5. WE SHOULD GIVE OTHERS THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT & RESPECT THEIR STATED INTENTIONS, UNLESS THERE IS PROOF TO THE CONTRARY.
I Chronicles 19:1-6:
"It happened after this that Nahash the king of the people of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his place. Then David said, 'I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.' So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. And David's servants came to Hanun in the land of the people of Ammon to comfort him. And the princes of the people of Ammon said to Hanun, 'Do you think David really honors your father because he has sent comforters to you? Did his servants not come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?' Therefore Hanun took David's servants, shaved them, and cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away. Then some went and told David about the men; and he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, 'Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.' When the people of Ammon saw that they had made themselves repulsive to David, Hanun and the people of Ammon sent a thousand talents of silver to hire for themselves chariots and horsemen from Mesopotamia, from Syrian Maacah, and from Zobah."Hanun's suspicions led to actions that were shameful and destructive. Being suspicious cost him his peace of mind, a large sum of money, and any positive relationship he may have cultivated with Israel. Friends, I'm not recommending that we be naive, but don't be a cynic (cf. Matt. 10:16)! Give other people the benefit of the doubt, unless there is proof that contradicts their intentions (cf. Matt. 7:12; James 2:13).
6. IF YOU FAIL TO SERVE GOD WITH A LOYAL HEART & WILLING MIND, YOU WILL FAIL.
I Chronicles 28:9 - "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever."
David sure knew what he was talking about here. In his later years, Solomon failed to serve God with a loyal heart and willing mind (cf. I Kings 11); he forsook the Lord. Perhaps Solomon repented and was forgiven, though there is no explicit record of it. Solomon started off well and was so blessed in every way, but he turned out to be a failure.
7. WHEN THE LORD GIVES YOU A WORK TO DO, BE STRONG & DO IT.
I Chronicles 28:10 - "Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong, and do it."
I realize that the Lord doesn't give work today in the same direct fashion as He once did, but His communications through the Scriptures are just as authoritative and important. If God, through the Scriptures, gives you a work to do, be strong and do it! Don't make excuses. Don't push it off on others. Do your duty to the best of your ability.
8. GIVING TO GOD WITH A LOYAL & WILLING HEART, LEADS TO JOY.
I Chronicles 29:9 - "Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly."
A need was presented (i.e., collecting materials for the temple) and the people stepped up to the challenge marvelously. They gave generously and this caused them to experience great joy! It's still the same way today (cf. Acts 20:35). God wants us to give generously with willing hearts (cf. II Cor. 9:6,7).