Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Need to Give (part 1)

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)

Two Thoughts:
  1. Church leaders need to do a better job of communicating specific giving needs within budgetary giving and special offerings.
  2. I want to be part of a church body that actually has to restrain its membership from giving any more!
In Part 2, I will explore ways in which we can be better communicators of specific needs.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts concerning the Need to Give. I would be interested in your thoughts about churches being debt free. Is it a matter of not having the faith that God will provide when a church borrows money from a bank? Using your example (and others in the Bible), the money was raised by the people, not borrowed from lenders . Thanks again!