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Stop Giving

November 24, 2019

Scripture: Exodus 36:1-7

I. You become generous when the Holy Spirit enters your life.

A. In Exodus 36:1 we see two of the primary craftsmen that God used to build the beautiful tabernacle: Bezalel and Oholiab. Verse 1 says that God had put in them skill and intelligence to know how to do any work in the construction of the sanctuary. And specifically, which of the three persons in our triune God gave these craftsmen their skill? Exodus 35:31 says that the Lord had filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God. It was the Holy Spirit who had given to both Bezalel and Oholiab the creative skill needed. The Holy Spirit is always creating something new.

B. The Holy Spirit made all the Israelites generous. Exodus 36:3: “And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning.” When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church, the church became generous. Acts 2:44-45: And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”

C. The story of the Bible is a story of God wanting to live among His people. In Exodus 36 God lived in the middle of His people in a tent while they lived in tents in the wilderness. Later He sent Jesus to live among His people. John 1:14: “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus tabernacled among His people just like God tabernacled among His people in the days of Exodus. Then God sent the Holy Spirit to live among us. 1 Corinthians 6:19: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?” God lives in you. We should respond to God’s generous gifts to us with generosity of our own.

II. You become generous when God stirs up your heart.

A. Because God had set the people free from slavery in Egypt and forgiven their sins, their hearts had been stirred to give to worship this God who loved them. In Exodus 36:2 we read that God had called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the LORD had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. This focus on the heart is also seen in Exodus 25:2 when God says to Moses: “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.”

B. In the New Testament Jesus always talks about money. Jesus told 40 parables – stories with a spiritual truth at the end of them. How many of those parables had something to do with money? 11 out of 40 parables had to do with money. And the reason Jesus spoke about money so much is found in Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” What did Jesus mean by this statement? Your heart always goes where you put the money God gives you. Where is your heart? What would Jesus say about your heart for Him and His Kingdom based on what you give to your church?

Application:
Let us become so generous that there comes a day when the church announces, “Stop giving!”

Sources:
Commentaries on Exodus by J.A. Motyer, Tim Chester, and Peter Enns.
Article by Jack Levison 

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