Somehow our generosity toward God is in our purses and wallets. It doesn’t connect as much to our hearts as it does to our reason. We consider and process and judge and deliberate on giving matters. We need some Macedonian Tabernacle Generosity…
1 So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.”
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”
6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.
Generosity toward God. Do you ever think about your generosity toward God? There are points at which we realize the depth of God’s love for us in the sacrifice of his son, perhaps when we celebrate communion or have a focused time of worship. God’s enduring love and faithfulness toward us is clear and impactful. Our response is thanksgiving and adoration.
Somehow, though, our generosity toward God is in our purses. It’s in our wallets. Somehow it doesn’t connect as much to our hearts as it does to our reason. We consider and process and deliberate on giving matters. We respond and react and emote in worship.
I’m not saying that we ought to get all crazy and start giving away all our possessions or sell our houses or land to give to the poor… that would be crazy and all New Testament of us… isn’t that the truth? We are pretty far from Acts chapter 2 in the way giving works in our churches today, yet I would be pleased just to get myself to Macedonia.
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
You see, the Macedonian church has it. They have what the Israelites had during the building of the tabernacle. They have an overwhelming joy and adoration for God which is expressed through a generosity which is unstoppable and exceeding the budget.
Moses had to tell Israel to stop giving. They had more than what they needed for the project. The Macedonians gave beyond their ability to give and beyond the expectations of others, and they pleaded for the opportunity to do it.
God, work in our hearts to produce this generosity in your church today. May our adoration and joy for you overwhelm our need to control and evaluate and judge matters of finance. Both are important, yet because we start with our minds, we get in our own ways and often don’t express from our hearts…