I was reading in Exodus lately... I am in the beginning of a read the Bible in a year plan. I will be honest and say that these are the days I struggle with. It's horrible to say but I can get past begats but when we come to every...single...detail about building things and the offerings I tend to get a little distracted. As I'm getting distracted with this post... anyhow...
As I was reading in Exodus chapter 35, I noticed a common recurring theme: A willing heart.
It is also referred to as how "the spirit moved him" and "heart stirred him." These phrases were used to speak about people in general and not one specific man.
Exodus 35:4 said "Take from among you a contribution to the Lord (also later in the chapter called a "freewill offering"); whoever is of a willing heart..."
This was when the people were being instructed on how to build all of the things like the tabernacle. God was beginning to tell them what and how he wanted everything built. But first, the people needed to bring the materials. The offering, though, was not a demanded act. God wanted the people to give and he wanted them to WANT to give. It is so important that those phrases are used six times in that one chapter. It's important, we need to make note and remember.
God still wants that from us to this day. He wants us to WANT to give to people who are in need. He wants us to WANT to give tithes to the church. He wants us to WANT to donate. He wants us to give because it is a sign of a generous heart. He wants us to realize that we have been so blessed by Him that we can't wait to pass those blessings on to our neighbors in any and every way possible.
We're not just talking money donation though...we're talking everything. Near the end of the chapter we see that skilled craftsmen were donating their time and talents to build the things (remember Bezalel?! If not, head over to that post now!) and skilled women spun with their hands and weavers. God wanted them to use their talents with a willing heart.
In every way that God has blessed us, we need to remember that God wants us to be willing to be used for His Glory and for His Kingdom.