Week 47 Monday

Giving Our Best

Today’s scripture selection: Deuteronomy 16-19

Key verse: Deuteronomy 17:1

“Do not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep that has any defect or flaw in it, for that would be detestable.”

I’m glad that my faith doesn’t require animal sacrifice – really glad.  The idea of taking a knife to an ox or sheep to express my love for God; or seek His forgiveness; or thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed upon me – well, I’d have a hard time with that.

But there is an important principle in this text from Deuteronomy that I think people of faith sometimes overlook.

We are to give our best to God.

When it comes to showing our love and thanksgiving; when it comes to being willing to admit our wrongdoing and seek forgiveness we shouldn’t do it half-heartedly.

What we give of ourselves; what we give of the possessions He has allowed us to have, as stewards, for awhile shouldn’t be

  • What we can come up with after we have met our needs and wants first
  • What we decide to put in, to look good to our neighbors, when a collection plate comes our way
  • What we think will “grease the wheels a bit” with God – smoothing the way to get something for ourselves
  • What we think we “have” to give – because “it’s the rule”.

No, we should never give God our leftovers.

God deserves our best love; our deepest commitment; or joyfully offered praise and service in His name.

In fact, my faith regularly reminds me that God gave His best to the world a long time ago.  Remember John 3:16?

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So – no defective or flawed giving – give your first, and your best.

Let’s love – as God has loved us.

Prayer: Lord, may I always find joy in giving to, and loving, you.  AMEN.

 

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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