July 31

1 Chronicles 29:1 (NIV) Then King David said to the whole assembly: "My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the LORD God.

David gave, and then he gave some more. The tonnage of precious metals is incredible! And when David asked, "Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the LORD?" 1 Chronicles 29:5 (NIV), the leaders also gave in abundance. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly. 1 Chronicles 29:9 (NIV) Everyone seemed to be totally devoted to making the house of the LORD the most amazing and costly structure ever built.

This passage is a favorite of those raising funds to build new church buildings. Let us never forget that we are speaking of people, living stones, that make up the temple today. The Temple Solomon built was a wonderful, a God inspired illustration of what God desires. David referred to it as God's footstool. The prophet said that heaven is God's throne and earth His footstool so what kind of house can you build Him? (Acts 7:48) The task is indeed great. In fact, all this gold and silver and precious stones, all the labor of gifted and anointed men could only erect a shadow of the real temple.

The task is great, but now we have the Son of David (Jesus) to do the building. Unlike Solomon, the Son of David is experienced. Will we give of ourselves and our resources to see that the real temple of living stones is built, like they gave to see a passing shadow built? How much more should we be willing to give our treasures and talents to the real thing!

Consider: There is surely someone in your life that the Master Builder is transforming into a living stone. How can you give to see the work is completed?

July 31

Acts 17:26-28 (NIV) 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

While Paul was preaching in Berea, the Jews again stirred up opposition toward him. The brothers escorted him from there to Athens. Paul was disturbed at all the idolatry he saw there and began using every opportunity to speak about Jesus. When we see problems in our world, do we look for opportunities to share the answer we have found?

The philosophers of Athens invited Paul to address them. The Holy Spirit spoke through Paul in a way that these Greeks could relate. He even used quotes that they knew and accepted from some of their own writers. In every culture, we can find some truth from which we can connect with the local people.

Paul declared that God was sovereign over all things. He even determines where each of us will live and the age in which we will live. The reason He plans things out with such detail is so that men will seek Him. God has arranged our lives to give us the most opportunity to come to know Him. He is not aloof or distant or uncaring. He is doing everything possible to reach every individual.

We are surrounded by Him. It is not as if we have to make some great journey or perform some impossible deed. He is continually reaching out to us. Then He explained God's solution to man's problem. The judge of the world became a man and rose from the dead. As soon as they heard about resurrection, they were divided. Some responded to God who surrounded and reached out to them. Others kept it as an intellectual game. Our job is to share at the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is up to each individual to make a choice as to whether or not they will respond to the God who is continually reaching out to them.

Consider: Are you responding to the God in Whom you live and move and have your being?