Giving our best…

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Malachi 1:6 A son honors his father, and servants their master. If then I (God) am a father, where is the honor due me? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. You say, “How have we despised your name?” 7 By offering polluted food on my altar. And you say, “How have we polluted it?” By thinking that the LORD’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not wrong? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not wrong? Try presenting that to your governor; will he be pleased with you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. 9 And now implore the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. The fault is yours.

The Old Testament law required that offerings be made to God at various times and for various purposes. The law also required that the animals brought as offerings would be “without blemish”. Clearly sacrificing animals that were blind, lame, or sick (v.8) did not qualify – but that’s what was happening at the time Malachi uttered these words. And since the people did not honor the covenant by sacrificing their very best, God did not honor the covenant by providing protection. The people suffered.

This passage has me thinking about the mindset of one who offers to God his leftovers rather than his best. We don’t do animal sacrifice in our day, but we do make offerings to God via time and money and other forms. So I’m asking myself this morning what kind of offerings I am giving to the Lord.

I think for starters the foundation of our giving to God is the tithe. We bring to God 10% or more of our income – off the top. That’s a form of first-fruits giving. Then there is the offering of time. Part of the purpose of this blog space is to offer to God the first hour or so of my day. If you follow this blog you know I don’t always succeed in doing that. My plan is to blog Monday – Saturday with Sunday off, but I fall short.

So as we enter into a new year I’ll be praying about upping the quality of my offerings to the Lord. I’ve been at this long enough to know that when I give my best to God the Lord provides all I need – and more. Even so I admit scarcity gets the better of me from time to time. How about you? What are you offering of yourself to the Lord? How can you take your offering to the next level?

Lord you are lavish in your blessing of your children. My heart is filled with gratitude. Give me grace to trust you with the very best of what I have, not because I have to but because I want to. And because I know things will be well with me and those I love when I trust you. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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