Personal Sacrifice for God's Service
1 Chronicles 29:3
Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of my own proper good, of gold and silver…

It is a very easy thing for a man to recognize and admit that people should give of their substance for God's service. And it is as easy a thing to urge other people to do their duty in this respect, and to give for God's service. But it is never for any one an easy thing to do our own duty in this matter, to make our own personal sacrifices, and to take our full, fair, noble share in religious gifts and works. Precisely in this the soundness of David's religious principle is declared. He asked no man to do what he was not prepared to do himself. He would even, by his own personal sacrifices, be an inspiration and help to others; on the example of his own generosities lifting them up to nobler things. David might have satisfied his conscience by devoting to the service of God a portion of that national wealth which was entrusted to his keeping as king. We are often tempted to be very liberal with other people's money or with public money. David felt that such giving cost no personal effort or sacrifice, and so could not carry to God the expression of his own devotion and love. Nothing could satisfy his feeling save a large offering from his own personal and private property. This voluntary gift was selected with the greatest care; the gold was that of Ophir, esteemed the finest in the world, and the amount was three thousand talents of gold, and seven thousand talents of refined silver.

I. A MAN HAS WHAT HE MAY CALL HIS "OWN PROPER GOOD." It is quite true that we really have nothing, and that what we seem to have is God's, and only entrusted to our charge. But it is equally true that God does permit us to cherish the sense of possession, and to feel that some things are ours. The distinction between mine and thine lies at the basis of social morality; and if we can have nothing ours as separate from God, we can have something ours as separate from our fellow-men. If the distinctness of a man's property is recognized in the common social relations, it may also be recognized in the higher religious spheres; a man's "own proper good" having this for its peculiarity, that it is under the immediate control of the man's own will. Press the importance of recognizing the responsibility attending on the sense of personal possession, and the trust of our "own proper good."

II. IT IS IN RELATION TO ITS TREATMENT AND USE THAT A MAN'S CHARACTER GAINS EXPRESSION. In public a man makes himself appear oftentimes other than he is. He is revealed in private life. So a man may be very generous indeed in voting away public and society money; and his mean character be shown up in his miserable distributions from his "own proper good." Money is one of the most searching tests of character. Illustrate how some men hoard and reveal their acquisitiveness; others spend wastefully, and reveal their sensuality or love of self-indulgence; yet others use carefully and thoughtfully, and so reveal their caution and, it may be, the power of their religious principle; and yet others again give largely, and reveal their open and generous dispositions. God finds out the very depths of a man's nature by giving to him a greater or less trust "of his own proper good."

III. IN CONNECTION WITH IT, THE RELIGIOUS PROFESSION GETS ITS SEVEREST TESTINGS. In these days, when wealth is so suddenly acquired, we see too often religious men fail, and become indifferent and worldly. Few can stand the increase of riches. Few, indeed, care to pray Agur's prayer. When men make money, the impulse that grows into a passion is to keep it from God, and keep its use to one's self. And what God asks is that the growing wealth should be so consecrated to his service that it may help to keep the man's heart true. Appeal - How would God judge you in respect of your "own proper good"? - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,

WEB: In addition, because I have set my affection on the house of my God, since I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, I give it to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,

Affection for God's House
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