For the past several weeks in this space, as part of our Building Lives capital campaign, we've been looking at the story of the "capital campaign" God conducted for the building of the first tabernacle. From the first nine verses of Exodus 25, we've seen who was invited to give (the willing), what they were to give (what they had), and why they should give (for God's glory).
This week, though, we jump from chapter 25 all the way to Exodus 35, for it is in Exodus 35 that we begin to see the people actually give. In verses 4-9, we see Moses call the people together and begin to reiterate what God shared with him back in chapter 25 while Moses was up on the mountain. Then in verse 21 of chapter 35, we see the people begin to give as invited:
"And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments." (Exodus 35:21, ESV)
Forgive me for a moment as I throw some conjecture into Exodus 35, but imagine a few of the Israelites heard Moses' inspiring speech at the start of Exodus 35 and thought, "This is exciting! Count me in!" But when they got back to their tent, they got sidetracked by kids, or chores, or a conversation with a neighbor, and they forgot to grab their contribution and bring it. They had the best of intentions - but you can't give good intentions.
If you are like me, most everything you do is done with "good intentions." I can't recall a time in my life when I intentionally said I'd do something, knowing full well I would never actually accomplish it. While I know I have let some people down (heck, I've even let myself down!), I have fully had the best of intentions when I said I'd do something for someone.
However, while I might have the best of intentions when it comes to the Building Lives campaign, I can't give good intentions. Just as the tabernacle could not have been built on good intentions, we will never be able to purchase the building at 2704 5th Ave NW with good thoughts and hopeful hearts. We must be like the ancient Israelites and actually give our gifts. We can't just give them in our heads. We have to write the check, we have to put the cash in an envelope, we have to open the online donation form, and then actually give the gift.
So if you are willing, if your heart has been stirred, if you've prayed about what to give, if you have submitted yourself to God, would you now bring your gift? And if it is going to take some time to get your gift collected and prepared to be given, can you give us the heads-up on what you plan to give before July 3?
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