The feeling of that twenty-dollar bill in my hand was like none other. I never had money. Especially not $20. We were headed on a field trip and mom gave it to me for spending money. What would I buy? I probably searched every store imaginable in the zoo, picking up this and that, looking over each piece, contemplating what I would do with it, where I would put it, if it was really worth it.
But then, I remembered just how much I didn’t really need that stuff. We didn’t have much growing up. I mean we had what we needed, but even us kids knew the struggles our family faced.
My mom worked nights and was a single mom for years. Even when she was still married to my dad, he couldn’t hold down a job because he couldn’t put down the bottle long enough. So, money was tight.
As I gripped it in my hand, I thought, “it’s mine, but it’s not”. I reasoned with myself to buy something for a dollar and I’d give her back the rest. I can’t tell you what it was, maybe a little piece of candy or one of those birthstone rings you can adjust to your finger.
She was always surprised when we brought back money, but it just never felt right to spend it all on myself.
“And Moses spake unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying, Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, And oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, And onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate.” (Exodus 35:4-9)
If these people had just escaped Egypt and were living in the wilderness, where would they have gotten all of these wonderful, valuable, and beautiful things?
Remember in chapter 12, when the plagues had been unleashed on Egypt and the Israelites were about to leave, what did the Lord do?
“And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.” (Exodus 12:35-36)
The Lord gave them the things they would need in order to build the tabernacle. So, God has given the children of Israel all of these beautiful and valuable treasures, and Moses says, those with a willing heart, come and bring it back to God for an offering.
God gave it to them. It was His anyway. But I’m sure there were some that were not willing to give up what they had.
“I deserve this.”
“I endured great suffering and I got what was owed to me.”
“No one can tell me what to do with my own things, they are mine and I’ll do what’s right for me.”
I can hear the words coming out of their mouths as if they were living today.
Giving back to God what He has blessed us with is the greatest honor of all.
God gave me life. I was dead because of my sin. What I deserved was Hell. But Jesus paid my debt and gave me life. And what do i have to offer? What do I have to give?
I give back what He gave me. I give my life for Him. My will and my desires, I trade them all for His. No longer do I live my life for what pleases me. In full surrender, I give it all to the Lord.
Where would you have me go?
What will you have me to do?
How can I serve you with my whole heart, Lord?
My life is my offering back to the One who gave it to me. As a Christian, that should be ALL of our response. But only some will.