"The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me." - Exodus 25:1-2
Valentine's Day will soon arrive. Gifts will fly. Everything from flowers to diamond earrings and more. Ideally, these gifts will not be given as part of an annual obligation. Hopefully, the exchange will not come out of the fear of emotional retribution. The motivation for giving on Valentine's Day is a matter of the heart.
When the time came for the building of the Tabernacle, the materials needed were considerable. The Lord could have easily and rightly demanded the people to give what was needed. After all, they had been delivered from centuries of slavery and miraculously provided for along the journey. Victory was given against every enemy. They really owed the Lord, big time! But, the motivation for giving was a matter of the heart.
Our act of giving in worship today is no different than it was that day. Paul wrote to the believers in 2 Corinthians 9:7, "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Just as the romance of Valentine's Day or the gratitude of freed Israelites ... giving to the Lord should always be...a matter of the heart.