Outside of your family, who would you name as the most important person in the world?
Let’s imagine you have been chosen to honor that person by preparing or by having a meal prepared for him or her. Also, you are invited to dine with that person.
Imagine the time you would spend pouring over the menu and making sure every detail was right and that the food was the best.
Before you carried the meal and served it to this very important person, you tasted each dish. Mmmm. It tasted even better than you imagined. It was so good, you went ahead and ate some, and even asked the cooks to eat some with you.
It wasn’t because all of you were starving. It was just because that meal smelled so good. It was all of your favorite things to eat. You couldn’t resist.
After you finished, you put the lids back on all the food and put them in the warmer, and off you went to see the most important person in the world, hoping this person wouldn’t mind eating the leftovers.
Without shame, you served this meal that way. You opened all the dishes revealing that someone had already helped themselves to a sizeable portion of the meal.
The serving spoons were not even washed. The bread was almost gone. The potatoes were cold. How embarrassing would that be?
No one should surpass God’s importance to us. God asks us to honor Him by bringing something to honor him: time, abilities, volunteering, talents, part of our income.
Instead of giving God our “first fruits,” and the best of what we have to offer, many times, we end up giving God our leftovers.
Many people will give out of guilt, obligation, and only if they have something leftover, which is not that often because most of us live in debt.
What if we reversed our living patterns and gave to God first? What kind of transforming power do you think it would have on our lives?
The prophet Malachi spoke of blessings we would receive if we obeyed the command to honor God in this way.
Give to God first and then live off the leftovers and see if it doesn’t transform your life. I challenge you. Sure, you have to budget. Sure, you have to distinguish between wants and needs. However, it’s all about priorities.
Jesus said as much when he said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” (Luke 16:13 NIV).
If you are only giving God the leftovers, or not even honoring God with that, I ask you, which master are you serving?