Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thoughtful About . . . Our Best

Yesterday I read the book of Malachi. Right off the bat, I learned that historians aren't sure if Malachi is a name, or the equivalent of signing something "Anonymous"--it means "the messenger of God." So it could have been a pen name--pretty interesting for this author!

It isn't a long book. It isn't one I often hear quoted. But this verse really jumped out at me, when he's responding to the poor sacrifices the people have been making:

8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,
Is it not evil?
And when you offer the lame and sick,
Is it not evil?
Offer it then to your governor!
Would he be pleased with you?
Would he accept you favorably?”
Says the Lord of hosts.

I've thought a lot about sacrifice over the years--and though we don't do the traditional Hebrew sacrifices as modern Christians, how it applies to us. But this really put it in perspective for me. Here, God is saying, "Would you present this to your earthly ruler? If not, then why do you try to offer it to me? Am I not a King above all kings?"

That really makes me take a look at my life. To whom am I giving my sacrifice? Is it to God? Or is to my husband, my kids, my editors, my authors? Who gets the firstfruits of my labors? Of my time? Of my earnings?

Who gets my best?


If I were having a royal family over for dinner, you can bet I wouldn't be offering them leftovers--unless that was all I could offer. When I give a gift to someone I love, I don't fish trash out of the can and wrap it up. When I hug my children, it isn't half-hearted, I don't then push them away.

So why do I think I can get away with treating God like He's second-rate? Because let's face it, that's what we sometimes do. We think, "I'll squeeze in some time for prayers later...unless I forget. I'll read my Bible tomorrow. I'll take a few bucks out of savings for the offering, maybe. I'll give up something I don't really care about."

But you know what? God says He'd rather have nothing than our leftovers. Because a halfhearted offering is an insult. No, worse. It's evil. That's the word He uses there in Malachi, and I can't think of a stronger one.

So when I give Him my worst instead of my best, I'm being evil. When I give Him my moldy leftovers instead of my feast, I'm being evil. When I pray as an absent afterthought instead of first, I'm being evil.

And that hurts. Because I so often get too busy. Too caught up. Too distracted. My heart's in the right place, but the rest of me doesn't always follow. And I think, "It's okay. God knows my intentions. God loves me. God knows I'm trying."

Yeah. He does. But He also knows when I'm not. He knows when I push thoughts of Him down. When I think, "Yes, I should do that, but I can't. It's too hard."

And He knows that I wouldn't make those excuses for a king who stood before me. And He mourns that I'm trying to do it with Him.

I think a lot about how my Lord is like my father. How He loves, forgives, chastises, embraces, guides. And all that is true. 

But He's also my Savior, my King, my Lord, my God. And that means He deserves my praise. My worship. My awe. 

My all.

He deserves my best.

3 comments:

  1. Wow what a powerful post Roseanna! Thank you for sharing your thoughts because I struggle in giving God my best sometimes! It's my desire to give Him my best, but I realize that actually doing it can be a challenge! However it's a challenge that is so worth it and more!

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  2. Beautiful article, Roseanna!

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    Proofreader/Writer
    writingtoinspire.blogspot.com

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  3. Amen. Love your thoughts. He more than deserves our best. Needed this reminder!

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