. O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make your people always want to obey you. See to it that their love for you never changes. Give my son Solomon the wholehearted desire to obey all your commands, laws, and decrees, and to do everything necessary to build this Temple, for which I have made these preparations.” 1 Chron. 29:10-19 (NLT)

Today, we have the same opportunity to take our stand for Christ and to leave an eternal footprint for the next generation. What we do today matters for all eternity. When we consider what is at stake, it’s no longer about the sacrifice we make. It’s about our passionate pursuit for God and making Him known so that everyone may hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then it may be said of us as it was of David, “They served God’s purpose in their generation!”