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August 24, 2020 1:00 am
In the book of Exodus, we read of the building of God’s tabernacle. There we find great detail about everyone’s contribution, both of time and treasure, to make the project a success. When we see giving as an act of worship, we cease focusing on the money and begin focusing on God.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Exodus read the building of God's tabernacle. There is great detail on everyone's contribution of time and treasure to make the project a success. When leasing giving is an act of worship.
We cease focusing on the money and begin focusing on God from the Moody Church in Chicago.
This is going to win with Dr. Irwin listserv whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are in the context of worship God except giving is no longer a burden really becomes an opportunity you know Dave the attitude with which we give is really a barometer of our spiritual lives and how well we are doing in our relation ship with God as taught in the Old Testament.
Jesus bears that out because he spoke about money so frequently because it makes all of the same promises as God said, can be very deceptive.
I believe very deeply that we should invest in God's work in such a way that the gospel of Jesus Christ goes to as many people as possible and hear it running to when we are attempting to do just that. We have some friends in the ministry you have said that they are willing to match what you give dollar for dollar up to $90,000. That means 10 becomes 2050 becomes 100,000 becomes 2000.
Would you consider becoming a part of our matching gift program. Here's what you do go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 and let us together, invest to make a difference. Let me tell you why this is so critical.
If you give to a church. It is so easy to find fault with what the church does with money. I've never been in a church where I have always agreed necessarily with the way in which money is spent at least an all matters I say will I'm not sure that we needed this for I'm not sure that we needed that we here at the Moody Church had the highest standard of integrity with a finance committee that meticulously follows the instructions on your giving envelope and and we do before God did the very best that we can because we know that we are not dealing with your money where dealing really with God's money at the same time it's easy to it's easy to criticize. It's easy to find fault in the first thing that people do when they live this way is to say, why don't like the way the church did this or that and so I'm not going to give answer my friend is you give to God. This is for the Lord the leadership of churches and organizations will answer to God or the way in which the money is spent.
But this is your gift to God. It'll change the way in which you bring your offering that offering is for the Lord, it frees you it frees you. So it was a focused project. It was a generous project.
Now this is a passage that preachers like to refer to and it's one that we all love to read. I made and you already know it. If you have been a Christian for more than two years. You know this passage in chapter 36 of Exodus. Now we turn the page to chapter 36 and then it says verse three and they received from Moses it's speaking about the workman because God wasn't just interested in their contributions.
He was interested in their work under a number of people who built the tabernacle and God gave them the wisdom to know how to do that but you'll notice it says in verse three, and they receive from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work of the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him free will offerings every morning so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came each from the task that he was doing and said to Moses that people bring much more than enough for doing the work of the Lord. So Moses gave a command and the word was proclaimed throughout the camp. Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution of the sanctuary.
So the people were restrained from bringing for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work and now I've been a pastor for 35 years first of all in a small Baptist Church north of here, and then Moody Church going on toward 30 years just once, just once Lord before I die and have to say to the congregation enough already. We got more money than we could use.
I get probably have to live as long as my dad did before I could say some marvelous passage. You know what was happening they had a revival because there's nothing that I remember in Canada in 1970 when God in Western Canada was able to work mightily in the lives of churches and people said we are walking knee-deep in love and 20 churches were all participating in what God was doing. They had enough money for anything that they undertook because God opened people's hearts, and they began to give others a wonderful passage and hope I can get by with saying this'll find out afterwards, but it says in chapter 38 and you have to see this in the text chapter 38 verse eight it's speaking about the man whom God gifted to build the tabernacle he and his associates and in chapter 38 verse eight it says he made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze from them mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting and you need to understand historically that they did not have glass and mirrors as we do today and so what happened is they took pieces of grass and they polish them and polish them and polish them until you could see your image in them and this is what the women used for mirrors and I say this with a smile on my face. If you have a situation in which women are willing to give up their mirrors. You know you've got a God thing on your I think God was all over this God was all over this. It is amazing what people can do when God opens their hearts. It was a very generous project. It was also a glorious project. Chapter 40. You'll notice the tent is finished, the tabernacle has been built and thank you for turning as I give these various passages. Exodus chapter 40 verse 34 then the cloud covered the tent of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out but if the cloud was not taken up. Then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up for the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day and fire was in it by night in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
God was saying, I approve.
I accept what you have done and because of your contribution, I will guide you with my cloud Shekinah of the cloud of glory that descended on the tabernacle, and I know that the whole congregation the whole congregation rejoiced you still pastor Luther what does this teach us about contributions, about money, about all these things couple of very important lessons number one when God asks us to do something he enables us to do it when God asks us to do something he enables us to do it. Have you ever asked yourself this question we should ask ourselves these questions when we read the Bible, but how is it that slaves in a desert can come up with all this gold and silver and brass and bronze and linens and all the rest. Where in the world did that come from me tell you when God called Moses in Exodus chapter 3 when God called Moses usually said to Moses, he said my people are going to go into Egypt. They are going to be there for 400 years and I'm going to bring them out and they're going to have great possessions. Now you look at that is, say, wait a minute. How's that going to happen, they go to Egypt.
They live there as slaves they could whip to get there as to make all these bricks in the hot sun and and where in the world is this promise going to be fulfilled well after the plagues, the Bible says that the Israelites quote plundered the Egyptians, the Egyptians willingly gave them all these things couple of reasons.
First of all, the Egyptians were very happy to see them leave. Very happy to see them leave the number two God obviously did a miracle and in a sense, Israel was also being paid for all the times they weren't paid in past generations.
For all the work that they did but it was a miracle of God, no doubt about it, you can just imagine what happened in different homes.
A woman was about to leave because she was a an Israelite and and she says you know I really do admire that gold picture and the Egyptian lady says oh you want to go picture. Go ahead take it you admire those onyx stones put the stones in the picture and take both of them.
All you need close for your children. Here are two jackets take these two jackets old you you like the linen over here that I have all give you some linen and on and on it went and and therefore the Egyptians willingly gave to the Israelites. All these things now we need to think about this when this was happening to the Israelites. What were they thinking I know what they were thinking their human beings likely I know exactly what I think I bethink you know this is really really my lucky day.
That's what I'd be thinking when you be thinking that you know is not wrong to have money is not wrong to get a windfall.
Suddenly, you know you get the money and it's not wrong, because money is important, and so I would was in it and I've seen I saw the movie more than 30 years ago fiddler on the roof is in it Teddy who comes out of the barn. It's is well.
As the young guys telling them you know money is a curse in all this doesn't Teddy say something like this is no disgrace to be poor but on the other hand is no great honor on Thursday says Ryan is known as grace to be poor that no great honor either. I would've been really happy probably taken all the gold Egyptians with a given.
That's what they were thinking. You know God was thinking God was thinking, tabernacle. They had no idea they're gonna build that's what God was. Think and when we have a windfall in our life were thinking oh it's my lucky day. Praise God I got bad bonus you got us thinking God is thinking.
Kingdom got his thinking ministry were thinking how lucky we are. God has something else in mind.
You know I thank God for rich people sometimes that people are critical of the rich and they so you know they've got all this money and oftentimes it's resentment oftentimes it's our own jealousy toward those that we consider rich but I tell you something. I've met some rich people in my life and I thank God that days see that their wealth is not for the strength of their own right hand, but their wealth is for ministry.
And because God has so blessed them financially they are able to bless ministries with the huge gifts that are necessary when it comes to greed greed is an equal opportunity sin is found in the poor as well as in the rich but you know what God is thinking when he thinks of our money. He's thinking, Kingdom, and were thinking, oh, isn't that great. I have all of these in vestments. I've met people who say how wonderful it would have been if I'd just given my money to something permanent to something eternal because I've lost so much, anyway because of a stock market situation would've been better to give it away. God is teaching us were to learn together as we think about the future and as we think that the economic situation is so uncertain.
God is teaching us. And when God asks us to do something he enables.
He didn't ask them to give something they didn't have.
He said I gave it to you and now you can use it in the Bible says that it is God who gives you the ability to beget wealth God gives you the ability to beget wealth and and God says all this silver oldest gold all this linen all the acacia wood is my given it to you, but I'm thinking Kingdom, and I'm thinking ministry number two very important lesson.
The more willingly we give, the more willingly we worship.
Don't miss this.
Don't miss it. It says in Deuteronomy chapter 16 verse 16 and I'll paraphrase it for you. Verses 16 and 17, God says that the young men are to come before me, and each is to bring an offering, and then he says this. Let no man come before the Lord empty-handed.
Let him give according to the way in which God has blessed him.
Let no man come before the Lord empty-handed is able.
It's different because were in the New Testament in the New Testament. The apostle Paul said in the book of Philippians. He said I'm glad that you're getting toward my need. But he said it's not because because my need is the overwhelming reason why you give but he says your offering is a sweet savor before the Lord is an offering for the Lord and that's why we are genuinely speaking the truth when we say that giving is more necessary for you than it is for ministry. Somehow the ministry will muddle through, but it is what it does for you as an act of worship were you saying God this is my gift. Oftentimes, before the offering here at the Moody church.
You'll hear me say now we continue in worship as we as we give our tithes and our offerings, and you think is just a Segway.
It's just just a way to transition no no no no no, I mean it when I say it. We say this is my offering. Now you think of all of the people that come to church empty-handed over the holidays I had an opportunity to speak to another pastor and in his church. Unlike ours in his church, the pastoral staff are able to know what people give here at the Moody church giving is totally confidential. It is known only to the person who fills out a form and sends it to you as to what your contributions were, but they discovered that about 1/3 of their membership were talking members here, not attenders were talking members about 1/3 of their membership didn't give anything so they sent them a letter and they thank them for being a member and so forth.
But then they asked this question, they said, does this represent your financial goals for the year.
That's a good question doesn't represent your financial goals and that these people come before the Lord Sunday after Sunday they bring nothing to the Lord. Nothing. There was a biography written about the Duke of Wellington, Duke, Wellington, and the writer of the biographies said that he came across a and account book by the Duke that indicated all of his expenditures and he said that that account book told me more about the Duke and all of his speeches and letters my friend today my friend.
It is really true that our account book our bank book tells us more about us than all of the songs that we sing and all of the letters in the pronouncements that we make and so the Bible says very clearly that giving is worship giving is worship.
Now I need to stress today that it is so important to realize that when I speak about giving as I did today and about investments because what happens is when you invest for the Lord.
It is indeed eternal and the dividends will explain in another message but there are some of you here who never received God's free gift see the reason that we give is because we have been given to God has given us a gift in Jesus Christ and we have the opportunity of the gift of eternal life, and because of that gift we give and that's why conclude today's message with these words. If you have never received the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you've never believed on him and receive that that I can tell you it is much better that you not give because you might think that in giving you can somehow give your way into God's favor and you can't. Jesus Christ came to die on the cross for us. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
God gives eternal life to those who believe in one sweep.
Once we receive that eternal life, then what we want to do is to say, Lord, all of the money that I have is yours. I know I can spend it all. I can give it all away because I got bills to pay you and mortgages and I need to be able to live but I do have a question. Lord, what will you have do and then you begin to live differently and you enter into the joy, the genuine joy of giving to the Lord. That's where it's at. Well, let us pray our father, we want to thank you so much for this account. The story of the faithfulness of your and we asked Lord that at the beginning of this series that you might help us to understand that it's not about money it's about us, it's about our hearts.
It is fact that we are your offering. We stand in the offering basket and we say Lord here I am. Show me your will, and show me what I must do now. Father, we ask for those who perhaps have never received the free gift of eternal life. Help them to understand that that is the fundamental issue and everything else flows from it. We thank you that because God gave and we have received that we can be generous, teaches Lord to trust you to believe you and thank you for all the good things you are teaching us as we go through this time of economic uncertainty. In Jesus name, amen.
This is Pastor Luther and that's the question that Rebecca and I ask God how would you like us to use our resources and I hope that you asked that question as well. You know the month of August here at running to win is a time when we are emphasizing a matching gift. What that means is that some of our friends are willing to match what you give dollar for dollar. And like I like to say no gift is too small and no gift is too big you're interested, here's what you can do.
Go to RTW offer.com. Of course, that's all one word RTW offer.com or you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 and as I said in this message. Simply ask the Lord what he might have. You do because together we are making a difference. Thanks in advance for joining hands with us.
RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614. It's always good news when a wealthy benefactor drops a few million on a college or pays for new hospital way no one seems to notice the poor person giving 1/4 to someone else in the that is no one but Jesus was keen on. I watched a lady enter the temple courts. One day in Jerusalem, a lady with just two mites to give next time don't miss a lesson on when given less is more. Running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life.
Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes are this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the church