Summary: how everyone can be a contributor in the work of God

Intro: it seems lately, that no matter where I go, someone is asking me to contribute to help different organizations. Even at home, the phone rings with those who want me to be a contributor. I am sure most are legitimate needs, some may be scams. In God’s work there is a need for contributions, and everyone is asked to contribute. As we look at the building of the tabernacle, we find that everyone was asked to give. Tonight, we will look at these verses, and title our message:

Contributing to the Body of Christ

Exodus 35:1-35

Verse 5

Everyone who is willing, bring an offering to God

Background: as you see the people of God being challenged to give to the building of the tabernacle, you may ask the question, why does God need us to give if He has everything, or could do it all Himself?

Tonight, I would like to give you the reason you are asked to contribute to the work of God. It isn’t for God’s benefit as much it is for ours.

I. Everyone can bring something to God—if you notice in the building supplies needed, not everyone had to bring gold, some brought things that seemingly had a lot less value. God teaches us that it isn’t the gift that is so important, it is the heart of the giver.

· In the work of God we learn that different people give different things. At Bethel, we need prayer warriors to bring prayer, we need ministers to teach and preach, we need musicians and singers to lead in worship, we need workers on a work day to set up tables or clean up around the church. Some bring finance, some bring talents, some bring gifts, some bring prayer, and some bring others. It all is part of the building up of the body of Christ.

II. It isn’t the gifts but the obedience—in our walk with God obedience is better than sacrifice. God doesn’t need anything, but He gives us the opportunity to respond in obedience, respond in faith, respond in faithfulness.

· There is a joy in obeying God. In doing what He asks us to do. Our gift may not be the same as someone else’s gift, but it is ours. We share in the building by our contribution. We don’t measure gifts as small or large, but we measure them all in the sight of being faithful to God.

· It brings me closer to God and closer to the other believers because I am doing my part. If you find someone who is just existing, someone who isn’t contributing, they miss out on the blessing, they miss out on the joy. The only way you can share in the victory is by doing your part for God.

III. When we contribute it makes our worship sweeter—if I just go to church, if it is just a ritual that is done on week-ends, I miss out on true worship. As I invest my time, talents, gifts and finance into the work of God, it makes my worship stronger, more complete, more sincere. Involvement in the work is preparation for the worship.

IV. When I give willingly, I am blessed—those of a willing heart—v.5—God set up a law that remains even today, if you give out of routine or ritual you lose the blessing, but if you give out of purpose, out of joy, out of a willing heart, you will be blessed by God.

· God wants us to give because we want to, because we desire to see His kingdom on earth flourish. We want to give to the work of Christ because of all He has given to us.

V. When everyone gives, the work prospers—if you read on in Exodus you discover that Moses told the people, you have given enough. So much had come in that every need for the sanctuary was met.

· If you don’t do your part, someone has to do double. Even if you feel your part is small, it is just as important to the completion of the work.

· If you read about the dedication of the tabernacle, God’s cloud came in the midst of it. When everyone gives to God’s work out of a willing heart, when there is obedience to God’s command, God’s presence will come in power.

Close: one of the first songs we learn in children’s church is the song, “if we all pull together, how happy we’ll be.” It is a simple message that the work of God goes better when everyone does their part. We all can be contributors in the body of Christ.

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