Summary: Is it possible to give too much to the work of God?

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West Greeley Baptist Church

February 3rd 2002

Exodus 36: 3-7

Can you give too much?

Pastor Mark Hensley

“They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work 5 and said to Moses, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done."

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, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.” Exodus 36:3-7

Introduction: Tony Campolo tells of being invited to speak at a ladies meeting. There were 300 women there. Before he spoke the president of the organization read a letter from a missionary. It was a very moving letter.

In the letter the missionary expressed a need for $4,000 to take care of an emergency that had cropped up. So the president of the organization said, "We need to pray that God will provide the resources to meet the need of this missionary. Bro. Campolo will you please pray for us?"

Tony Campolo, who is very outspoken said, "No." Startled, she said, "I beg your pardon." He said, "No, I won’t pray for that." He said, "I believe that God has already provided the resources & that all we need to do is give. Tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to step up to this table & give every bit of cash I have in my pocket. And if all of you will do the same thing, I think God has already provided the resources."

The president of the organization chuckled a little bit & said, "Well, I guess we get the point. He is trying to teach us that we all need to give sacrificially."

He said, "No, that is not what I am trying to teach you. I’m trying to teach you that God has already provided for this missionary. All we need to do is give it. Here, I’m going to put down all of my money I have with me."

He wrote, "I only had $15 in my pocket so I wasn’t too worried about that." So he put down his $15 & then looked at the president of the organization. Reluctantly, she opened her purse & took out all of her money, which was about $40, & put it on the table. One by one the rest of the ladies filed by & put their money on the table, too. When the money was counted they had collected more than $4,000."

Tony Campolo said, "Now, here’s the lesson. God always supplies for our needs, & he supplied for this missionary, too. The only problem was we were keeping it for ourselves. Now let’s pray & thank God for His provision." MELVIN NEWLAND

Transition: It’s been said that where God guides He provides! Exodus chapter 36 is a thrilling example of that truth! Fifty chapters of the word of God are given to the details and craftsmanship that God wanted in the construction of the Tabernacle!

*The tabernacle or Sanctuary was the most important religious shrine of Israel prior to the construction of the Temple of Solomon. It was portable and would always be placed in the center of the camp as a symbol of God being the center of the lives of the people of Israel. The entire tabernacle was completed in seven months. The contributions for its construction came from willing hearts. These free will offerings were so generous that Moses had to tell them to stop bringing them! *From the book Education in the Bible by Dr. Norma S. Hedin page 16.

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