Have I given my best?

Last Tuesday I made a mess across our dresser as I emptied out my jewelry box looking for my college ring.  I wanted to wear my U of L ring in honor of the basketball tournament win… but I couldn’t find it (still haven’t).  In my search though, I unearthed many precious gifts received through the years- some from Gary but mostly from the kids.  No, I don’t need to take out an insurance rider on my jewelry because monetarily, the gifts are valued very low.  But the heart values are priceless.  Homemade cards, silk flowers, and trinket jewelry are prevalent among my jewelry box keepers.  It’s not the money- it’s that they cared enough to make and give their best at whatever age they were at that time.  I smiled over many items that morning.  The contents are still strewn across the surface for I decided to ‘clean out’ and reorganize things and just haven’t found the time to do it yet.  Of course, topping the list of valuables are the best gifts ever!

My thoughts turn to the gifts I’ve made to God over the years… Have I given my best or what was left over?  God had some very pointed words for his people Israel in Malachi that still apply to his people today-

“A son honors his father and a servant his master.  If I am a father, where is the honor due me?  If I am a master, where is the respect due me?’ says the Lord Almighty.  ‘It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?… When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong?  When you sacrifice crippled 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.”  Malachi 1: 6, 8

Yesterday was tax day in America.  As law-abiding citizens we have set taxes to pay to keep our government running.  I know some cheat and don’t pay but I would like to think most Americans pay their taxes as they should.   Now, what about us as Christians?  Do I pay God the honor and respect he deserves?  Do I bring my best as a sacrifice- in my time, money, efforts, and service?  Or do I offer him what is left over after pleasing myself with what I want?  Do I offer him what I don’t want (the diseased lamb) anymore? 

God, examine my heart and my life.  Reveal to me the ways I have disrespected you or shown you contempt by giving you second-rated gifts.  You are worthy of my best!  Of all that I am!  You are awesome God!!! Amen!

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