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Scraps and Crumbs

May 30th, 2014

“Nor will I offer to the Lord my God . .  that which costs me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:24 NKJV.

Scraps are never good enough for who or what is important to you.

My thoughts and comments today are about “scraps and crumbs.”

If someone invited you to dinner, then pulled out their leftovers from a previous night’s “box to go,” would you feel they had given adequate thought to your visit or valued your company? God must sometimes feel inadequately valued when offered our scraps of priorities, time, affections, energy, efforts, finances, and abilities. When a person uses the best and first fruits for themselves and gives only their meager remnants to God, is God honored and worshipped?

Isaiah told of a man who cut down a tree, first using the wood to build a fire by which he warmed himself and to cook a meal that fed and satisfied himself, “And the residue thereof, he makes a god.” Isaiah 44:14-17 KJV. That still happens with people far more sophisticated and successful. Only after satisfying his comfort and appetite did he think of his soul. See Mark 8:36-37 NLT. The word, “residue,” suggests scraps or crumbs. God is not made in an “image” you have of Him; you are “made in His image and after His likeness.” See Genesis 1:26-27 NIV.

Maybe the only thing worse than offering the true God your residue is taking the scraps of your time and means to create a false god, expecting his help. I don’t think that I have ever done the latter, but I fear that there were occasions when I may have done the former – giving God less than He deserved, offering what’s left without apology or repentance. Israel was commanded to only offer God the first and the best; God deserves nothing less from you and me.

In response to God’s mercy, King David desired to build an altar in thankfulness for the Lord’s great grace to Israel. David chose a threshing floor where he would offer a pleasing sacrifice. When the owner recognized the King and understood his purpose, he generously offered the King the land without price. I love David’s response; “I will not offer to the Lord my God . . that which cost me nothing.” 2 Samuel 24:18-25 KJV. Typically, what costs you little is worth exactly that.

Let’s be practical. Giving God your crumbs happens when you devote hours a day to your own pursuits leaving only moments for Him, or when you treat money as your own and giving God your few remaining coins, or when you use all week for your work and amusements still needing Sunday for yourself and family. When you have time for every form of social media but scarce opportunity for God’s voice, or when you give priority to your recreation, entertainment, hobbies, or fitness routine providing no adequate time for your soul, you are giving God scraps. In today’s busy, noisy world, Jesus’ words are of primary importance, “Seek first the Kingdom of God . .” Matthew 6:33 NKJV.  My Dad was right, “First things first!”

No love will endure when only giving what’s left. No marriage will flourish. No child will thrive. No friendship will grow. No savings plan will succeed. No career will advance. No Christian will thrive. Scraps are never good enough for who or what is important to you. Being serious about your own spiritual life and that of others will cost you a personal price, to be gladly paid.

My prayer for you today is: put God first in everything, in every way, every day.

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