Trust Me, God Doesn’t Need Our Brooches

Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. ?And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. ?So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the LORD. Exodus 35:20-22

It wasn’t Israel’s brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets and gold objects that pleased the Lord ? trust me, God doesn’t need our brooches ? it was the willing hearts and spirits of his people. Do you want to please the Lord and bring him joy? Serve him with gladness.

When our heart isn’t in it, we can go on a mission trip or give all we have to the poor and it stinks in God’s nostrils.

Jesus criticized the Pharisees saying ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.’ ?Outwardly they did what God required. They kept the rules. ?They did the religion thing. ?They lit the candles. ?They painstakingly tithed. ?Yet inwardly their hearts weren’t in it. ?Serving God was tedious. Joyless. If our attitude is I’ll do it but I won’t like it, we won’t please the Lord even if we conform to his commands externally.

Here’s where it gets tough. God calls us to serve him in lots of ways we don’t naturally want to.

Caring for that perpetually needy and demanding sister. Helping that brother who quite frankly doesn’t smell good. ?Going to care group when you’re flat out beat and would just rather spend the evening in a catatonic state of TV watching. Caring for an elderly parent. Humbling yourself to ask forgiveness.

At times I feel about as much like serving Jesus as jumping into a freezing river on New Year’s day. Yet God calls me to serve him with wholehearted gladness.

How do we do this? Cry out to God ? Jesus, help! I don’t feel like doing this. Change my heart! Help me desire to serve my brother. Give me grace to change these diapers cheerfully. Help me be a cheerful giver. Help me do this from the heart!

Bottom line ? we need God’s grace to be cheerful, willing servants. ?God’s joy, God’s gladness, God’s strength.

Christ’s people are willing; all that they do, they do willingly, for they are constrained by no compulsion, but by grace alone. I am sure we all can do a thing far better when we are willing than when we are forced. God loves his people’s services, because they do them voluntarily. Voluntarism is the essence of the gospel. Willing people are those whom God delights to have as his servants.-Spurgeon

How has God helped you to serve him cheerfully?

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I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.

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  1. Scott Troxell says

    2nd Corinthians 15:14-15… The love of Christ compels us to live for Him and not for ourselves. Living for Him is in large measure loving the Body of Christ, serving each other.

  2. Lori says

    Just recently I was feeling completely at the end of myself (just where God wants us, by the way) and I was lamenting the stress I felt and my inability to deal with my life at present. The Lord cut me short from my grumbling and reminded me of a verse: Philippians 2:17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all.

    The Lord asks us to pour everything we have out in service to others. However, what I pour out is not coming from my own well. He is the One filling me with His love and His grace (and everything else that is good) in order for me to willingly pour every drop of it out on those He places in my life. It is all in our mindset sometimes!

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Excellent Lori! I love how both you and Scott referenced Scripture! "What I pour out is not coming from my own well." Really good. Thanks for adding your comments!

  3. says

    Thanks for this post. I've read your blog for about a year now and have commented once. We lived in India for three years as missionaries and I struggled mightily with depression, as did my husband. We finished our term and are now back in the States, opening a new chapter. But the thing is, the old saying 'wherever you go, there you are,' applies to my situation. Even though I'm much more physically comfortable here in the States, I still find myself going through the motions sometimes as I raise my kids. The Lord has blessed me so much but I can grumble my way through homeschooling, or cleaning the house, etc. Thank you for reminding me that the Lord wants me to rely on Him for my joy and that He wants me to serve Him with a submitted heart. I really do want to be more cheerful as I live in the mundane moments of life.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hi, Hannah, thanks for your humble sharing. I know the Lord desires to help you and fill you with joy even in the mundane, as you said. And as you go about your day working with your children and caring for your family, know that the Lord is pleased with you and there isn’t anything greater you could be doing.


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