Summary: This is a sermon on tithing that is tied in with our mission to win the world to Christ.
The computer network that is being used in the Olympic Games in Salt Lake City last year used 32,000 miles of optical fiber cable with 225 computer servers. There were 1,850 fax machines, 1,210 printers and 4,500 workstations and laptops being used in order to keep up with all the facts and figures of the games. Nothing is free. The cost? Only $300 million dollars.
The point is, in order to carry out a plan, it’s going to cost money. I could preach a sermon on tithing every Sunday of the year and some people would never give to the Lord what is rightfully His. Is it up to me to get all of God’s people to give to the Lord what is rightfully His? No. But it is up to me to remind us all of what the Lord expects of us.
I heard about a bumper sticker this week that reads: “Tithe if you love Jesus, anybody can honk.” Ya gotta love bumper sticker theology, but every now and then, it’s correct.
God is looking for obedience and submission in every area of our lives. One of those areas happens to be money. We turn our attention to giving this morning.
You have read Exodus 25:1-3.
1. The Message Delivered: "bring me an offering" (v. 2a)
Look at verse 1 and the first part of verse 2. God spoke to Moses and Moses spoke to the people. Many accuse the preacher of always preaching on giving. You know me better than that. I rarely preach on giving. The reason for this is because I expect us all, as children of God, to have that issue settled. After all, we are only giving what God has given us. It’s His money.
Notice this was not Moses idea. He did not decide to see how much he could take the people for. He’s not trying his hand at being some slick evangelist who makes money off of God’s people. Also, this is not man’s commentary on what God said. This is exactly what God said, when God speaks man needs to listen.
Now this offering is an offering for something specific. God wanted the people to build a sanctuary for Him. You might be thinking, “Well preacher, God doesn’t need a place to live in today. Jesus death on the cross changed all that.” Yes, Jesus’s death on the cross did change that. His death opened up the temple so that the common man could enter into the presence of God. Acts 17:24, tells us that God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Instead of living in a temple with walls, God has chosen to live inside of peoples hearts.
God is still raising an offering for sanctuaries. Will you give?
God still calls on us to give to Him for the building of sanctuaries.
2. The Men Designated: "of every man" (v. 2b)
Look at the second part of verse 2. “It says from every man.” Does this mean that only men are to give to God? No. We find in Exodus 38:8, that both Men and women contributed. No one was exempt or excused because they were to poor to give or because they had nothing to give. You might say, "what if God hasn’t given them anything, but there are none to which God hasn’t given.
God only ask them to bring what they had. Every man has something to give to God. This is how God intended for His work to be accomplished, through His people, not through bake sales, garage sales, but the offerings of the people. Unfortunately we have fallen into this idea that we must participate in fund raising. If God’s people would give like God’s people are to give then there would not be any need for fund raising.
God should never have beggars in His church family. Philippians 4:19, tells us, But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
When God’s sanctuary cannot be built with the offerings of God’s people, it must remained unfinished, and it is unfinished because of failure to give. Notice the problem they had in Exodus 36:6-7. Moses had to stop them from giving. I’ve never seen or heard of this kind of problem today.
All of God’s children ought to give for the building of sanctuaries.
3. The Manner Described: "of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart." (v. 2b)
Let’s look at all of verse 2. Notice, God does not force His will on anyone. God did not make you come to church today. He does not force your hand into your purse or your wallet and give to Him. In fact, God doesn’t want what you are not willing to give. God looks at your heart and He sees your intent. He knows what you are thinking when you give. He knows your reaction when you hear the pastor say the word “money.” God knows your heart.