Monday, July 16, 2012
Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the LORD that is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site. According to their ability they gave to the treasury of the work 61,000 darics of gold, 5,000 minas of silver, and 100 priests' garments.
The long work of rebuilding the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem began with a listing of the people who volunteered for the project. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, some of them of their own free will gave funds to immediately procure the supplies and begin the work. This was spontaneous generosity. And it helped get the project off and running with good, uptempo energy.
God used the generous gifts of His people, along with the revenue coming from king Cyrus himself to provide the means for the temple to be rebuilt. But God would use the generation of re-settlers to do the work. There was means, there was money, and there was manpower. Now they just needed to procure the material to begin the work.
Those four things define the hard work of ministry even today. Without MEANS, there can be no ministry. There are always things to be done and projects to complete in the service to the glory of God. And often the major physical need is MONEY. Funds help to provide for all the physical facets of spiritual service. But ministry is foremost about people... whether it is worship or spreading the good news, the gospel advances on the lips, hands, and feet of people who provide the MANPOWER. And of course there are things needed, MATERIAL, so that those people, with certain things in hand, places to stay, food to eat, bricks to build with, etc., can do the work of advancing the kingdom of God. That is why generous love for God's gracious love compels Christians to graciously and generously give.