READ: Exodus 36-37
THINK: What do you have to offer God? It's not as if He needs anything, but He chooses to use people and He gives them opportunity to contribute to His cause in some way. But it's up to you whether or not you'll use your abilities and opportunities to honor Him and serve His purposes. While most people use their personal resources to satisfy their own desires and bring attention to themselves, those who follow Christ have the chance to be part of something bigger. This passage emphasizes how crucial it is that God's people take His instructions seriously and obey them diligently, but it also reveals how God equips and enables His people to participate in His purposes. Contributions will vary from person to person, depending on their God-given abilities and what they have to offer, but everyone can choose to take part. The construction of the tabernacle called for a wide variety of supplies and services. In his or her own way, each person contributed to something greater than themselves-something that would provide ministry and benefit to the entire nation. Their gifts and services were an act of worship to God himself.
RESPOND: In what way could people choose for themselves just how much they wanted to participate in the process of constructing and furnishing the tabernacle (36:2)? How did the people respond to the opportunity to contribute to these things (36:5)? Why did Moses order the people to stop giving (36:6-7), and what does this indicate about their desire to take part in this process? Why do you think the people responded so enthusiastically? In what ways can you contribute more enthusiastically to the ministries of your church?
PRAY: Express gratitude to God for the opportunity to participate in His purposes. Ask Him to show you ways in which He intends for you to be more involved.
ACT: Set aside some extra money that you might have used for yourself and give it to ministry or missions through your church or youth group. More than just money, take opportunity to participate in a community service project or outreach event. You might even consider going on a missions trip. For practical ideas on how you can contribute, see the ideas on serving and giving in the Campus Missions Training Helps on p. 2275–2280 in the FBSE.
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