Exodus 35-36 – The Heart of Generosity

Walking Through Exodus

Devotions - Week 15

My sermon was very much focussed on the motivation for giving. When it comes to generosity, we start with the heart, exposing it to God’s grace, vision, and Spirit.

However, Exodus 35-36 also helps us look at the mode of giving. It’s also deeply practical.

Let me, therefore, outline four steps for reviewing your giving, particularly to your local church.

1. Give from what you have
Firstly, it’s about getting the right perspective. The Israelites were told to give from what they had:

“… from what you have, take an offering for the Lord.”  Exodus 35:5

You can’t give what you haven’t got! That may sound obvious, but we need to be realistic and not compare ourselves with others.

Interestingly, every sector of the Israelite community got involved, and between them they had everything they needed. Not everyone had an onyx stone, but those who were willing found something they could give, whether it was a piece of coloured thread or their ability to embroider it into a tapestry.

What they did have probably came from what they had plundered from the Egyptians when the left the country.

“The Lord had made the Egyptians favourably disposed towards the people, and they gave them what they asked for.” Exodus 12:36

God had caused them to walk off with the spoils of war without any bloodshed!

Everything they had was so clearly from God! But the same is true for us too, even though it can feel like we’ve earnt our money from our efforts or skills.

The fact that “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1) is a truth that we must work harder at rediscovering in the capitalist system that many of us live in.

2. Be considered
Secondly, I want to advocate considered giving. Giving is something worth thinking through and planning for.

“Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence.”  Exodus 35:20-21

It’s important every now and then to take stock and assess your giving.

Ask yourself who does God want me to give to (e.g. church, charities, individuals) and what does he want me to give? For us this should be a Spirit-led decision process. So let's involve the Spirit in our giving.

If you’re married, then talk about it with your spouse. This is a deliberate decision you both need to feel involved in.

3. Think about your treasure, talent, and time
It’s interesting that the Israelites generosity was expressed in giving three things in response to Moses’ Special Offering: Treasure, Talent, and Time.

“And all the women who were willing and had the skill spun the goat hair.”  Exodus 35:26

Whilst we’re not being asked to build a big tent for God to dwell in, all three of these things will be needed to see God’s dwelling place on earth increase, through more Life Groups, venues and church plants, ministries to the poor and reaching other nations.

Therefore, when reviewing our own personal giving to the church, we’d do well to thinking holistically. Some of us may be able to give more of one than the other at any one point in time, but let’s each consider the treasure, talent, and time that we can give generously.

4. Continue to give
“And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.”  Exodus 36:3

Generosity is meant to be a lifestyle not a one hit wonder.

Setting up Standing Orders or Give-As-You-Earn arrangements can be helpful for this purpose, so long as we regularly review and respond to the specific things that God wants us to give into from time to time.

Paul advocates this long view of generous giving when he writes to the Corinthian church:

“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”  1 Corinthians 16:2


  1. Spend time reflecting on everything that God has given you. Consider how he provides you with possessions, income and life opportunities.

  2. Take stock of your current giving, including all forms of treasure, talent and time that you give to other people, groups and organisations.

  3. Review what God is saying to you about giving and what he wants you to do about it.

  4. Consider speaking to a trusted Christian friend or leader if you have any concerns or want help with applying Biblical principles to your finances.


Thank you Lord for your lavish generosity towards me. Help me to grow in my understanding and experience of your grace, vision and Spirit, that my heart may overflow with generosity. Help me to be Spirit-led when considering how to respond to the different needs, that the giving of my treasure, talent and time will contribute to an increase of your glory in this world. Amen.
This Everyday Devotions was written by Tim Maton, the Venue Leader of our Wimbledon Venue.

If you would like to listen to the whole of this week’s sermon on "Exodus 35:4-36:7 – The Power of a Generous Community", why not download the Everyday Church App or visit our website, YouTube Channel and at our Online Church Services.

This Everyday Devotions is accompanied by a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.

Join us as we walk through the book of Exodus by following our daily Exodus Bible Reading Plan.

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