There was a man called David who enjoyed the favour of God. God took him from nothing to the throne, made royalty out of a nobody. David loved God despite his imperfections. One day he looked around and said I cannot possibly be living in a beautiful home when the ark of my God is under a tent, and he decided he would build a place for God. But God stopped him and said no, you will not do it, your son will. David, rather than be offended, did the next best thing, he made ample provision for the work, gave generously from his own pocket for ‘the palace will not be for man but for the LORD God.’ (1 Chronicles 29). And when it was built it was glorious indeed.
We are all as David, God took us from nothing and made us children of the kingdom, literally turned us into the temple of the Holy Spirit. Then He requires us to meet together to worship Him, and for that a place is needed. Question, what attitude do we have towards our place of worship? Do we have the heart of David, that our place of worship should not compare unfavourably with our own places of abode, the heart to build a place of worship worthy of our God, to give sacrificially and generously to ensure that the place where we meet to worship God is decent, pleasing, welcoming and conducive to worship? Or do we think any miserable hall will do?
Too many evangelical churches meet in hovels, wretched buildings and even more wretched halls; often because people do not take the trouble to search for something better (it’s not their business, it’s the pastor’s) or because they have a limited mindset and lack the spirit of David, they cannot conceive of the idea that God may actually want them to meet somewhere nice. And sometimes it is simply because the church cannot afford anything better, since members put pennies in the offering basket and expect God to provide, while they go back home to their own nice homes for rich, fat dinners.
They have no Davids who care about the house of God. But they do have many with the gift of criticism. Recently a church I know needed to move, they ended up going to a place which was not ideal, because no one bothered to look. Only the pastor and one other person were looking, the others just waited for them to find something and then decided whether or not it suited them and whether or not they could be bothered to go that far. Many stopped going. Is this not gross sin? It is that same consumer, service mentality that pervades our churches.
God help us,
- that our hearts will burn with zeal,
- that we will be jealous over the house of God;
- that we will go out of our way to do our part to search for prime property for the use of our local congregation
- that we will make it a point of honour to acquire real estate for the use of the kingdom,
- that we will tithe faithfully and give generously so all our bills will be paid and the leadership can focus on prayer, teaching and ministry rather than wondering how to keep the church doors open
- that we may all be able to echo the cry of David “But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you… 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. (1 Chronicles 29:16)
If you are blessed in a local congregation, if your life has been influenced positively in a church then you have a responsibility to get involved in all these ways so that the church can have the facilities necessary to do the work of the ministry, preaching, teaching, prayer, evangelism, ministering to the members, to the children, the youth and in particular to those who do not know the Lord who will walk through our doors if there is somewhere decent for them to go.