We Must Give Our Best To The Lord
By Ron Boatwright

     God expects our best to be offered to Him and not our leftovers.  God is asking the Jews in Malachi 1:8, "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?"  It is also evil and sinful when we don’t give our best to God.  In the Old Testament, God commanded the Jews to give to Him "the first-fruits of your harvest" (Leviticus 23:10).  God demands our best be given to Him today.  We are to "present your bodies as a living sacrifice" to the Lord (Romans 12:1).  We are to "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33), and "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:2), if we expect to go to heaven.  If our treasure is in heaven, "there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:21).

     But when we have given our best to the Lord, we haven’t earned our salvation.  Jesus says, "So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants.  We have done what was our duty to do’" (Luke 17:10).  We can never do too much for the Lord, but we can do too little.  Jesus gives us a parable of the one talent man to warn us that we must give God our best according to our ability.  Jesus says, "But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money…But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant…And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’" (Matthew 25:18, 26, 30).  We see the tragic end of one who did not give his best to the Lord.

     One man said to Jesus, "Lord I will follow you, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.  But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’" (Luke 9:61-62).  Are we fit for the kingdom of God?  There are those who want to do the bare minimum just to get by.  Some of the bare minimum group are the one hour Sunday morning "Christians".  That is the extent of their Christianity.  Some members of the church are like visitors who come ever now and then.  We are "Not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…For if we sin willfully…there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment" (Hebrews 10:25-27).  Those who forsake the assembly of the church are going to be lost since they sin willfully and judgment day will be a fearful thing.  Today we are to give "as God has prospered" us (1 Corinthians 16:2), not what we have left over, whether it be time or money.

     There are congregations who either have an abbreviated service or who cancel their Sunday evening service when special days such as Christmas Eve or Christmas falls on Sunday.  Governor Felix told the apostle Paul, "when I have a convenient time I will call for you" (Acts 24:25).  Christians today are basically saying, "when I have a convenient time I will worship you".  They are putting other things, which they consider more important before the Lord.  Is this acceptable to God?

     In living the Christian life, so we can be pleasing to God, Jesus says, "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).  Let’s make our "calling and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10), by giving our best to the Lord, by putting Him first in all that we do.  Let’s "show the same diligence to the full assurance of the hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:11-12).  Let’s make sure we inherit the promise of eternal life.