Lesson #23

We Must Give Our Best To The Lord

     God expects our best to be offered to Him and not our leftovers.  God in asking the Jews in Malachi 1:8 says, "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 every now and then.  Those who forsake the assembly of the church are going to be lost since they sin willfully by forsaking the assembly and Judgment Day will be a fearful thing for them (Hebrews 10:25-31).  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.  This is putting other things ahead of God.  Governor Felix told the apostle Paul, "when I have a convenient time I will call for you" (Acts 24:25).  Some Christians today are basically saying, "when I have a convenient time I will worship and serve you".  They are putting other things, which they consider more important before the Lord.  Is this acceptable to God?

     Let’s make our calling and election sure, 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.

     A young man came running to Jesus and said, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16).  Jesus said to him, "But if you want to enter life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17).  The young man said, "All these things I have kept from my youth up. What lack I yet?" (Matthew 19:20).  We need to ask ourselves the same question, "What lack I yet?" so we can be sure of going to Heaven.  It would be a tragedy if we missed Heaven because something was lacking in our lives, or we needed to correct something.

     We are told to "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves" (2 Corinthians 13:5).  We need to look at our lives and try to see where we are lacking and need improvement.  What can we do to be more pleasing to the Lord?  In doing this we are told, "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure" (2 Peter 1:10).  Any sin of which we will not repent will cause us to be eternally lost.  Jesus says, "Unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).

     We need to beware of the false teaching of "once saved, always saved".  This is only a lie of Satan.  Satan wants us to be lost.  Satan doesn’t want us to ask ourselves: "What lack I yet?".  We are warned, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12).  Also, we are warned to "beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness" (2 Peter 3:17).  Let’s not let Satan lure us into complacency.

     We must concentrate on what we must do to inherit eternal life in Heaven.  In doing this, "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience" (Hebrews 4:11).  We need to look seriously at our own lives to try to see any mistakes or failures we are making that could keep us out of Heaven, by asking ourselves, "What lack I yet?".

Questions Lesson #23
We Must Give Our Best To The Lord

(Click on the button of the answer of your choice)

1)  (Romans 12:1)  How must we present ourselves to God.

      We do not have to serve God diligently.

      As a living sacrifice.

      When it is convenient.

2)  (Malachi 1:8)  It is evil to not give God our best.

3)  (Luke 17:10)  When we have done all those things God has commanded

      We are still unprofitable servants.

      We are profitable servants.

      We have earned Heaven.

4)  (Matthew 6:21)  If our treasure is in Heaven, our heart will be there also.

5)  (Luke 9:61-62)  One who puts his hand to the plow of living a Christian life and then looks back longingly to the world

      Is not fit for the kingdom of God.

      Is still pleasing to God.

      Will still go to Heaven.

6)  (Matthew 25:18, 26, 30)  The one talent man who hid his lord's money was pleasing to his lord.

7)  (Hebrews 6:11-12)  What must we have to inherit the promise of Heaven?

      Do as little as we can.

      We should give up.

      Faith and patience.

8)  (Matthew 19:17, 20)  We should ask ourselves, "What lack I yet?".

9)  (2 Corinthians 13:5)  What should we do to see if we are still in the faith?

      Examine ourselves.

      Don't worry about it.

      Be satisfied with what we are doing.

10)  (1 Corinthians 10:12)  One who thinks he stands should take heed lest he fall.

11)  (Hebrews 4:11)  What should we do to make sure we enter into the rest of Heaven.

      Don't worry about it.

      Be diligent.

      As little as we can.

12)  (2 Peter 3:17)  We should not beware of falling from our own steadfastness.

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