Sunday, August 08, 2010

Exodus 35:20-36:7 - A people of willing hearts

Contextual Notes: God has restored His relationship with His people. Moses’ radiant face from being in the presence of God is evidence of it. Now it is time to begin building the tabernacle, the place to meet with God. But God does not require anyone to give to the Tabernacle’s construction.
Today’s Tabernacle of the Presence of God is being built among the peoples of the earth. God does not require anyone to go or to give, but He wants those who are willing and whose hearts move them.
Pray and Read: Exodus 35:20-36:7

Sermon Points: When there are Willing Hearts . . .
  1. There is a motivation of thankful love (Exodus 35:20—21)
  2. There are all kinds of acceptable gifts (Exodus 35:22-29)
  3. There is no lack of good leaders (Exodus 35:30-36:1-4)
  4. There is more than enough to do the work (Exodus 36:5-7)
Exposition: Note well,

a. Note: The giving was not required.
b. Note: Those gave who were willing and whose heart moved them. KJV: “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing,”
c. Note: They brought an offering because something was going to be done with it. It was going into the work on the Tent of Meeting.
d. Note: They were giving out of a thankfulness and love, not out of a habit. They were working with a willingness of the heart, not habit. When giving or doing in the Kingdom become habit, you’ve lost the divine blessing.
e. Alexander Maclaren: The danger of habit: “Service done from custom, and representing no present impulse of thankful devotion, may pass muster with us, but does it do so with God? No doubt a habit of godly service is, in some aspects, a good, and it is well to enlist that tremendous power of custom which sways so much of our lives, on the side of godliness. But it is not good, but, on the contrary, pure loss, when habit becomes mechanical, and, instead of making it easier to call up the true motive, excludes that motive, and makes it easy to do the deed without it. I am afraid that if such thoughts were applied as a sieve to sift the abundant so-called Christian work of the present day, there would be an alarming and, to the workers, astonishing quantity of refuse that would not pass the meshes.”
f. APPLICATION: In your service to God, has your once willing heart become jaded with the duty of religious habit. Do you come here on Sunday because its habit, or because your heart is willing to worship? Do you serve in a Sunday School class or another leadership role, and it has become habit? Perhaps you should ask the Lord this morning to renew your heart and vision from dead habit to vital willingness.

a. Note: All kinds of gifts were acceptable, from precious stones to goat hair.
b. Note: Women were very involved in the building of the Tent. God does not hate women. He loves women.
c. Our work is cut out for us based on the skills God has given us.
d. Illustration: NC Baptist Men ministry in Mississippi
e. APPLICATION: God has given you skills and gifts that are acceptable to Him. They could be an eye for detail, an engineering background, skills in management. You might be an educator or know how to wire a building or install a toilet. The Lord has given us all kinds of skills for Kingdom use. Are you using them?

3. THERE IS NO LACK FOR GOOD LEADERS (Exodus 35:30-36:1-4)
a. Note: God equips us (35:31, 34)
b. Note: God commissions us. He sends us forth. In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus sent us to make disciples of all nations.
c. APPLICATION: When God calls, He equips. Has God equipped you for some place in His Kingdom, and fear holds you back?

a. APPLICATION: In terms of service, we hear the familiar adage that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. Perhaps in the church it is more like 20% of the people do 100% of the work.
In terms of money, the Southern Baptist Convention estimates that the average giving among church members is 2.5% of their income. There are a number of factors influencing that, including the reality that giving is down across the country in local churches.

There is a world out there where people are dying and entering hell for eternity because we have not had willing hearts to give and go. Would you decide today to have a willing heart to do what you can to serve Christ in the Great Commission which he gave us?