In Exodus ch. 35 a remarkable event took place in the history of the Children of Israel. A place for God to dwell was required. (not the temporary structure of ch. 33). And so the work began on the construction of the Tabernacle, in which God dwelt throughout the journey from Egypt to Canaan.
The needs were great and varied. They included gold, silver and bronze for the construction of the vessels, altars, etc; fabric, thread and animal skins for the coverings and veils; acacia wood; oil, spices and precious stones. (see the details in ch.35).
Not just the materials - but men and women to make all the components of its structure.
So not only did men and women give the materials each as they were able. Women also used their God given wisdom and skill to spin the blue, purple and scarlet, and fine linen. Bezalel and some other men to whom God had given wisdom and understanding crafted the gold silver and bronze. And all the work was done by these to whom God had given the ability in many different fields. And what amount of TIME was given?!
The amazing thing is that so much was given that it was not only sufficient but too much! ( ch.36v7)
What is emphasized is that these were freewill offerings (Ch. 36v3) and came from hearts that had been stirred and that were willing. (emphasised in several verses)
How is it for us today? We are contributing to the building up of the local Assembly; we can support the work of the Lord locally and elsewhere; likewise we can help the poor and needy both locally and worldwide. There is no shortage of need.
Have we ever grasped that all we have - possessions, money, ability, time have been given to us by the Lord. We are only stewards of what He has given to us. He has the right to expect us to give in return, however God doesn’t demand compulsory giving - “The Lord loves a cheerful giver”.
Have our hearts been stirred when we see a need, to meet it? Are our hearts willing to give and keep on giving? (Think of the early Believers in ‘Acts’.) Our motivation will come from an appreciation of Him.
“Thy life was given for me ......what have I given to Thee?”