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Building Community

Words of Faith Final

Building Community
Words of Faith 1-27-2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2023
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Exodus 25
The Lord said to Moses, [2] "Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from each man whose heart prompts him to give. [3] These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; [4] blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; [5] ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; [6] olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; [7] and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.
[8] "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. [9] Make this Tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.

The people of Israel now had freedom from slavery. They also had the Law describing how they should live with one another and in relationship to God. It was never the intention of the Lord to bring His people out of slavery in Egypt and then abandon them! The Lord intended to dwell among the people. For this purpose, the Lord described the building of a Tabernacle in great detail (ch. 25-27).
The very first offering of God's people was for building this Sanctuary where God would meet His leaders and the people. Before there was a tithe or the specifics of sacrifices, the Lord requested a "free will" offering from the people. This request was put before the people but was impressed on the hearts of everyone by the Lord Himself. How wonderful!
The Lord prompted the people to give the many varied materials and skills needed for building the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was also an image that pointed to the coming of Christ. Scripture declares that Christ "tabernacled" or dwelt among His people (John 1:14).
What an incredible experience this was! Listening to God for the first time. Each one gave, sensing God's leading or prompting from the heart. They gave not because of obligation or taxation. They gave out of a sense of partnership with God.
Obviously, the Lord could have chosen any number of ways to construct a place for His presence to dwell or "tabernacle" among the people. He could have simply zapped it into place. Or he could have brought caravans of materials and workers. But God chose to build His presence among the people by providing the materials and skills THROUGH the people.
This principle has never changed. God never NEEDS for us to give to Him. He owns everything. He commands all of creation. But God desires that his people would give to build His dwelling in the midst of God's people.
Building the dwelling of God is not just a matter of physical construction. It is not just about financial and material contribution. It is about building community. It is about working together. It is about caring and communicating with one another in a gathering that focuses on God.
Every once in a while, I meet someone who remarks that one does not have to go to church to be a Christian. Or someone will say that we need not contribute to be saved. While this is true-- salvation is never based on what we do or give-- there is so much that is lost in such a thought.
The Lord desires to dwell in the midst of His people! What a joyous thought this is. The Lord God desires His people to work and contribute together to build a community that honors and enjoys Him. He desires a partnership with His people in making the dwelling of the Almighty. What a privilege.

Lord God, I give thanks that You purposed to dwell among Your people. You sent your Son Jesus to dwell among us, teach, heal, and make us one with You. Prompt me, O Lord, to give in the ways You desire toward the building of community in the Body of Christ. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2023
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2023 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.