This passage is the people's response to God's command in Exodus 35:4-9 for a contribution to be made for the building of the tabernacle. Exodus 36:5 says, "The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do." Verse three states this contribution is a freewill offering.
It has been my understanding for quite some time that when God's people are obedient, there is more than enough to do the work the LORD has commanded. I have often wondered what depiction the church presents of our all-sufficient God when it needs fundraising activities or the help of local businesses to fulfill the ministry of the church.
Jesus, You are the One who took five barley loaves and two small fish and fed 5,000 men. With a boy's small free will offering, You were able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think. Please give Your bride eyes to see the difference between Your desire for her and her desire for herself. May we have willing hearts to bring the tithes and offerings into Your storehouse, trusting You to provide for what You command.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, "What is the chief end of man?" The answer is, "Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever." Since the catechism was written in the 1600's, the wording sounds strange to our ears, but the meaning is obvious. God created man for His glory (Isaiah 43:7, 1 Corinthians 10:31) and He is to be our great joy (Psalm 16:5-11, Philippians 4:4).
In this passage, Jesus explains how we fulfill God's purpose in our lives. By being fruitful, we prove to be true disciples of Jesus which brings glory to God. We are productive only by Him living His life through us. We are just the branches; He is the true vine. Apart from Him, we can do nothing.
We all know there can be a lot of activity in our lives that may appear Christ-like. But if it is just our doing apart from the Vine, it has no Kingdom worth. It has no eternal value. Remaining in His Word and love is the means of staying attached to Him.
Jesus told us how to glorify God so we would be filled with joy. Since God's purpose for creating us is to bring glory to Himself, fulfilling the reason for our existence will bring great joy into our lives.
As is always the case, Scripture says it better than I do. David explains this perfectly in Psalm 16:11, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Abiding in Christ brings complete permanent joy.
Thank You, Jesus, for explaining how to live life according to my Creator's design. It seems obvious I would find great pleasure in fulfilling the purpose for which I was created. Forgive me for living for my plans and glory and not Yours. I desire to be a true disciple of Yours and to glorify our Father.
If you have wondered why the title of this blog is His Dwelling Word, Ephesians 5:18 is a significant factor in choosing the name. The following link is to the Introduction of His Dwelling Word. You will find the reason for the name there.