second best

“A son hon­oureth his father, and a ser­vant his mas­ter: if then I be a father, where is mine hon­our? and if I be a mas­ter, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer pol­luted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we pol­luted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is con­temptible. And if ye offer the blind for sac­ri­fice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy gov­er­nor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy per­son? saith the LORD of hosts.” - Malachi 1:6–8

CakeSec­ond best. Those two words sting when it applies to a “spe­cial” gift for some­one, doesn’t it? Think of it. “Well, I baked you a cake, but instead of the good ingre­di­ents I used old, stale ones that I found on the floor. You know the left­overs. Enjoy!” Nice. That is no gift. It’s an insult, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but my thoughts would def­i­nitely be, “Wow. Umm, thanks?” I read today in my devo­tions of the indict­ment God spoke through Malachi to the priests of his day. God said, “O preists that despise my name…you offer pol­luted bread upon mine altar” and then you ask “Where have we despised thy name?…Where have we pol­luted thee?” They were offer­ing second-best animals–the blind lame or sick ones to God in sac­ri­fice. God then goes on to say, in effect, you wouldn’t give that to another man you respected, would you? Your gov­er­nor would reject that kind of an offer. Why do you give it to Me?
Why do we give sec­ond best to our God? In our obe­di­ence or ser­vice to God, why do we treat our­selves to what we want or feel like and ignore what God desires? Our time and tal­ents we give to God seem to fall into a cer­tain rank­ing order behind what we want and feel like. If it doesn’t fit into what we already have going, it just gets sec­ond best. The first thing to get cut is the oppor­tu­nity to fel­low­ship at church or the dis­ci­ple­ship Bible Study. When our sched­ules get tight, we skimp on the stuff that doesn’t “scream” at us, like our devo­tions and prayer. Why do we give God what’s left of our day after we have done what we want to do? Why is it that when it comes to an oppor­tu­nity at church, it has to fit into what we have going on? I guess we just do what we want to do, don’t we? We do what is eas­i­est, what is com­fort­able, and what feels good. God demands the best, our every­thing. He is worth it, yes, but most impor­tantly, He demands it. What are you giv­ing God? A pol­luted offer­ing of what is left of your time and energy or your best? Give Him your best in your life, your heart, and in your time. It is time to start doing what we know is best, even if its hard or uncom­fort­able, because God demands it. Search this truth out for your­self: In your dif­fi­culty and sac­ri­fice to give God the best, joy and sat­is­fac­tion in God speaks loudest.

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