Elevation Offering…Coming With Gifts, Leaving With Talent

Elevation Offering… Exodus 25:1-27:19I Kings 5:26-6:13Mathew 5:33-37Do you know why the wise men were so wise?  Because they had the good common sense to come to Jesus bearing gifts, the first time they were invited by God.Bring Something, ANYTHING! A man’s man always recognizes when another man isn’t doing anything.  By that I mean, he knows when the man is just trying to get by.  He has energy for clubs, drinking, women, sports, television, the gym, but the truth is he really doesn’t do anything worthwhile with his extra time.Sometimes he is well hidden behind his good job, his nice family, or his own business.  Sometimes he labors in the yard tending to what he owns and making sure that everything is looking and running smooth.  And sometimes he has the audacity to broadcast that he isn’t doing anything and doesn’t mind doing nothin’.  He laughs and shrugs because he has made being “lazy” a cool thing to be.  But the man’s man reads behind all that.The man’s man doesn’t beg other men to get their stuff together.  He doesn’t beg another man to come and learn what he needs to know in life.  A man’s man makes one invitation and if the other doesn’t have an interest, well, that’s his loss, because the man’s man keeps walking.  A man’s man expects men to bring something to the table.  It may be old, it may be raggedy, but he can’t show up empty handed.  He never tells another man this.  It’s understood between men.Gifts from men are not the same as gifts from womenWhen a woman brings a gift, she thinks about what the person really wants, but a man is different.  A man thinks about what is needed.  Let me re-phrase that.  It’s uncomfortable for a man to come forward with a gift.  It feels un-masculine for some reason, and because of this, when a man brings a gift, it will be the best that he has to offer or he won’t bring it.  That’s a man.Now, let me set the record straight.  I’m not talking about when a man bears a gift for a woman.  That’s a whole other matter.  When men bring gifts for women they are appealing to her softness.  But when a man brings a gift for another man, he is offering him something that will build his strength.  He isn’t going to offer him something sweet and pretty.  He is going to offer him something that will somehow, in some way, change his life.  Men give gifts that change lives.A good man will bring a gift that changes another man’s life for the better.  A bad man will bring a gift that changes another man’s life for the worse.  Some men are not wise enough to refuse a gift that is bad from another man.  But a wise man knows which gifts to turn away and which gifts are worthy of being respected.  A man’s man respects the gift from another man, when the gift is good.Good gifts can be convertedSometimes, and this is in most cases, a man will bring himself.  He loans himself out as a service.  When a man loans himself out as a service to another man, he has brought his highest gift.  Men know that the best gift they have to offer is themselves, this is why they only give themselves to what they truly believe is worthy.  Men do not like to commit.God does something interesting.  He says to Moses, “Tell the people that anyone who wants to bring a gift I will not refuse it”.  That is so odd.  God does not demand gifts from his people in this passage, he invites them.  Why?  I believe it is because God is separating those who are “bright” from those who are not so bright.  Those who are bright will be the leaders, and those who are not so bright will be the laborers.  Does this make you mad?  It shouldn’t.  God is a man’s man.God knows that the women will come immediately.  They will come bearing sweet things.  Their motive is to support the work, and this is acceptable.  But only the men who believe in the work will rise to this first invitation.  The others will wait until they are compelled.  But now there is a separation between the men, isn’t there?  It’s like having to move and calling all of your buddies to assist you.  There will be some who will immediately make your dilemma their priority, and there are others who will wait until you blow up their phone or show up at their door.  All will help, but you will see them differently from now on.The one who steps up now will leave with a talent that can be used to be profitable in the world.  The one who steps up later will receive a nod that says, “thanks”.   God is not a man who is easily impressed.  Solomon built a temple that is still being bragged about today.  But when God looked at it, all he said was:  If you do what you said you were going to do, you and I will remain cool.A man’s man is able to see the gift for what it really is…even when nobody else can see.

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