“Write This Down…” provides a restatement of selected points or observations from various teaching venues at which Pastor Matthew speaks. The following material is from Pastor Matthew’s sermon entitled, “The Church Gaining Momentum”, part of the series called “Momentum,” the weekend of December 5, 2010 at Bethel Church:
God has invited every follower of Jesus Christ to engage in a unique cause, one whereby God’s glory is made manifest for all to see. The Westminster Confession of Faith puts it this way: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
Exodus 35 and 36 reveal how the people of Israel entered into this cause. For them, the way they were to promote God’s glory was by providing a tabernacle or sanctuary in which God’s glory could be displayed before the nations. Exodus 35:5 shows how people of generous hearts were to come forward with material goods so as to prepare this tabernacle. Exodus 35:10 demonstrates how people with special skills were to step up for the cause. In the end, so much material was provided, and the people had become so enthusiastic for what was happening, that Moses had to restrain them, telling them to stop bringing their contributions (see Exodus 36:6).
The passages reveal four important ingredients for entering into God’s mission. First, material goods are necessary for supporting God’s cause (Exodus 35:9). Secondly, skills and talents and spiritual gifts are necessary for supporting God’s cause (Exodus 35:10; 1 Corinthians 12:7). Thirdly, a generous heart is necessary for supporting God’s cause (Exodus 35:21). Lastly, an understanding of the cause is a necessity (see Exodus 25:8).
For the people of Israel glorifying God meant obeying his command to erect a tabernacle in the wilderness from which his glory could be displayed to all the nations. For Bethel Church glorifying God also means building tabernacles, but the tabernacles in question are people in whom God’s Spirit dwells (cp. 1 Corinthians 3:16). Success at Bethel Church is not about our size and scope. It is not about our programs and events. Success at Bethel Church is about making disciples who live, love and lead like Jesus Christ in their respective realms of influence. It is about constructing tabernacles of the heart from which God may manifest his glory among the nations (cp. Psalm 96:3).