Berni Dymet: Acceptable Giving and Sacrifice

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Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May the Lord your God accept you.” But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them. 2 Samuel 24:22-24

“David knew that a sacrifice to God had to cost him something. A sacrifice is not a sacrifice if it costs you nothing. And that’s the difficult place that we need to come to. That place of being prepared to sacrifice…in order to be set free from the tyrannical rule of mammon. Yet still, many a man and many a woman has a divided heart when it comes to the tension – and it is a tension – between the things in life that really matter and the promises that money and wealth dangle under our noses.”

Berni Dymet in Money Matters: Discover the freedom, power and peace of honouring God with your finances (Bondi Junction: Christianityworks, 2018) 22.

I am in Australia this week, so I decided to shift my attention what Aussie authors say about money and generosity. Dymet directs our attention to David’s proclamation and offers a keen insight: without sacrifice giving is unacceptable. What about you’re giving? Is there sacrifice in it?

This profound truth links to the “why” behind giving. God does not need our money. We need to give it. We need to sacrifice to release it’s power over us. If there’s no sacrifice, there’s no release of power. So, in David’s case, he wanted to pay for the sacrifice to make it acceptable.

In modern application, this alerts us to the reality that acceptable giving is different for each of us and yet requires the same ingredient to release the power of mammon over us: sacrifice. Sit with the Lord today and think about what sacrifice looks like for you.

Today I will worship at City on a Hill in Melbourne with Vanessa Hall, board chair of CMASC and GTP board member. Then I will welcome Michael Blue to Australia and go to the Melbourne Cricket Ground for an AFL game with him and six dear CMA friends: John Peberdy, Steve and Kate Kerr, Paul Arnott, Vanessa Hall, and Gary Williams.

I love these Aussie mates. They inspire me as they give their lives as living sacrifices to God. They sacrifice time and energy to serve others, and specifically, to assist churches and ministries across Australia. For Michael and me, we are giving a week. I celebrate how they give every week in service to God, so it’s a joy to serve them.