I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)
Have you ever wondered why the Bible instructs us to examine ourselves? I think it is because, in our natural, sinful nature, we are self-absorbed, which means we put ourselves first in our thoughts and actions, rather than our Lord. This is the sad reality of most of our lives, but read on; I hope to inspire and encourage you today!
In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to give the first and best of their crops—the firstfruits—as an act of worship. In other words, God’s people are not to give “leftovers” to the Lord. And yet we all have a tendency to do this, which is why we must regularly examine ourselves. Our Lord does not want our leftover time, our leftover talent, or our leftover treasure. He wants and deserves our first and our best of everything we have received from Him . . . which is everything! For “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
Think about it this way: Imagine that Jesus was coming to your home for dinner tonight. Would you serve Him what you have left over in your fridge, or would you spend the day preparing the best possible meal you could serve? The answer is obvious. No one would go to the fridge, pull out some Tupperware, nuke it for two minutes, and plop it down in front of our Lord. So the question really comes down to this: Who is Number One in our lives? We can answer that question directly and honestly, simply by identifying who or what gets our firstfruits.
Is this giving of the firstfruits the confession of our lives? When it comes to our time, do we give God a few spare minutes at the end of the day? Or do we set aside some dedicated time to be with Him? When it comes to our talent, do we give God the best of the abilities He has given us to expand the cause of His kingdom? When it comes to our treasure, do we pay God first? Or does He get whatever is left over after everyone else has been paid?
Never forget that God gave us His very best by giving His only Son to die in our place so that we might have eternal life. And on that first Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead as the firstfruits of our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:23), which means that we too shall rise from the dead when He returns. Let that truth remind all of us that there is no place for offering leftovers to our Lord! May we be obedient to the command of Scripture and offer our hearts and our lives as living sacrifices of thanksgiving and praise.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!