• William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 26, 2021

Daily Reading: Exodus 25-27

Exodus 25:2

Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.

I was making church visits in my town years ago and came upon a man who was interesting, to say the least. Upon introducing myself as a pastor he immediately began to berate and malign all pastors. His main issue against them was that "All they want is money." He said they cheat, steal, and set themselves up as potentates trying to rule over everyone and everything. After his comments he paused long enough for me to ask him this question. "What do you do for a living?" The reply was funny if I don't say so myself. He said, "I'm a telemarketer!"

I then said this, "I've had rude telemarketers call me, I've had them lie to me, I've even ordered some magazines, paid good money for them, only to never have them delivered to my home. Would you like for me to treat you in respect to all of these scallywag telemarketers or would you rather I deal with you based upon you?" He said he would like for me to deal with him as he is not like them. To this I asked; "Would you do the same for me and deal with me based upon me and not all these other pastors?" To which he quickly ended our conversation.

Do you think that when Moses came to the people in obedience to God's command to him to speak unto them that they should bring God an offering that any of the "telemarketers" told him to "Get lost, after all, all you want is my money?" Moses probably didn't hear this of his fellow citizens of Israel, but every pastor alive today has heard something similar in this day and hour. The funny thing is that these "telemarketers" forget one aspect of giving offerings to the Lord. That one aspect is found in one word in today's verse. That word is willingly.

Every pastor knows that only those who are willing will give offerings unto the Lord. No doubt, as I have had one of my neighbors say that their church actually sends their congregants invoices for unpaid tithes. Know that is "taking" an offering. But, by the very nature of the word "offering" a free will is indicated. If a person does not wish to give an offering that is their free will in action. For an offering can only be given willingly. If it is taken otherwise it is not an offering.

God designed a tabernacle with all its ancillary inclusions to be constructed during Israel's wilderness wanderings. The only material to build with belonged to the people. They, hearing God's command from their leader, willingly gave all the materials with which to construct that wonderful tabernacle. In fact, later in the book of Exodus the point is made that all the stuff they gave was sufficient and even too much. They gave their offerings willingly.

Who is to financially support the churches of our day? The government? Businesses? Colleges? Is God supposed to open literal windows of Heaven and rain money down on His churches? No, today's plan of material support for churches is the same as the material needs for the construction of the tabernacle. The willing offerings of God's people. This is something the "telemarketers" of our day do not understand. Let them not give if they are unwilling to do so. As for me, I will willingly give offerings to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be used for His church and His glory.

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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