Sermon for 7/29/2001
They Gave Too Much?
Praise the Lord TV program. Also asking for more money. They had a mansion house and an air-conditioned doghouse.
If always asking for money?
A. Missionary J. Hudson Taylor- When God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will not lack God’s support.
B. In this text, we see a successful giving drive for the tabernacle. A place where the Israelites could worship God and where the glory of the Lord could be displayed for them.
C. We see here God’s work, done in God’s way for God’s glory. The support was so much that Moses finally had to tell the Israelites to quit giving to the project.
Thesis: We can learn a lot from Exodus 36. We see here the exactness of the cause (God’s work), the eagerness of the builders (done in God’s way), and the bluntness of the builders (done in God’s way). This lead to the bounteousness of the people (God’s support).
I. The exactness of the cause.
A. Moses led the people to Mount Sinai to dedicate them to the Lord.
B. The Lord gave to Moses the Ten Commandments. Ex. 20.
C. In Chapter 25, we beginning to see discussion of the tabernacle. Only presence of the Lord has been in cloud and pillar of fire.
D. Read Exodus 25:1-9. Exactness
E. God gave specific instructions on the tabernacle.
1. Ark of Covenant
2. Table of Showbread
3. Gold lampstand
4. The tabernacle walls and dimensions.
5. Altar of Burnt Offering.
6. Garments for the Priesthood
7. The Breastplate and the Ephod for the high priests.
8. The altar of incense
9. Bronze bowl for washing.
10. Formula for the incense.
11. Formula for anointing oil.
F. Everything was outlined by God. Very beautiful and useful for the Lord’s glory. Very exact.
G. In the church we need to be exact on the things we do. In the New Testament, less structured, our body is the temple for God.
H. Need to be done for several reasons.
1. Go and make disciples. Evangelism.
2. Baptizing. Add to the fellowship.
3. Teaching. Discipleship.
4. Love God, worship.
5. Love neighbor, service.
I. Parent to child, Because I said so… Not good in the church.
J. Need to know book, chapter and verse for everything we do. Need to follow God’s pattern for the church as much as possible.
K. This is God’s work. 5 things are what he wants in our day.
II. The eagerness of the workers.
A. Vs. 2
B. The passion they had for the task. What stirs your soul?
C. Tony Gwynn has been one of the best hitters in major league baseball. Gwynn has hit .300 or better in 17 major league seasons. He’s won 8 league batting titles. He has collected more than 17,000 hits. What the secret of his success? It’s not a secret to the people who watch him work every day. Gwynn says, "There’s got to be a passion for it, a love for the game. And I still love it." San Diego Padres General Manager Kevin Towers said, "I think the key thing is his passion for the game, a passion for what you do. Never take anything for granted, keep trying to hone your skills and be better… that’s what Tony Gwynn is all about."
D. When we think of passion we think of some sin. However, passion is morally neutral. It is simply a strong feeling or a deep longing. Passion is a clearly defined reason for living. God made me for this. It moves ordinary people beyond ordinary activities. It causes people to rise to the top.
E. Healthy passion is an urge given by God. Seek God face and He will give you a passion to do something for Him.
F. Healthy passion engages us emotionally. It grips our heart. We get excited about it. Excitement is contagious.
G. Healthy passion incites us to action. Passionate people translate their devotion into action. Passion with action is sheer delight.
H. What are you good at doing? Passion always burns in the embers of our talents and natural giftedness.
I. These people knew that God had given them gifts and talents to build the tabernacle, and so they went at it with gusto.
J. These people were committed to excellence and it showed to the people.
K. Brad Redmond- Drama for the children.
L. God’s way.
III. The bluntness of the workers.
A. Moses and the workers and God communicated what they needed and why they needed it.
B. They got it and more so this shows us some lessons.
C. To get more than we need, we have to be people with integrity and ethics.
1. They did not say, "Well, we have more than we need. I guess we can take this extra stuff and pad our tents. We can take this extra gold and store it away for our children."
2. No. They refused to accept it when it was dedicated to the Lord.
3. A revealing exchange was recently captured on the Fox News Channel. Bill O’Reilly, host of the O"Reilly Factor, was interviewing Dan Rather, long time anchorman at CBS. O’Reilly: I want to ask you flat out… Do you think Bill Clinton’s an honest man? Rather: Yes, I think he’s an honest man. O"Reilly: Do you really? Rather: I do. O’Reilly: Even though he lied to the American public about the Lewinsky case? Rather: Who among us has not lied about something? O"reilly: Well, I didn’t lie to anybody’s face on national television. I don’t think you have, have you? Rather: I don’t think I ever have. I hope I never have. O"Reilly: Then how can you say he’s an honest guy? Rather: Well, because I think he is. Rather went on to say, "I think at the core he’s an honest person. I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things."
4. We need to have integrity in thought, integrity in speech, and integrity in action to be people of integrity. People who can be trusted to be honest and above reproach.
5. Integrity begins with I. Professional golfer Ben Hogan once hit a ball in the rough and his club head hit a twig resting under his ball. The ball barely moved. Hogan said to his caddie, "That will cost us a stroke." "I didn’t see it, Mr. Hogan," the caddie said, "and I’m sure no one else did." "I saw it," said Hogan," and that enough. I have to live with me."
6. How we respond in a tempting situation when no one is around? Will we sin or will we walk away?
D. The piano.
E. The parking lot.
F. The sign.
G. We have communicated the reasons, and you have responded and we have acted with integrity.
H. Once I served a ministry that had at least $40,000 in the bank. The man that everyone listed to on financial matters told us that we should keep it quiet because if the congregation knew that we had $40,000 in a reserve fund, then the people would quit giving. So that is what was done. Lack of integrity, the ministry suffers. Do not trust the leadership.
I. As demonstrated in our Scripture text, the workers wanted to use everything that was given. They couldn’t so they told the people to quit giving. That is integrity.
J. These workers were respected because they were people of integrity and honesty. The tabernacle was done well.
K. They did it God’s way with God’s support.
L. Want respect, must be a person who deserves respect.
IV. The bounteousness of the people.
A. They gave because it was God’s work done in God’s way.
B. The Lord blessed the project with the favor of the people.
C. Too much? How often have we heard that?
D. Our goal should be to give generously, and then leave the bookkeeping to God.
E. When you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he or she will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, "Does this hurt? How about this?" If you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened. Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity. Or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, "We’d better do some more tests. It’s not supposed to hurt there!" So it is when pastors preach on financial responsibility, and certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard. Or perhaps there’s something wrong. In that case, I say, "My friend, we’re in need of the Great Physician because it’s not supposed to hurt there."
E. Don’t give till it hurts. Give till it helps. The story is told of a very wealthy man who had never been known for his generosity to the church. The church was involved in a big financial program and they resolved to pay him a visit. When the committee met with the man one afternoon, they said that in view of his considerable resources they were sure that he would like to make a substantial contribution to this program. I see, he said, so you have it all figured out have you? In the course of your investigation did you discover that I have a widowed mother who has no other means of support but me? No, they responded, they did not know that. Did you know that I have a sister who was left by a drunken husband with five children and no means to provide for them? No, they said, we did not know that either. Well, sir, did you know also that I have a brother who is cripple due to an automobile accident and can never work another day to support his wife and family? Embarrassed, they responded, no, we did not know that either. Well, he thundered triumphantly, I’ve never given any of them a cent so why should I give anything to you?
F. Like that man, most of us never give till it hurts or helps. It is interesting to me that people who tithe to the church never speak of it as hurting. It is the grudging giver, who is the one who always says: At that church all they talk about is money. So let’s get off of this notion of give till it hurts so that we affirm we give till it helps.
A. This morning we are asking you to give till it helps.
B. This November 25th, having a homecoming service. In 1978, this church took out a mortgage to cover the cost of this building. It is $1,049 a month. Since then the church has paid on this mortgage faithfully, year after year. Many years it was a big strain.
C. The mortgage will be up in January 2003. As of August 2001, we owe $18,882.
D. One of the reasons for the early morning service is to provide people with another opportunity to give.
E. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this mortgage was paid off early?
F. Dream with me:
1. Give more to missions.
2. Give more to poor? Food pantry?
3. A New Ministry project?
4. Improvements on building.
5. Add a part time youth minister, secretary.
6. Give a more substantial salary to the preacher. Will not have to get a second job, will not have to supplement income to provide for family. This has been a problem in the past here.
G. I know that the leadership here is people of integrity. If you give more than the budget allots, I know that they will use wisely and not save it for a rainy day. Apply it toward the mortgage.
H. My person opinion is that a church that has over $10,000 in the bank is sinning, if it has no purpose.
I. Why? For the glory of Jesus Christ.
J. More information in November about this campaign. In the meantime…
K. Do we love Jesus Christ? Do great things for him through faith.