Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A simple insight

"And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the LORD's offering to be used for the tent of the meeting, and for all its service, and for the sacred vestments."
(Exodus 35:21)

God inspired Moses to build a Tabernacle - a place where His Spirit would dwell among them on earth.  It would be mobile - able to travel with the people as they moved from place to place (per God's command, of course).  But traveling out in the wilderness, there aren't many Home Depots for them to get their proper supplies.  How does Moses handle this challenge?  He starts the first-recorded stewardship campaign in the Bible!

Early in chapter 35, Moses asked for an offering. He listed all the supplies they'd need... and he added "whoever is of a generous heart" to bring the Lord's offering.  So simple:
  1. State a need...
  2. Recognize that the gifts we bring are ultimately for God...
  3. Appeal to those with a generous heart...
Generosity is something that is shaped over time.  It's a lifestyle habit.  It involves believing God is a God of abundance - not scarcity.  There's always enough (no MORE THAN ENOUGH!) to go around, if it's something God has ordained!  It recognizes that everything we have is from God, and we are mere caretakers of it.  It's something we teach our children so they grow in to generous adults.

When the offering was collected, the author of Exodus tells us they received far more materials than they actually needed (see Ex. 36:5!).  What a blessing!  What was the secret?  (Nothing along the lines of rocket science, that's for sure.)  The narrator tells us it was two simple things:
  1. Everyone whose heart was stirred...
  2. Everyone whose spirit was willing...
I love this.  First, they needed to know there was a need.  Moses explained what the Tabernacle would be, and why it was important.  Those who truly cared had their hearts stirred.  But it's not enough to simply KNOW of a need (however vital).  We also have to be WILLING to do something about it.  This is where generosity comes into play.

I'd venture to guess that just about every church in our country already has the potential resources available to do the ministry God has called them to do.  The question is, are the people of that church both aware of the needs (hearts stirred) and ready to respond with their resources (spirits willing)?

What a great question... and challenge.  How will WE respond?!?!

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