"What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?" —Psalm 116:12
A farmer who was known for his frugality owned a cow that gave birth to two calves. He said to his wife, "I am going to dedicate one of these calves to the Lord."
Knowing his miserly ways, she was very surprised and asked which one he was planning to give to the Lord. "I haven't decided yet, but I'll let you know," he said.
A few days went by, and again she asked which calf he was giving to the Lord. "I'm still thinking about it," he told her.
Then one day, one of the calves got sick. It grew worse and worse, until one night the farmer walked up on the porch with the calf draped over his arms. He said to his wife, "Honey, I have bad news. The Lord's calf just died."
Many times, we tend to give God that which we don't really want ourselves. Think about a typical day. What place do we give to the things of God? Maybe we utter a quick prayer as we roll out of bed or offer some hurried words of thanks over breakfast? Then we rush off to our responsibilities.
At the end of the day, we say, "Oh, right. I'll give God these last four minutes as I'm dozing off."
If God is important, then why do we give Him our leftovers? God doesn't want our leftovers. In Malachi, God said to Israel, " 'You have despised my name by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar. Then you ask, "How have we defiled the sacrifices?" You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect.' "(Malachi 1:7–8).
God gave us His best. Let's give Him ours.
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