Do you like leftovers? My husband and son love leftovers. Sam will eat leftovers for breakfast, no matter what they are. I’ve come downstairs some mornings to find him eating salmon, asparagus, and mashed potatoes for breakfast. Yuck! If we don’t have leftovers in the refrigerator, he will declare “we have nothing for breakfast.”
My daughter and I aren’t huge fans of leftovers. Interestingly enough neither is God. Exodus 23:19 tells us to “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.” [Emphasis mine] He wants the cream of the crop, not the bottom of the barrel. Proverbs 3:9-10 says “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Basically, when you chose to honor God first instead of last, He will provide for your needs.
In Malachi 1:6-8 the Israelites were charged with bringing dishonor to the Lord by bringing defiled sacrifices to the altar. Instead of giving the Lord the firstfruits, the best of what they had, the Israelites brought Him the defective and the animals they didn’t want…basically, the leftovers. We look at this and we all agree they were wrong, yet we may not recognize when we do the same thing.
Do we give God our time each day? If we do, do we give Him the time of day when we are most alert and able to focus or is it when we’re about to fall asleep at the end of the day or barely awake in the morning? Do we give to the Lord financially? If so, is it the first check we write or is it the last one, after we’ve paid all our bills and covered some of the extras we want? Do we give what we’re comfortable giving or do we give to the point of sacrificing? Are we willing to sacrifice so the Lord can have more than a tithe from us?
King David understood a gift to the Lord should cost something [2 Samuel 24:21-24]. If we give the Lord something that was given to us, then where is the cost? Where is the sacrifice?
What are you giving Jesus? Is there sacrifice involved? There are many things you can sacrifice for the Lord: sleep, time, talents and financial resources to name a few. If there is no sacrifice involved in what you’re giving, what needs to change? The value of anything is determined by what someone is willing to pay or sacrifice. Is what you’re sacrificing a clear reflection of how much you value the Lord? These are questions we all need to ponder, pray about and then take action where the Lord leads us. I’d love to hear your thoughts.