On giving from the heart...
"The leaders brought onyx and other precious stones for setting in the Ephod and the Breatpiece. they also brought spices and olive oil for lamp oil, anointing oil, and incense. Every man and woman in Israel whose heart moved them freely to bring something for the work that God through Moses had commanded them to make, brought it, a voluntary offering for God."
near the end of Exodus 35
Last night, I watched a beautiful thing between my children. I was engaged in a conversation with some adults while the boys played. Grayson (6) went outside of the meeting room to play with his buddies, and Zion (2 1/2) desperately wanted to go as well. Jackson (10) sat and played with him on the steps to distract him from going, knowing that if Zion did leave the room, I would have to go get him. Jackson didn't have to do this - he could just as easily gone out with Gray and played with the other kids...but he chose to serve me in this way. Having full right to serve his own pleasure, he chose to limit it in order to allow me to continue in my conversation. Is there anything as beautiful as a voluntary heart of self sacrifice?
So many of our group dynamics - church, work, family - neglect the concept of voluntary giving. We don't give - we pay. We pay our tithes. We pay our dues. We pay the price necessary to do whatever we think we need to. Out of that idea of paying for things - even necessary things - comes the consumerish idea of what is owed us. Relationships, even with God, become measured as transactions on a ledger.
What about a voluntary heart? How would our interactions be changed if we were giving freely of our time, our talent, our cash? History tells us that the abundance would be more than enough for whatever needed to be done.
"The people kept on bringing in their freewill offerings, morning after morning. All the artisans who were at work making everything involved in constructing the sactuary came, one after another, to Moses, saying, "The people are bringing more than enough for doing this work that God has commanded us to do!" So Moses sent out orders through the camp: "Men! Women! No more offering sfor the building of the Sanctuary!" The people were ordered to stop bringing offerings! There was plenty of material for all the work to be done. Enough and more than enough.
early part of Exodus 36
Freely giving, may your life be one of enough and more than enough today. May you find abundance in serving out of a voluntary heart, bringing your Father good pleasure and the brotherhood of man hearts full of joy that can only be found when someone chooses to live out of selflesness.