I took my wife to Omaha this weekend to celebrate her birthday and enjoy some time with just the two of us while the amazing Aunt Lauren watched our kids.
We did some shopping and went to Bob Thune's Acts 29 church plant, Coram Deo.
It was awesome!
He was wrapping up a series through 1 and 2 Samuel regarding David and knowing God.
He preached primarily focusing on David's generosity from 1 Chronicles 29:14-16:
14 “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. 15 For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. 16 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.
Have you ever lent someone a CD?
Have you ever decided you would like it back?
Have you ever had the following conversation?
You: Hey friend, can I have my CD back?
I don't need a reason why!
Honestly, I should not have to explain to you why I want my CD back.
The fact that it's mine should be enough.
But don't we often act like this when God asks for what is His?
We demand explanations.
We give back only when His reasons are "good enough" for us to let go.
1 Chronicles 29:3
Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God
Generosity to God and His ways is an evidence of having received grace from Him.
We respond to His generosity by surrending our everything to Him.
Pastor Thune also pointed out that David was very purposeful in his giving
1 Chronicles 29:2
So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble.
David knew that God's work required some gold, some silver, some bronze, some wood and some iron. He did not try to use gold for silver things or wood for bronze things. He made it a priority to consider all that God wanted to do and HOW He wanted to do it. David then oriented his life and work around ensuring an abundance of these things in order to most effectively be ready to provide to God's work when called upon to do so. This was a great conversation my wife and I later had over soup and sandwiches.
Overall, I ended up so grateful to God that His church is being so well shepherded by men like Bob Thune. It made me excited for Candeo and the adventure that will be starting the new church in Cedar Falls with Paul Sabino, Joel Vint, Stan Hayek and Thad Seydel. What joys exist for making much of Jesus according to His Word and finished work given to us.
As part of the service we read and responded to the Heidelberg Catechism's question #60 which reads:
Question 60. How are thou righteous before God?
Answer: Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ; so that, though my conscience accuse me, that I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil; notwithstanding, God, without any merit of mine, but only of mere grace, grants and imputes to me, the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ; even so, as if I never had had, nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all that obedience which Christ has accomplished for me; inasmuch as I embrace such benefit with a believing heart.
I had such a great time.
I love church.
I love Jesus.
I'm so excited to see what God is going to do in Cedar Falls.