Read 1 Chronicles 29:6-9; Ephesians 4:11-16.
King David captured the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites, brought the Ark of the Covenant over from Kiriath-Jearim, trained Levitical singers and musicians and composed Psalms—all in preparation for the future temple his heart desired to build for God. As a leader, King David set an example. He gave from his own personal treasures and asked who was willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord. By this he meant, giving gifts for the construction of the temple. The leaders of the people responded joyously with gifts of gold, silver, bronze, iron—and even precious stones!
There’s no doubt that the metals were acceptable gifts, but notice in the Bible text that the precious stones were given to the treasury of the temple. They were especially guarded—entrusted into the care of Jehiel, the Gershonite. Being a Gershonite made him a descendant of Levi. The Levites assisted the temple priests. They were servants of the Lord in His temple with varied functions—singing, maintenance, construction, teaching and judging, to name a few. Let’s keep that in mind as we discuss the spiritual parallel to the physical temple.
The physical temple was a foreshadowing of the spiritual temple of the body of Christ (Church). Believers are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16). In Hebrew, Jehiel’s name means may God live. When we surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:14) and allow Him to be our teacher (John 14:26) and our guide (John 16:13). In essence, we’re saying, “May God live” in us and through us and use us. When we build up the body of Christ, the fullness of God in His Son Jesus Christ lives in us through His Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:9)!
With that in mind, what do we have that God can use for the edification of the body of Christ? Our personal treasures are nothing less than the perfect gifts God Himself has given us (James 1:17). We are to give to the service of God what He has deposited into each of us—all of His precious gifts. Believers today are entrusted with natural and spiritual gifts to edify—build up the body of Christ, just like the precious stones in Jehiel’s custody. By using our unique gifting in service to God and each other, each member of the body of Christ helps to fortify it.
Not only has God given us charismatic gifts (1 Cor. 12-14) and service gifts (Rom. 12:6-8) but the ultimate gift of Christ Himself (John 4:10), the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:18-20), eternal life (Rom. 6:23), natural abilities (1 Cor. 7:7), salvation through faith (Ephesians 2:8) and love (2 Tim. 1:6-7).
But listen, we can’t give what we don’t have—much less, joyfully. Lives running on empty—just getting by without the saving blood of Jesus and His power through the Spirit—isn’t an effective life (Acts 1:8). We’re breathing but not living the abundant life Jesus offers—a chest full of treasures waiting to be discovered to edify God’s people!
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