Today’s Devotion: Exodus 36
I often wonder what the world would look like if the Government stopped taking care of people and they empowered our churches to do it? I dream of our churches being the primary respite in times of need – from natural disasters to loss of jobs, homeless and hunger, to orphans and widows. Impossible I know, but imagine!
I think of this as I read Exodus 36, specifically verse 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,”. Can you imagine if people of today were so generous that we had to be restrained from giving?! My idea of a church empowered model could do exceedingly more than any government could possibly collect enough taxes.
When people have a relationship with God they realize that nothing is their own and as a result, Generosity. Why? Because it’s material and everything in this world will perish so if we have it – give it! It’s not ours to begin with. (Matthew 6:19) Everything is from God and for God, so if it’s not ours to begin with we don’t need to grow emotionally attached to it. It’s only ‘stuff’ and you can’t take it with you.
For this reason I am not a fan of rummage sales. They take a lot of time to prepare and it is such a defeating attempt to recover a meager ROI. Then, I am stuck sitting all day watching people rummage through my ‘rejects’ and barter over mere cents. It’s embarrassing honestly. Instead, each time I pull up to a donation box, I pray that my stuff that God would use it to bless someone in need; that he would see my heart to give it up and desire to provide to those less fortunate. It is so fulfilling to give with this point of view and sincerity of heart.
The message I gleaned from Exodus 36 is to keep that heart for giving and we can give in tangible and intangible ways. Sure, the obvious is money, but there is time and talent as well. Time, to serve in a food pantry, homeless shelter or volunteer at church and then there is talent, using our own respective gifts that God has uniquely given to all of us. Leadership, finance, coordination, organization, teaching, manufacturing, hospitality, etc.
Wouldn’t it be an entire different world if God had to ask us to stop giving these things?