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husband helping with groceries February 28 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Numbers 7:1- 8:4

Ownership and Responsibility; making a person feel important

How do we get employees, volunteers, students, or even family members to feel like they belong? By giving them responsibilities and recognition for their contributions.

In a family when each person has at least one responsibility, he feels he is an important part of it. When someone brings home groceries, the whole family might help carry them into the house. If we are moving we might give everyone in our family tasks (even a preschooler can carry a stuffed animal). Are you part of God's family? Not only can you have peace, forgiveness, and spiritual life (more...), you can also have an opportunity to take ownership and responsibility in it. You can actively be a part of your new family by contributing.

In our Bible studies from Leviticus we saw that God gave directions to Moses regarding the construction of the tabernacle and set aside priests to serve there, along with instructions regarding their offerings; but all along the way he sought to have the whole community become involved. He wanted them to take responsibility and ownership of the tabernacle, their portable worship center. The tabernacle was for all the people, not just their representative priests. It was the people who brought contributions of materials to build the tabernacle. It was the people, not just leaders, who were required to obey the decrees of the LORD and to bring acceptable sacrifices. The Israelites even took an active part in the sacrifices.

In the book of Numbers we see that the tabernacle is built. The people donate carts and oxen for the Levites to transport it whenever it is moved. The Kohathites, descendants of Aaron the high priest, do not need carts or oxen, however; they are to carry the furniture of the tabernacle on their shoulders. The Merarites and Gershonites, also descendants of Aaron, receive carts and oxen to transport the framework and curtains of the tabernacle. Many young churches can sympathize with the Israelites. They set up their worship center in schools or other buildings because they do not have their own church building. They set up and take down chairs. furniture, stage, other props, and instruments used in worship every Sunday. It is useful to have ways of carrying them. Members of every congregation should be concerned with the practical aspects of ministry as well as the spiritual aspects, so we need to generously supply the needs.

After supplying carts to the Levites, each tribe is required to bring an offering to dedicate the bronze altar, thereby putting it into service. Each tribe brings the same offering:

His offering was one silver plate weighing a hundred and thirty shekels, [That is, about 3 1/4 pounds (about 1.5 kilograms)] and one silver sprinkling bowl weighing seventy shekels, [That is, about 1 3/4 pounds (about 0.8 kilogram)] both according to the sanctuary shekel, each filled with fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering; one gold dish weighing ten shekels, [That is, about 4 ounces (about 110 grams)] filled with incense; one young bull, one ram and one male lamb a year old, for a burnt offering; one male goat for a sin offering; and two oxen, five rams, five male goats and five male lambs a year old, to be sacrificed as a fellowship offering (Numbers 7:13-17, NIV).

Why is each tribe’s contribution listed separately if all of them are exactly the same? Why not just summarize them? Perhaps there are two reasons. First, we appreciate each person’s contribution when we mention it, though it seems redundant. Each tribe is recognized for his contribution; each has a part in the whole. We must not underestimate the importance of recognition. If people know they will be recognized for something, they most often act responsibly. Second, not only is recognition an honor, but we are held responsible for what we do. All tribes are to bring the same contributions, but if one tribe cheats the offerings, that tribe feels guilty and is held accountable.

Let's be willing to give ourselves to the LORD and help our leaders in the service of the LORD. The Apostle Paul said of the Philippian church,

I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God, (Philippians 4:18).

Let's be like that; let's encourage our church and ministers with our help.

Lessons to live by:

  • Are you part of God's family? Not only can you have peace, forgiveness, and spiritual life (more...), you can also have an opportunity to take ownership and responsibility in your new family. You can actively be a part of it by contributing.
  • We should be concerned with the practical aspects of ministry as well as the spiritual aspects. We need to generously supply the needs.
  • We show appreciation for each person’s contribution when we mention it.
  • We must not underestimate the importance of recognition. If people know they will be recognized for something, they most often act responsibly.
  • Let's encourage our church and ministers with our help.

Today’s Bible memory verse:

Hebrews 13:16 “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to mtbiblestudies@gmail.com

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