A Willing Mind
As a sequel to our message on "The Power of a Sound Mind", we want to preach on the subject of "a willing mind". Great and positive things can be accomplished in the work of the Lord when the people of God have a willing mind:
The will is a great motivator…We generally do what we want to do in life
This is true of anything in our lives…We will make a way to do, or buy, or accomplish most anything when we want it bad enough! The same is true for the work of the Lord…We can accomplish great things for the Lord if we will to do so…
The willing mind says "I want to see the work of the Lord go forward in our community. I know it will cost money and time and effort on my part. I know I will have to sacrifice, but I want to do it! I want to see souls saved and our church grow. I want to be used of the Lord in whatever way that He sees fit to use me". "I want to yield of whatever talent or gift or gain that the Lord has given me to help with His work". Yes the willing mind gets things accomplished.
I commented not long ago about how amazed I have been over the years at how much is accomplished by a very few people in the Lord's churches. I believe the reason is a willing mind on the part of God's people. We are not freewill in our theology, but as sinners saved by grace we certainly have a God given will. May the Lord stir us up to willingly serve Him?
This morning we want to see an example in the scriptures where the people of God had a willing mind to give to the Lord's work and to do the Lord's work.
(Read Exodus 35:4-29 and 36:1-2)
Here in our text the people gave willingly for the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness, which in those days was the house of God. This morning we want to notice 7 things about their willful giving and relate them to us today.
1. To whom did they give willingly? vs. 29
To the Lord their God.
-Not to the preacher, or to the church- but to the Lord.
-It was the Lord that told them to take up the offering.
2. Who willingly gave to the Lord? vs. 29
The people of God.
-Not the heathen, not the world, not those of other religious persuasions- but the people of God.
It is the members of the local church who give willingly to support the work of the Lord; we don't seek support from the world or from other religious organizations.
Men and woman alike- everyone joined in the effort. There was a place and a need for everyone in that great work; so it is with the Lord's church.
Every member is important; everyone is needed for the work. Successful churches have everyone involved; but it takes willing minds!
3. How did they give? vs. 5, 21-22, 29
Willingly, because they wanted to do it.
-This is the only way that God would accept their giving!…Cheerfully, taking pleasure in giving to the Lord's work.
-With great enthusiasm, because the Lord's work is a great work, which has eternal consequences.
-Expectantly, believing that the Lord will do great things as a result of their efforts.
-Confidently, knowing they have done the will of God.
4. What was the cause of their giving?
Building the house of God- the tabernacle in the wilderness; the place where God would meet with His people as they traveled through their journeys.
-Today the Lord's church is the house of God, the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15); a spiritual house built of lively or living stones (1 Pet. 2:5).
-Today the cause of our giving is building the Lord's church.
5. What did they give?
First, the gave of their substance all the things necessary to build the tabernacle.
-Gold, silver, all kinds of precious stones, woods, fabrics, skins, etc.
-Valuable things, things that were precious. God uses the best in His service. Care should be taken to offer our best and use the best for the Lord's work; whether for the physical building or the spiritual.
It takes our substance to carry on the work of the Lord and to build His house. God ordained the tithe and offering for this purpose. It is every church members responsibility to willingly tithe and give offerings of our substance- this includes the pastor; each one is to willingly give in accordance to how much the Lord has prospered him (or her).
Secondly, they gave of their time and labor to prepare those things to be used in the Lord's work…
-It takes time and labor to build a church.
-The condition of a house indicates the amount of time and effort invested in it- this is something to think about regarding the Lord's church!
Thirdly, they gave of their talents, gifts, and skills to build the Lord's house.
-It took various skills to perform the diversity of works necessary to build the Lord's house back then.
-Not any one person possessed all the skills, or otherwise would not have been able to have done all the work alone.
-It takes the skills of each member to do the work of the Lord and build the house of God the church.
-God has given everyone talents and skills to use in His work…Some may say "I just don't have any talents"…I have heard that so many times over the years! That is just not true! You can be sure that if you are saved and a member of the Lord's church, you have God given talents.
6. What was the result of their giving? (40:33-35)
The work was finished.
-The physical building of the tabernacle was finally completed.
-The spiritual house, the New Testament church is an ongoing process.
-Souls are saved, baptized, and taught the will of God; thus new living stones are continually being added to the superstructure of the Lord's local church.
-So through the willful giving of God's people in churches like this one, the building of the church continues on through time until the end of the age.
The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
-Showing God's approval on and presence in the house that they had built.
-Today the glory of the Lord is in His churches, which are built using the willing minds of God's people, who willing give of their substance, their time, their efforts and their talents to the work of the Lord.
"Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:21
7. Who receives the glory for all our giving? (1 Chron. 29:10-15)
-It is God Who gave us the will to give in the first place.
-It is God Who gave us the means to give.
-It is God Who gave us the time and the talents to give.
Therefore, after we have done all and given all to the Lord's service we must bow down and worship the Lord for first giving to us that we might willingly give it back to Him in return.
We at Faith Baptist Church will do great things, and will see great things happen as we give to the Lord's work with a willing mind. May the Lord give each and every one of us a willing mind to serve Him. May we see the Lord's work as being more important than anything else in this world. May we each willingly give our share; of substance, time, and of our talents; to support the work, and to build the house of the Lord in this community.
(Sermon preached by Pastor Burke at the Faith Baptist Church of Lawtey, Florida)