Summary: Sermon used to promote the stewardship drive to pay off a new building.
“BUILDING THE HOUSE OF GOD”
Exodus 35:4-5, 20-29, 39:43
In 1998 we set out to build a new auditorium of sufficient size to allow us to grow with our community. To give us the ability to reach the numbers of people that God is sending into this community. Some of you that are gathered here this morning are people that the Lord has added to this body since this new building was built. But the truth is that the construction of the building is the easy part. The real work remains. Now it is time to move on to the task of reaching this community for Christ. But first we need to lay aside the financial concerns imposed by a structure of this size. We must insure that we pay for this building in such a way that it does not become a liability to the ongoing ministry of this church. We can not allow indebtedness to hamstring the church’s ability to do the job of the ministry. And we can not allow a constant concern for making the building payment sap the energy of the church. We constructed the building in order to be able to advance the ministry.
As Bro. Howard as already shared this morning, in total we have received $528,000.00 to the building fund. I want to thank you for your faithfulness. But those pledges are now up. This morning I want to challenge you to think about what you can do help retire this debt. There are two categories of individuals here this morning that I want to challenge. First, there are those of you who have previously made commitments to the building fund, I would like to challenge you to continue your pledge, even increase it if you can. Secondly, there are those of you who have become a part of the family since this building was built, you are not presently giving any thing to the building fund. I want to encourage you to “Get On Board” today. We need every one do their part.
This morning I want to share with you four principles drawn from the life of Moses during the construction of the tabernacle by Israel.
I. THERE WAS A TIME OF CHALLENGE 35:4-5
“And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: (5) ‘Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze;”
Moses came to the people and said, “ I have a message for you from God. I want you to build a house for worship.” In the rich history of the Jewish people this was an historic moment. God had never before directed a house to be built for worship. But now he gave them the privilege of building a Tabernacle for worship during their wilderness journey. God could have miraculously presented them with the Tabernacle. He had parted the Red Sea and miraculously provided for food and water for the million Israelites. But when it came time to construct the place of worship God invited them to participate.
II. THERE WAS A TIME OF CONSECRATION
A. The Giving was from a Willing Heart.
“Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze;”
“Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’S offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. (22) They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD.
How are we to understand this response? Their hearts are “stirred” and their “spirits” were moved (v. 21). The words translated “heart” and “spirit” both refer to the inner person. The verb translated “stirred’ and “moved” then, refers to some kind of movement on the inside. Something had happened to these people. We should take note on the emphasis here on the joyous enthusiasm of all who had the privilege of sharing in this exciting project. They did not respond out of guilt or duty, but rather out of love. Joyous excitement was felt by all who were privileged to have a part in building and equipping this handsome sanctuary in accordance with the instructions of God. This sanctuary was important to the spiritual life of the Israelites.
Does God’s grace stir our hearts and move our spirits? If so, we have the great and awesome privilege of responding to that grace by giving to God’s cause with our material resources, serving him with our spiritual gifts and obeying him with our whole being. Even in our own day, an eager and highly motivated congregation of a local church is sure to have a significant impact upon its entire community.