Serving Leftovers to a Holy GodSeptember 15, 2009
The Bible says, “confess your sins to one another so that you may be healed.” Since I like to be healed I am sharing this with you.
I just returned from vacation, where invariably my cluttered mind gets uncluttered and God gets through. I think more clearly about things that matter. Also, I read a lot.
This time I read the book, Crazy Love by Francis Chan. A chapter that really struck me is titled, Serving Leftovers to a Holy God. Malachi 1:8 is referenced where priests were sacrificing blind and lame animals instead of only the best as God had commanded. God called them on it, told them they wouldn’t use these animals to prepare food for an honored guest yet they were sacrificing them in God’s holy temple. God called this practice evil. In fact, it disgusted Him so much that He said He wished there was someone who would just shut the temple gates.
The practice of giving God what is left over in our lives (money, due to bills; time due to busy schedules; attention, due to forgetfulness) He calls evil. But we think, “Well, I’m giving more than the next guy.” Or, “Hey, something is better than nothing…” These are not the ways God thinks. He thinks it stinks. And since He’s the Creator of the Universe and the One Who provides my very next breath, He gets to define evil, and He says this is it.
So here is my confession: I have drug my sorry, sleepy self through the sanctuary doors early on Sunday mornings to give God and my brothers and sisters my pathetic leftovers. Having not practiced with excellence, meditated on the day’s lyrics, listened to a new song (because, you know, I am so busy!) and demonstrated before God and my church family a practice God calls evil. Please forgive me.
Tim Kizziar said, “Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” Francis Chan wonders in this chapter how many doors of American churches would God just like someone to shut? I don’t want my church to be on this list.
Whatever it is that we do, to serve God, our community, each other, let it be our best. Let’s give our first fruits, not only with regard to our money, but our time and our attention.
I wouldn’t serve leftovers to even the most familiar of guests, why would I even think of serving leftover anything to a holy God?