The Thanksgiving holiday being just past, there is probably one thing that still remains—leftovers. Plenty of leftovers. However, all leftovers have one thing in common—they’re just not as good as they were the first time!
Throughout this past week, have you given God your “leftovers”? While making special preparation for this holiday weekend at your work, at home, with your family, etc., did you make preparation for God? Did you make sure that you spent time in Bible study, meditation, prayer, etc.? Or, was God a “last minute” chore?
Even further, have you made a habit out of giving God part of “what’s left”? Do you constantly offer God only the “best of the rest”? Do you make provisions for all the things you and your family want to do, and squeeze God in somewhere (or leave Him out entirely)? It seems that we consistently make provisions for anything and everything that we could possibly want to do, and leave God to take whatever we can give Him before we lay our heads down at night.
“I don’t have time.” Since it seems that we are all extremely busy all of the time, we might be tempted to offer this as an excuse for not giving God His due time. However, we each need to be honest with ourselves and decide that we have time for what we make time for. God should never be an afterthought in our lives, we should always make provisions to serve Him all day / every day.
What Does God Require Of Me?
Moses said, “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut. 10:12). Notice that this answer is in definite contrast to the thinking of many “religious” folks. The Lord does not just require whatever I feel like giving Him. He does not require my “second best” offering. NO! The Lord required, and still requires, that I fear Him, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, and to serve Him with all my heart and with all my soul!
Jesus, when asked “which is the great commandment in the law?” responded by saying, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:36-37). In the same context, Mark also records that we must love the Lord with all of our strength (Mark 12:30). Jesus is clear—we must give the Lord all that we have!
To stop short of giving the Lord all that we have, “forcing” Him to settle for less than He requires is despicable in God’s sight! Jesus, to a church that was “lukewarm” said, “I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:15b-16). If you are lukewarm in your approach to God (giving God your best some of the time), you are not pleasing in His sight!
Jesus, on an earlier occasion, made it clear that folks should not worry about what they would eat, drink, or wear. Rather than worrying about, and striving for, even those things, Jesus said to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). When we should seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness over even the necessities of life, what should we conclude about all the other things we tend to place before God?
Even still, there is another thing that God requires of me. Jesus said, “If anyone desire to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Lk. 9:23). God requires that each of us (so long as we desire to follow Him) deny ourselves. But, to what extent? He continues, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it” (Lk. 9:24). Yes, we must be willing to deny self to the extent of giving our lives for Him!
Do You Give The Lord Your Best?
“Why would I want to give all of my being to the Lord?” Why? John simply says, “We love Him because He first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19). We can desire to give God the best that we have to offer because He has given His best for us—His only begotten Son! God did not send just anyone to die for you and I. He sent His own Son, Who, gave His life on our behalf! This, along with the impending judgment of the world, should be plenty of motivation to give God the best that we have!
Now, evaluate. Look in the mirror. Do you truly give God the best that you have to offer? Or, do you “make” Him settle for something else?
What would you do if Jesus came to your house for supper? Would you gather up all the leftovers you could find in the fridge? Or, would you prepare a fresh, home-cooked meal? If you wouldn’t give God your leftovers physically, why would you give Him your “leftovers” spiritually?
- Eric Krieg -
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