Heart Generosity

Recommended Reading:  Exodus 35:1-36:7

Since the new year began a few weeks ago, I once again started reading through the Bible, which I read from beginning to end every year.  That, of course, means I am currently reading the Old Testament.  I used to somewhat dread this part of the experience, but every year I find that there is so very much to learn and consider from the Old Testament.  This morning while reading Exodus chapters 35-38, I noted some phrases that I had highlighted when reading them previously.  My mind started considering the significance and any meaning it could have in today’s world.  

Prior to these chapters, Moses had received some very specific instructions directly from God about constructing a tabernacle for their encampment.  The chapters I mentioned above are filled with that information as Moses is relaying it to the Israelites.  But this is what got my attention:

35:5  “From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze;”  

35:21 “and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.”

35:22 “All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord.”

35:26  “And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair.”

35:29  “All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do.”

36:2  “Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work.” 

Notice that when Moses spoke to them about the requirements for the tabernacle construction, he never required anyone to do anything.  In 35:5 he simply requested that any offering be from everyone who was willing.  

“This project is nothing like the forced labor the people endured back in Egypt.  All the creativity and work put into the building and furnishing of the congregation tent comes from the heart.  People with various skills – skills honed in slavery – step forward as free men and women to create a home on earth for God.  Ultimately all talent and skill comes from God.  Used properly they all point back to God.”*  

The people willingly made the donations from their possessions, their time and their talents.  Because of the way those verses are worded it seems to indicate that not everyone participated – and apparently, that was okay.

Then I just love what verses 36:3b-7 says:  “And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.’  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, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”

I believe it is somewhat rare in today’s world to see great numbers of people doing so much willingly, because they believe in their heart that it is the right thing to do.  Too many people are greedy and selfish and want to keep everything for themselves and those closest to them – they are not inclined to share what they have with others in need.  In fact, many times you will see the people that can really least afford to be generous, be the ones that will step up to share with others.

I have been fortunate that two different churches I have attended (one in Oklahoma and my current church home), are very generous in their giving – to missions as well as for special needs when catastrophes occur someplace in the world.  Consequently, both of these churches have extremely great growth and yet stay debt-free.  I believe that God blesses them because of their generosity – their willing hearts.   

I also believe those same rewards (personal growth and financial security) would come to those of us that will practice heart-generosity in our personal lives.  People that find it difficult to give to their church, to other ministries or privately to those that they know are in need – especially if/when their heart tells them they should give – will not reap the rewards that are out there for them. 

If we want to experience the very best that God has for us, then we need to be willing to give out of our hearts generosity – not holding back out of fear.  Step out in faith with heart generosity and let God prove His faithfulness.

Written by Karran Martin – February 1, 2023

[All verses are quoted from the NIV translation and all emphasis is mine]

*This quote was a notation I found in these passages from The Voice Translation

3 thoughts on “Heart Generosity

  1. Really enjoyed this article!! I have been telling myself I need to go back to church. I am a member of Gateway but they don’t have Sunday School classes. Where do you go to church?


  2. Good message! I believe it is a trust issue. One cannot trust the Lord until they truly know He loves them. The more one understands His love the more they can trust Him. I believe giving is a result.

    Liked by 1 person

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