Day 256 | Monday, 30 November 2020
We have reached the end of another month with today’s thoughts. Some of us may still be eating Thanksgiving leftovers and enjoying them a bit less than we did on Thursday. I found the meditation of Giving Our Best – on Our Daily Bread with a reflection on giving God our best not our leftovers.
Malachi 1:8-14; 8 If you bring a blind animal to sacrifice, isn’t that evil? If you bring a lame or sick one, isn’t that evil? Would you bring it to your governor? Would he be pleased with it or accept you? says the Lord of heavenly forces. 9 So now ask God to be gracious to us. After what you have done, will he accept you? says the Lord of heavenly forces. 10 Who among you will shut the doors of the temple so that you don’t burn something on my altar in vain? I take no delight in you, says the Lord of heavenly forces. I won’t accept a grain offering from your hand. 11 Nevertheless, from sunrise to sunset, my name will be great among the nations. Incense and a pure grain offering will be offered everywhere in my name, because my name is great among the nations, says the Lord of heavenly forces. 12 But you make my name impure when you say, “The table of the Lord is polluted. Its fruit, its food, is despised.” 13 But you say, “How tedious!” and you groan about it, says the Lord of heavenly forces. You permit what is stolen, lame, or sick to be brought for a sacrifice, and you bring the grain offering. Should I accept such from your hands? says the Lord. 14 I will curse the cheater who has a healthy male in his flock, but who promises and sacrifices to the Lord that which is corrupt. I am truly a great king, says the Lord of heavenly forces, and my name is feared among the nations.
Giving Our Best By: Xochitl Dixon, Our Daily Bread
“He will purify . . . and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness. Malachi 3:3
“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 (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 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 (3:1–4).”
“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.”
Reflect & Pray: “Why are you sometimes tempted to give God your leftovers or damaged goods? In what ways will you give Him your best today?”
“Mighty God, please help me place You first and give You my best.”
Lord our God, as we come to you today perhaps still recovering from our Thanksgiving celebration, let us remember that our best is to be given to you because you gave your best to us. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen