More Than Enough happens to be a song by Chris Tomlin. It’s about how God’s supply is more than enough for our needs. I’ve borrowed the title, but tonight I was thinking about something other than his song. Take a look at these verses from Exodus 36:
2 And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. 3 And they received from Moses all the contribution that the people of Israel had brought for doing the work on the sanctuary. They still kept bringing him freewill offerings every morning, 4 so that all the craftsmen who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task that he was doing, 5 and said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.” 6 So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the sanctuary.” So the people were restrained from bringing, 7 for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.
In order to build the tabernacle according to God’s instructions, the Hebrews were asked to donate the materials. Carpenters, goldsmiths and seamstresses were asked to do the skilled labor. In this passage, stuff just poured in until Moses had to command them to STOP giving. Wow. Can you imagine that happening today? What if the ushers had to push people away from the offering plates because they were full? What if the soup kitchen had more food than they had hungry people to feed? What if the local coat closet was busting at the seams, and they ask people to stop giving them winter coats, gloves and scarves? The Hebrews had an abundance of materials because they had basically plundered Egypt as they were leaving. They didn’t steal anything; the Egyptians not only let them leave, they begged them to take whatever they wanted and get out. They were commanded to leave quickly. God provided them with an abundance of loot before asking them to make a donation.
Whatever God asks us to do, he has already provided us with more than enough to do it with. Whether its material, or finances, or talent and ability, God provides for us all we need and more, then asks us to trust him with it. Whatever God has called us to, he equips us to be able to do. Even if we can’t see it yet. God knows what he can do; sometimes he just wants to prove it to us.
I don’t make a habit out of running repeats. Like leftovers in the refrigerator, some old posts keep better than others. This one is still good.
When Moses encounters the burning bush, he asks of God “Who am I, that I should speak to Pharaoh?” That’s a legitimate question. Who am I that I should preach the gospel? Who are any of us? We are those called by God into his service. He calls us, saves us, then equips us to do his work for the Kingdom. Moses was a herdsman, already wanted for murder. David was a shepherd when he was called, and only a child at that. Look at the disciples; blue collar workers at best, rejects and outcasts at their worst. But look at who God calls; every major character in the Bible was tragically flawed in some way. God takes the small, the broken and the unwanted and fixes them up. He then sends us into the world, a world that is fallen and broken. It may look great at times, but we live in a fallen world affected by the curse. God calls little children wrecked by sin into his service, to spread the gospel among all his other little sinwrecked children.
Click here for the original post Who Does God Call? (Sep. 14, 2008)
Hebrews is easy to preach because its form is much more like a sermon than an epistle (letter). At the heart of its message is an impassioned plea not to leave the Christian faith for another, and so in order to be convincing the author of Hebrews makes many comparisons between Christ and all the things of the Old Testament he is superior to. We have already seen that Christ is superior to the angels, and that through suffering he becomes the perfect founder of our faith. Chapter 3 begins this way:
Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. Hebrews 3:1-6
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. -Romans 5: 12-17
In some ways, Jesus is like Adam. By one man’s transgression, sin entered the world. And by one man’s righteousness, victory over sin entered the world. Adam and Jesus are alike in that both are a type of “first man.” At the same time, they are total opposites if you think about it. Adam was the first man to sin; Jesus was the first man to live without sin. Continue reading →
Tomorrow is Sunday, November 23, and Thanksgiving Day is the following Thursday. I will be preaching this sermon in the morning, perhaps it will be a blessing to someone here as well. Anyone may feel free to use this material in a way that brings glory and honor to God.
We are going to begin with 4 scripture readings, used at different times during the service. You will note that there is one reading each from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and a Gospel. The final reading is the text of the sermon. Continue reading →
In the first chapter of Mark (I happen to be leading a study of Mark) Jesus begins to call his first disciples. Jesus had many followers, but from those he called out 12 to be his “inner circle” if you will. In verses 16-20 he calls first Simon (Peter) and Andrew, then James and John. All 4 of these men were fishermen. This was not the most respected vocation in first century Israel. Fishermen worked long hours, spent a lot of time away from home and family, and they, well to be honest, stank. Fish stink, guys that spend a lot of time with them also stink. It was hard work, and while you could make a living at it, a fisherman would never really “be somebody.”
In Mark chp. 2 Jesus calls Levi (Matthew). He was a tax collector. He may have had more education than a fisherman, and would have definitely had more money. Most were crooked however, so he still would not have had a lot of friends. If he did, they were also crooks and/or tax collectors. We don’t know as much about some of the other disciples. Luke was not one of the 12, but he was obviously hanging around. Remember that Jesus had other followers and students besides the 12. If Luke was not following Jesus from place to place during his ministry, we know for sure that he was very much involved in the formation of the early church. Luke was physician. This was a guy that was not only educated, he would have been respected in the community. So what am I getting at?
God calls all types of people into his service. There is not a Christian type, but he invites all types to become Christian, then uses whatever they bring with them to the table to further his kingdom and spread the gospel. In Luke 8, we find out that many women were not only following Jesus, but supporting his ministry financially. Luke does not neglect to list some names for us. And just to top off the list, one of the first miracles performed by Jesus was healing Simon’s mother-in-law (Mark 1). There’s only one way to get a mother-in-law; it’s a small detail, but we learn that Simon was married. God calls into his service the educated and the illiterate; the single and the married; men and women; those respected by the community and those disrespected. God is not interested in our ability, but in our availability.
One more thing: Go back to Exodus chp 3 and see what happens when God calls someone who is not interested. After God speaks to Moses from the burning bush, Moses’ first response is “Who am I to go before Pharaoh?” God answers he will be with him. In chp 4 Moses questions if the people will believe God spoke to him. Moses complains he is not a good speaker. He finally comes right out and asks God to please send someone else. By this time God is angry with Moses. We are the body of Christ; he has already done the hard stuff. We need to be willing to respond when he calls us. And there is no one that he cannot use, no matter how many excuses we can come up with. Let’s be the salt and the light people.