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Giving Our Best

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2020 7:00 pm

Giving Our Best

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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November 29, 2020 7:00 pm

We stared at the piles of donated shoes as we entered a local homeless shelter. The director had invited our youth group to help sort through the heaps of used footwear. We spent the morning searching for matches and lining them up in rows across the concrete floor. At the end of the day, we threw away more than half of the shoes because they were too damaged to give to people. Though the shelter couldn’t stop people from giving poor quality items, they refused to distribute shoes that were in bad condition.

The Israelites struggled with giving God their damaged goods too. When the Lord spoke through the prophet Malachi, He rebuked the Israelites for sacrificing blind, lame, or diseased animals when they had strong animals to offer (Malachi 1:6–8). He announced His displeasure (v. 10), affirmed His worthiness, and reprimanded the Israelites for keeping the best for themselves (v. 14). But He also promised to send the Messiah, whose love and grace would transform their hearts and ignite their desire to bring offerings that would be pleasing to the Lord (3:1–4).

Oftentimes, it’s tempting to give God our leftovers. We praise Him and expect Him to give us His all, yet we offer Him our crumbs. When we consider all God has done, we can rejoice in celebrating His worthiness and giving Him our very best.

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Thanks for joining us for another daily encouragement from Our Daily Bread.

Today's reading, titled Giving Our Best, was written by Soh She Dickson. We stared at the piles of donated shoes as we entered a local homeless shelter. The director had invited our youth group to help sort through the heaps of used footwear.

We spent the morning searching for matches and lining them up in rows across the concrete floor. At the end of the day, we threw away more than half of the shoes because they were too damaged for others to use. Though the shelter couldn't stop people from giving poor quality items, they refused to distribute shoes that were in bad condition. The Israelites struggled with giving God their damaged goods too. When he spoke through the prophet Malachi, he rebuked the Israelites for sacrificing blind, lame, or diseased animals when they had strong animals to offer.

He announced his displeasure, affirmed his worthiness, and reprimanded the Israelites for keeping the best for themselves. But God also promised to send the Messiah, whose love and grace would transform their hearts and ignite their desire to bring offerings that would be pleasing to Him. At times, it can be tempting to give God our leftovers. We praise Him and expect Him to give us His all, yet we offer Him our crumbs. When we consider all God has done, we can rejoice in celebrating His worthiness and giving Him our very best.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Malachi chapter 1, verses 8 through 14. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame 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? Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will He accept you, says the Lord Almighty? Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors so that you would not light useless fires on my altar. I am not pleased with you, says the Lord Almighty, and I will accept no offering from your hands.

My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place, incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord Almighty. But you profane it by saying, The Lord's table is defiled, and its food is contemptible, and you say, What a burden, and you sniff at it contemptuously, says the Lord Almighty. When you bring injured, lame, or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands, says the Lord?

Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king, says the Lord Almighty, and my name is to be feared among the nations. Let's pray. Dear God, so often we're just like the Israelites, and we give you much less than you deserve. You want our best, yet sometimes we're greedy and selfish, and we don't think it really matters. Renew our hearts, Lord, and give us a spirit of generosity and righteousness. Thank you that you are the gracious king of the universe and worthy of our best. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 05:16:14 / 2024-01-21 05:18:00 / 2

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