S98P1 – Yesterday’s corrective prophecy for today: give God your best

Mal. 1:8

“When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

From the outside looking in, their relationship seemed great.  They attended church together and were pleasant when out among others.  Everyone liked them; they had no enemies.  Their smiles and laughter portrayed a picture of love, but their love had been fading for some time.  In the beginning, each held the other as a priority in life.  As time passed, they grew bored with one another, and other interests became more important.  They began spending time together only as a last resort.  Each no longer occupied a spot near the top of the other’s list.  They gave each other the leftovers of their time and attention, and they were usually too tired and distracted to even spend those few moments focused on one another.  What they gave to the relationship was nothing more than the bare minimum once they had given their best elsewhere.

Today’s sacrifices to the Lord do not look like sacrifices from Old Testament times.  They are, however, no less critical to our faith and our relationship with God.  We never have to think about unblemished animals, but we certainly should be thinking about whether we give God the best of what we have.  There is a reason why we tithe first in time and pay God before we pay others.  That is a reservation of the first and best for him.  That is a sign of trust that we believe He will carry us through by using the remainder, but this applies beyond our time and our finances.  If we make a list of our purpose priorities or our plans for life, the top of that list should be the kingdom of God.  Whatever we give to him for the furtherance of his kingdom, it is to be our best because that is all He deserves.

When we take our seconds and present them before our king, we are reversing the role of submission.  Instead of us submitting to his desires, we are asking him to submit to ours.  Faith and honor should lead us to give him what we reserve for no one else.  When we do otherwise, we are submitting to doubt and fear.  We are telling God that we have a better way than his design because we do not trust in that design.  If we believe in his word and his faithfulness, if we truly revere and fear him, we will reserve our best for God without hesitation.  Only He is worthy of that.  Father, correct the incorrect thinking that tells us to withhold our best from You, and give us the faith to truly trust You with everything.