Week 4 Tuesday
- Mark 12:41–44
- 1 Timothy 4:6–16
- Deuteronomy 6:4–9
Questions to Consider
- What are the characteristics of an offering (not just money) acceptable to God?
- Why should we strive to give God our best?
- What are some ways to strive to give God our best?
- How does Jesus help us to give God our best?
Plan of Action
- Think about all the ways you serve God. Maybe you play an instrument at your church. Maybe you serve as part of an administrative team. Maybe you volunteer in your local community. What is one way you could improve and grow in your area of service? It might mean reading a book. It could be attending a conference or seminar. It might be taking lesson. If you seek to grow just a little bit each day, it is amazing how much you will grow over time.
- Ask someone to critique your work or service for God. Ask them how you might improve what you are doing. Then listen to them.
In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. Genesis 4:3–5 (ESV)
Two brothers brought an offering to the Lord. Abel’s offering was accepted. Cain’s offering was rejected. Able brought the best of his flock. Cain brought something less.
Jesus not only gave it his best, he gave everything. It is our desire to honor him. We don’t offer our best to him because our best is required. We offer our best out of love and joy for what he did in our behalf.
Today we are giving up mediocrity. We are giving up on giving God less than our best. We will strive for excellence. It doesn’t mean we will always attain it, but excellence is what we will aspire towards.
I live with a holy discontent. The idea is I am never quite satisfied with what I offer to God. Whether it is preaching on a Sunday morning, writing this email, or teaching a Bible study, I am looking for ways to grow and to improve the effectiveness of what I am doing. I certainly find satisfaction in what I offer today, but I am looking for what I can do to make even better what I do tomorrow.
This involves having a teachable spirit. This involves being open to critique and listening to criticism. This is about being humble and recognizing I have room to grow and much to learn. Even though I may be accomplished in a given area, I strive to become more accomplished.
The problem is our fear of critique and criticism. Our pride gets in the way. We fear our areas of growth and improvement are a commentary on our worth and value. To open ourselves up to critique puts us in a vulnerable place. That is not a comfortable place to be and so we close ourselves off to it.
Giving our best is often not about trying harder. It is about being open. It is about listening. It is about humbling ourselves. It is about considering another path and taking a step of faith.
What I offer to God may not be “the best.” But I will strive to offer “my best.” At the end of the day I will find satisfaction in that I accomplished all I could for God empowered by the Holy Spirit. I leave with this prayer from God’s Word:
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (ESV)