Bring an offering prompted by the heart

Exodus 25.2The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.  Exodus 25:1-7

The Lord commands Moses to tell the Israelites to bring Him an offering. An offering? Where would slaves traveling through a desert get an offering to bring? Let’s look back at Exodus 12 and a previous post, “The God of the turn around.”

35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothing. 36 The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. Exodus 12:35-36

It is a reminder that our offerings to the Lord are always something that we have already been given. In our church, we pray a simple prayer after the offering and singing of “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” The offering is raised unto the Lord and we pray together, “We thank You, Lord, for these gifts.” Such an elementary truth that many struggle with, even what we offer to God has, first, been a gift from Him. Just in case you didn’t get it, that’s a “Shout now – Hallelujah!” “What we offer to God has, first, been a gift from Him.”

I am reminded of the prayer David offered the Lord when preparing for the temple that Solomon was going to build. So much to receive from this prayer in regards to the Lord Himself, His people, our hearts, worship, possessions, and offerings. We see God’s desire that our offerings would come from our hearts.

10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,

“Praise be to you, Lord,
    the God of our father Israel,
    from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    You are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from You;
    You are the ruler of all things.
In Your hands are strength and power
    to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give You thanks,
    and praise Your glorious name.

14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand. 15 We are foreigners and strangers in Your sight, as were all our ancestors. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building You a temple for Your Holy Name comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to You. 17 I know, my God, that You test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly Your people who are here have given to You. 18 Lord, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of Your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to You. 19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep Your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.” 20 Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the Lord Your God.” So they all praised the Lord, the God of their fathers; they bowed down, prostrating themselves before the Lord and the king.

The Lord worked in the hearts of the people so much that Moses had to ask them not to bring any additional offerings.

“So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.” Exodus 36:6-7

He tells Moses in today’s passage, You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give (Exodus 25:2).” May we so love God with all our heart and all our soul and our mind and all our strength that our hearts will always prompt us to give to the work of His Kingdom…and do so with great joy!

“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.”

2 Corinthians 9.7

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: wisdom from heaven

Hope

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
James 3:13-18

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: I no longer live

Hope

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Galatians 2:19-21

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: bless, do not curse

Hope14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Romans 12:14-16

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

The compassionate Lord

Isaiah 30.18

SSSSssssooooo there was an article in our local paper that was posted to Facebook stating that several local nonprofit groups had unveiled a new “foodie” truck that will deliver 10,000 hot meals to children this summer. The truck will deliver 200 free lunches to students across the city five days a week this summer.

Plans call for the crew cab pickup truck with an attached 18-foot concession trailer to visit three locations daily every weekday for 10 weeks. Each child will choose one of two entrees and get a vegetable, fruit and milk with their meal. This allows for the children to receive fresh and nutritious meals.

There were many positive comments. Some even offering to contribute and volunteer. Praise God for hearts of compassion. Hearts that are like His, hearts like the Lord speaks in Isaiah 30:18, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion.”  The compassion of the True and Living God who is gracious, merciful and loving to all He created.

Now, I know some see no need for compassion for various reasons that I will not use space to discuss. But I will say that this is the truth that I know, The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers (Psalm 24:1-2).” 

Since this is true, I know that our every possession is a gift from God. 1 Corinthians 4:7, “What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” I am reminded of God’s warning to the Israelites as He brought them out of Egypt into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.

10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness,that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today (Deuteronomy 8:10-18).”

SSSsssssooooo my heart was/is just sadden by a couple of the responses. One response that was so lacking any compassion for hungry children in need of a meal continues to saddens me. I went back to copy and paste it here, but it was gone…it kinda, sorta went like this, “This makes me so angry…why would you do this…if the children are home to get a meal that means their parents are home when they should be working…stop enabling these people.”

It wounds my heart. Really? Hungry CHILDREN being fed a nutritious meal and you are angry? Really? God commands us to “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,  compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience...(Colossians 3:12).” I guess that I am never surprised at how some social issues are so important to the body of Christ and some, oh well

 Matthew 25:31-46
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Lord has compassion for those who are hungry, thirsty, homeless, without clothes, strangers, and in prison. Just saying…are not our new hearts to be like His? SELAH, pause and meditate on it.

No compassion…REALLY?

Philippians 2.3

Psalm 116.3-5Psalm 145.9

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Committed and trembling…

isaiah-66-2.jpg

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen
those whose hearts are fully committed to him (2 Chronicles 16:9).”

“Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor:

those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at My Word.” Isaiah 66:2

Every now and again, life reminds us that life this side of glory requires the strength that only the Lord, Himself can give! There are times that the pain is great, times that things are out of your control, times that all that can be done is “wait”, times that tears flow your pillow, times that you must bow before the Sovereign God and said “yes, my soul says yes.”

The old song, “Come on in my room” comes to my heart and it is the Lord calling, come on in my room…come humble, come with a contrite spirit, come trembling at My Word.”
Come and I will strengthen you…come, in My presence is fullness of joy…come and I will give peace beyond human understanding, come, I heal the brokenhearted. Come, the medicine for your wholeness will be found in Me.

1 Come on in my room.
Come on in my room.
Jesus is my doctor,
He writes down all of my ‘scriptions,
He gives me all of my medicines in my room.

2 Joy in my room.
Joy in my room.
Jesus is my doctor,
He writes down all of my ‘scriptions,
He gives me all of my medicines in my room.

3 Peace in my room.
Peace in my room.
Jesus is my doctor,
He writes down all of my ‘scriptions,
He gives me all of my medicines in my room.

4 Healing in my room.
Healing in my room.
Jesus is my doctor,
He writes down all of my ‘scriptions,
He gives me all of my medicines in my room.

Thank you, Jesus! I need Thee, every hour.

2 Chronicles 16.9

Hope for today: what is good and required

Hope

Mankind, He has told you what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you:
to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

 

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior