God’s Work begins with God! God’s work in Mankind begins in the heart of Man! Because of Adam’s transgression, the heart of mankind is corrupted and can only be changed by God who created it. When God changes the heart, he writes His law in that heart enabling man not only to Love God, but to obey God in all God instructs mankind to do. God’s instruction to mankind is revealed in His Word through the operation of the Holy Spirit teaching us all God would have us to do. It therefore stands to reason that if God calls us to a work, will he not enable us to do that work? That answer is yes, even to all financial work needed, God will provide. However, there is a cost! There was a cost, a price paid for Mankind’s redemption. Redemption is a free gift to all who through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ receive the free gift from God, but it cost Jesus His life and more. Cost is a consuming expense! By definition, cost means to tear, consume, and devour. Expense is something which eats up one’s resources. Before any project begins there is a cost analysis.
Luk. 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? The rich young ruler came to Jesus asking, “Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? “(Luke 18:18)
Luk. 18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
Luk. 18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.
Luk. 18:21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Luk. 18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. God’s free gift of salvation to us all must be received by faith. But if there is “one thing” in the way of complete trust in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, there is no remission of sin!
To finance God’s work may cost you everything! How much are you willing to give up? The following examples are biblical projects of extraordinary expense.
The first large project God ordered built by man was the Ark, Noah’s Ark. What was the cost estimate of the building of the Ark? How was it paid? It has been estimated to have cost an equivalent of $1.5 Billion US. Its displacement compares roughly to a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Noah was building the ark for 120 years! (Gen 6:3) His workforce was 8 people. Each year of building the Ark required the equivalent of $12.5 million dollars in revenue for building materials. Each person was responsible for $1,562,500 in contributions toward the building of the Ark each year, every year for 120 years. How was this accomplished in a world of evil chaos, killing, lying, stealing, and destruction? The answer, by faith! God supplied all their needs.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Heb. 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Second event that was very expensive; Exodus!
The story told us in Exodus is about God’s redemption and deliverance of His people from the bondage of Sin and death. According to God’s promise to Abram;
Gen. 15:13 And He said to Abram, You must surely know that your seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them. And they shall afflict them four hundred years.
Gen. 15:14 And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance. Notice God said they would come out with great substance. When God was finished showing Egypt His great power, the Egyptian people gave to Israel an extremely great wealth of gold, silver, precious stones, fabrics and cattle. These things were used in the building of the Tabernacle and its furnishings.
Exo. 12:35 And the sons of Israel did according to the word of Moses. And they asked articles of silver, and articles of gold, and clothing from the Egyptians.
Exo. 12:36 And Jehovah gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and they granted their request, and they plundered the Egyptians. The estimated cost, or value, of the material used in the building of the tabernacle is scripturally listed:
Gold 29 talents 730 shekels = 1 ¼ tons
Silver 100 talents 1775 shekels = 41/4 tons
Brass 70 talents 2,400 shekels = 4 tons
A talent of gold was about 120 pounds, a talent of silver about 100 pounds, a shekel was one-half ounce.
Adding to this the cost of the wood, fabrics, priestly garments, precious stones, it has been estimated to be valued at 10 billion dollars without labor. When we see these great numbers of equivalent dollar values, it staggers the imagination of how this all came about without seeing God’s great work at hand. Even so, according to scripture, all these riches were in the possession of the people. They had to give it willingly from the heart! This is the scriptural basis of all contributions to the Work of God. It begins with the heart! Whether you are contributing money, time, or labor, God must have first put it in your heart to give willingly! Many examples are found throughout the Scriptures. Here are a few:
Exo. 25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exo. 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
Exo. 35:5 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, Exo. 35:29 The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.
Have you ever heard of people giving too much? It can be that way when willing hearts, moved by the Spirit of God, GIVE! Exo. 36:3 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. Exo. 36:4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made;
Exo. 36:5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the LORD commanded to make.
Exo. 36:6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing.
Exo. 36:7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
Do we have hearts to give today to the Work of God? Are people being taught, instructed, the ways of God in tithes and offerings? Do people know what belongs to God? Do people know that God has given us this world and we honor Him when we return to Him the tenth part, because God’s Word tell us;
Exo. 13:2 Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. Exo. 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
Lev. 25:23 The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
Num. 3:13 Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the LORD.
When did this world stop belonging to God? Never! But Satan has deceived the nations into believing a lie and this world is now in bondage to sin and death. Out of this world God has called a people unto Himself, elect, and precious. The people of God are a special treasure unto God Himself bestowing upon them the abundance of His Wonderful Love and Mercy. If you are one of these “peculiar” people, has not God called you to serve Him with all your heart? Has he not called you to serve him with your “firstfruits”?
Pro. 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
Again, many do not know what belongs to God!
Mal. 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. Read Malachi! Study Malachi! The truth proclaimed by the prophet is still true today! The storehouse, the treasury is empty because the people do not believe God! The biggest problem with Christians today is unbelief! If God is telling you to do something, you do not believe God will supply your need. You have little to no faith! Without faith it is impossible to please God! God’s work begins with God himself. If God calls and sends us to the work, will he not supply all our need?
Luk. 22:35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. The corresponding account in Matthews Gospel states, freely ye have received, freely give.
There is so much more to give than just money! Act. 3:6 But Peter said, Silver and gold have I none, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk! Perhaps God is convicting your heart to give something you have to someone else’s need. Have you tried God’s way? God will ask you to try Him!
Mal. 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.