Enthusiastic, joy-filled giving always follows an expressed need.
We can clearly see this truth in the story of the construction of the Tabernacle in Exodus chapters 25-39.
The LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece." Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you. (Exodus 25:1-9)
From this passage, we see that God clearly lays out a specific offering need - gifts to construct the Tabernacle, and then He outlines the exact gifts that are needed to complete that construction.A few chapters later, we see the Israelites response to the need:
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, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. (Exodus 36:6-7)
- Church leaders need to do a better job of communicating specific giving needs within budgetary giving and special offerings.
- I want to be part of a church body that actually has to restrain its membership from giving any more!