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UNGRATEFUL HOMECOMING

Ezra 2:68 “Some of the heads of fathers’ households, when they arrived at the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, offered willingly for the house of God to restore it on its foundation.”

ONLY SOME

You really need to read chapters 1 and 2 of Ezra in their totality to understand my title today.  Cyrus has just released the exiles to return HOME to JERUSALEM after 70 YEARS in captivity to rebuild the temple.  He even gave towards that.  Chapter 2 gives the list of all those who returned.  Even their mules were numbered.

Then verse 68 said “Some of the heads of fathers’ households…offered willingly.”  Really?  Are you serious?  Why in the world would only “some” of them give?  Wouldn’t they ALL want to give?  After all, it was THEIR temple!  Why would they NOT give towards this after being released from exile?

TEACHING MOMENT

Our children need to learn that giving is an expression of thanksgiving.  We give to the Lord’s work because of all He has blessed us with in this world.  We give back WILLINGLY because we don’t deserve a single thing He has given us.

I have to admit I haven’t always given willingly.  There have even been times when I gave begrudgingly.  Sometimes, the Lord has directed me to give towards another area than the one I wanted to give.  But giving is an act of obedience and an opportunity to experience joy.  Why would we not want our children to experience that?  Find ways to allow them to earn and give.

I guess the returning exiles are not much different than the typical church today.  “Some” give and others don’t.  That hasn’t changed much in the past centuries.  Which side are you on?  Are you a faithful giver?  Do you give willingly?  Do you think first of God when you get paid or do you think about vacation or something you want to buy?

Father, help me to think first of You as I receive Your blessings.  Teach me to give willingly and joyfully.  Receive my humble gift and use it to further Your work on this earth.

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