“When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts… But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations” (Malachi 1:8, 13-14).
Maybe we don’t have to offer flesh and blood sacrifices anymore. In fact, we don’t, since Christ paid the total price of our sinfulness as the infinitely perfect Lamb of God.
But we still offer sacrifice in the spiritual sense. We serve Him in our local church, or minister to Him by helping others in our community. We sacrifice our time and our resources to love those whom He loves, and care for those He has created.
But do we give Him our best? Do we serve with the best of our abilities, or do we give Him the “leftovers”?
When we play an instrument, or sing in the choir, or serve as an usher at church, are we doing the absolute best that we can? Or do we throw something together at the last minute (assuming we know ahead of time), or sing half-heartedly, or usher sloppily and lazily?
When we cook and clean and do laundry for those in our homes, do we offer the best service possible? Or do we complain about the ever-present piles of dirty dishes and dirty laundry, and grumble as we make supper when we’re already exhausted, and nag at others to empty the trash?
When we bring a meal to a neighbor, or share our possessions with those in need, or volunteer somewhere in town, do we do it with the right heart attitude? Or are we doing it to get noticed, or to feel good about ourselves, or to fulfill an obligation? Do we offer the best meal we can prepare or just throw together something that’s cheap and unappetizing? Do we give the best we possibly can to those in need, or cast off our leftover unwanted worn-out extras? Do we serve with a smile in our hearts and on our faces, or are we as miserable as the people we’re trying to help?
Do we truly give of our best to our Savior? Do we set aside the best part of our day to spend with Him? Do we hurry through our prayer time and Bible reading, just to get it done, or do we give our best thought and concentration to it? Do we plan our schedules so that Sunday, the day set aside to worship Him with other believers, is the best day of the week?
Do we serve Him, by serving others, with the best attitude and best motives possible?