- Sermon Notes
Living the Effective Life
Exodus 35:29 to 36:7
If you were to name people who have lived an effective life, who would you name? In the Christian world, I think many people would say Billy Graham, or
Chuck Smith, or Greg Laurie, Luis Palau or perhaps James Dobson. Going back a bit further, perhaps Corrie Ten Boom or Charles Spurgeon.
But there are many others who lived the effective life you probably have never heard of. They are famous in heaven, however.
When you think of the most effective people in the Bible, who comes to mind? Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, Isaiah, Elijah and Elisha? But what about those who aren’t so famous? Have you heard of Bezalel and Oholiab? You will hear of them today. Without question they lived the effective life. But what makes a life effective?
First, there is a distinction between the world’s definition and God’s definition of an effective life.God’s definition of an effective life comes from a spiritual perspective.God made us with a soul and spirit and an effective life comes from spiritual bearing.
To be effective means to accomplish a goal or purpose. To be spiritually effective you must fulfill God’s purpose. He wants your life to have meaning and purpose, to have value, to live for that which is higher and greater than yourself; to have spiritual significance and to make an impact on the people around you.An effective life is a fulfilling life because you are fulfilling God’s purpose.
In these verses today, you see those principles which God gives to those who seek to live the effective life and fulfill God’s purpose.
When God met Moses on Mount Sinai, He gave him not only laws and commandments, He also gave instructions for building the tabernacle, the place where God’s
presence, His Shekinah glory, would be seen.God was fulfilling His promise that His presence would go with them as He brought them to the land He promised
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
God gave Moses detailed instructions about how the tabernacle was to be built.Every aspect of the tabernacle is a shadow of the throne of God in heaven itself and a symbol of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who makes relationship with God possible.
In these verses today, God called the men He desired to use in the craftsmanship of the tabernacle, and He called them by name.These are Bezalel and Oholiab; not famous in the annals of biblical history, but effective in fulfilling God’s purpose and examples to everyone who seeks to live the effective spiritual life and fulfill God’s purpose.
I.God Calls You to His Purpose
- God specifically called Bezalel and Oholiab by name for the purpose to which he had called them.
- Does God call you as well? Absolutely.And He calls you by name…
Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born, I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
- God calls you to relationship first
- What does the word ‘calling’ mean? Literally, it means to call someone’s name to get their attention.
Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
- God has a calling and gives purpose to your life, but God calls you to relationship with Him first.
- When David was a young man, God called him and anointed him to become the next king of Israel.But long before that, David had a relationship to God.
Illus - When David was just a simple shepherd, writing Psalms and singing to the Lord and playing on his harp, did he have it in his mind that one day he would be famous?Did he say to himself, “One day these psalms will be read all of the world, I should get a publisher.”Was that the reason David wrote the Psalms?No, David wrote Psalms and worshiped on his harp because of his heart for God.
God called him to relationship before he called him to be king.The same is true for you and me.
Psalm 27:4, One thing I have asked from the Lord, and that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple.
- The first part of having an effective spiritual life, is to have a personal, spiritual, devotional, intimate, relationship to God.
- God empowers his purpose in your life
- God promised to fill Bezalel with the Spirit of God so he could do what he was called to do.
- The Spirit of God is the presence of God and the power of God to accomplish the purpose of God.
App – Where God guides; God provides.Many years later in the history of Israel when they were taken captive in Babylon for 70 years, God called Zerubbabel to return to Israel; to rebuild the city and the Temple.When they arrived, they were discouraged and downtrodden because the city of Jerusalem was nothing but a mountain of rubble.God then sent this word to strengthen his faith…
Zechariah 4:6-10, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.‘What are you, O great mountain?Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it.…Do not despise the day of small beginnings.’”
- The Spirit of God is given that you receive the power of God to accomplish the purpose of God.
Acts 1:8, You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.
- You have a gift - to use for God’s glory
- Sometimes when someone does something amazing, people will say, “He is gifted,” or to that person someone might say, “You have a gift.”
- God gives our gifts.Whatever gifts we have - came from Him.
James 1:17, Every good thing given, and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.
- That’s what God was speaking of when He said…
Exodus 31:6, “…and in the hearts of all who are skillful I have put that skill, that they may make all that I have commanded.”
Illus – There was a famous painter on PBS named Bob Ross that could create entire paintings in 30 minutes, while teaching the television audience how simple and easy it was. Not. He was gifted. God is the greatest artist of all, and every artist is simply made in God’s image.
Can you imagine the music of heaven? Every musician is made in the image of God and is using His gift. The question is whether that musician uses that gift for the glory of God.
One of the greatest classical composers of all time was J.S. Bach. He wrote at the end of every composition, Soli Deo Gloria; Only for the Glory of God.
- Some might say, “There is nothing special about me that God can use.”
- I have found that God uses all the humble and simple things we have done to prepare us for what lies ahead; for God’s purpose and calling.
Illus - My first real job, other than picking berries and working on the farm, was being a janitor at an elementary school.Little did I know that God was preparing me to become a pastor through that job as a janitor.I became skilled at cleaning toilets and mopping floors. That came in handy when planting a church. Then I worked in restaurants, learning to wash dishes, to cook, to serve and eventually, to manage.God was preparing me so I could use all those skills for His glory.
App – Can you hold a baby? God can use you your anointed hands in the nursery. God can use you in the children’s ministry, in swinging a hammer, in tile work, cleaning, cooking, and so much more, and it’s all to worship and serve the Lord.
Romans 12:1, Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
II. God Will Make You Effective
- God said that He would fill these men with the Spirit of God… in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge and in craftsmanship.
- In other words, God would make them effective and God will make you effective as well.
A. Let your heart move you
- Verses 21, 22, 26, and 29 – “And everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came.”
- God called Bezalel and Oholiab and they came. In other words, their hearts were stirred, and they made themselves available.
- God gives the ability, whether by special gifting, or by anointing the gifts you were born with, but you must make yourself available. You must move when your heart is stirred.
- However, God doesn’t give every ability to every person.
Illus – I’m available to be a professional golfer, and even if my heart stirred me, I don’t have the ability. I was once given the blessing of golfing with Bob Gilder, a Christian pro golfer on tour.God gave him a gift and then anointed that gift for His glory.He uses Bob to influence other professional golfers for Christ.When we golfed together, one of my shots went straight down the middle of the fairway.I turned to Bob Gilder and said, “What do you think, do I have potential?”He looked at me blankly and said, “Don’t quit your day job.”Yeah, good advice.
- God gives different gifts and abilities so that everyone can contribute something, and everyone has equal value.
- The problem for most people is not ability, because God has placed much ability in their lives, the problem is that they don’t make themselves available.They don’t move when their heart is stirred.
- Perhaps this is because people see doing something for God as an inconvenience rather than an opportunity to honor God with their lives; that God is the One who makes their life effective.
- God wants us to have a willing heart. God told Moses that people should give because their hearts were stirred within them.
Exodus 36:2, Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it.
- The same is true in our hearts and lives as well.
2 Corinthians 9:7, Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver.
- God wants us to have a willing heart, a willing mouth, a willing character…
- Stay in the shadow of the Almighty
- This comes from the meaning of the name Bezalel - “In the shadow of God.”
- It means to stay close, to stay near in your heart, and to rely on the covering and protection that comes from abiding in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
- This is an important principle. God makes us effective; He empowers what glorifies Him. The key to an effective life is to stay, to abide, in the shadow of the Almighty. His strength and might is the help in time of need.
Illus – When I was in the restaurant business in my early 20’s, I suggested once that we should pray and ask God for His help in something. The person I said that to responded, “God helps those who help themselves.That’s in the Bible.”
Actually, no, that’s not in the bible. What is in the bible is this…
Psalm 63:7, You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.My soul clings to You; for Your right hand upholds me.
The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be
done, brought a freewill offering to the Lord. Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri,
the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship;
to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, and in the cutting of stones for settings and in the carving of wood, so as to
perform in every inventive work. He also has put in his heart to teach, both he and Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has
filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material,
and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs. “Now Bezalel and Oholiab, and every skillful person in whom
the Lord has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work in the construction of the sanctuary, shall perform in accordance
with all that the Lord has commanded.” Then Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every skillful person in whom the Lord had put skill, everyone
whose heart stirred him, to come to the work to perform it. They received from Moses all the contributions which the sons of Israel had brought
to perform the work in the construction of the sanctuary. And they still continued bringing to him freewill offerings every morning. And all the
skillful men who were performing all the work of the sanctuary came, each from the work which he was performing, and they said to Moses, “The people
are bringing much more than enough for the construction work which the Lord commanded us to perform.” So Moses issued a command, and a proclamation
was circulated throughout the camp, saying, “Let no man or woman any longer perform work for the contributions of the sanctuary.” Thus the people
were restrained from bringing any more. For the material they had was sufficient and more than enough for all the work, to perform it.