'All whose hearts were stirred and whose spirits were moved came and brought their sacred offerings to the Lord . They brought all the materials needed for the Tabernacle, for the performance of its rituals, and for the sacred garments. Both men and women came, all whose hearts were willing. They brought to the Lord their offerings of gold—brooches, earrings, rings from their fingers, and necklaces. They presented gold objects of every kind as a special offering to the Lord . '

Exodus 35:21-22

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Thoughts to Ponder

There have been times when I've been reluctant to do what God was asking of me.  I was too busy, too tired, too stubborn or too selfish.  What He was requiring of me would have cost me time with my husband and children,  or resources with which I wasn't willing to part. It is sometimes hard to see things from God's perspective and to be willing to release all I have to Him.

 It is very easy to spiritualize why we are not giving our all to God.  Doesn't God want us to spend time with our spouses and children? Doesn't He want us to take care of our resources and ourselves?  Doesn't God want us to give our all to the job He's provided or the education He has afforded us?

All whose hearts were stirred and willing, and whose spirits were moved brought offerings to the Lord.  Where were the other Israelites with their offerings? All whose hearts were stirred means there were some hearts that were not stirred.  Yet, this was the same group of people who would have left Egypt with not one possession had the Lord not intervened.  "The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for.  So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth." (Ex. 12:36)  So now they are all wealthy, but only some of their hearts were stirred to give offerings for God's work.  That is so typical. We are not so different from the Israelites.  

Everything we have is a gift from God.  He gives us our gifts, talents and all measure of wealth.  It would behoove us to give back to Him what belongs to Him without grumbling or complaining.  I pray for myself and for my brothers and sisters in Christ that we do not begrudge God by being stingy with His possessions.  Everything on earth belongs to Him and whether he asks us to tithe, give an offering or to serve wholeheartedly, we should do so with humble appreciation and gratitude for all He's given us and done for us. 

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Today's Challenge

Ask God to release you from any thought of ownership of anything, and instead to give you an awareness of your stewardship of everything He's given you.  Pray to have a willingness to give God back any of the time, talent or resources with which He's blessed you.