Worthy of the Best

Malachi 1:13-14
Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.  But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

The people were still bringing their offerings, but they weren’t the unblemished and spotless offerings that God required.  They weren’t the best they had to give from their flocks.  But they thought they were fulfilling their duty even though God was displeased.  They weren’t really following God’s commands or bringing them out of respect or obedience.  They were bringing offerings just to say they had brought an offering.  But they weren’t taking it seriously or appreciating the value and purpose of what they were doing.

In other words, they were just kind of going through the motions.  Their hearts weren’t fully in it.  It didn’t really matter like it should have.  But can’t we fall into the same kind of rut at times?  Don’t we sometimes have the same attitude about the things of God?  Maybe we’re reading our Bible, but we’re just getting a chapter read so that we can say we did and we’re not absorbing anything from His truth.  Maybe we pray, but our hearts aren’t in it.  Maybe we’re serving or going to church or doing something for Him, but it’s out of habit and routine and is lacking the passion we once had.

In the end, it’s not really about the offerings as much as the God they were making the offerings to.  He is a great King and a great God to be obeyed, not someone to try to pacify with a halfhearted effort.  God is a holy, righteous, almighty God, and He is worthy of our obedience.  He is worthy of the best we have to give.  He is worthy of the effort even when we’re tired.  He is worthy of the time and energy it takes even if it’s something we’ve done a thousand times before.  God is faithful to us, and He is worthy of our faithfulness to Him.

Let’s be willing to be honest with ourselves if we recognize some area where we’re dishonoring God, if we have some wrong attitude behind an offering we bring to Him.  Is there anything we’re doing to just kind of get it over with without recognizing who we are doing it for?  We are only human.  We get tired.  We falter.  We wander at times.  But let’s strive to be committed to God, wholeheartedly obeying Him and serving Him.  Let’s not treat God as something less than He is, but may we give our great King all the honor and the glory and the best that we can give.

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