“And King David said to Ornan, ‘Nay, but I will verily buy it for the full price—for I will not take that which is yours for the Lord nor offer burnt offerings without cost.”

I Chronicles 21:24

If we’re not giving our best, we need not wonder how He feels about it.

Leftovers or crumbs.

None of us would think about offering that as a meal to a guest in our home.  Although they might be gracious and eat them without saying a word, they’d still wonder why we treated them in such an unloving way—especially if providing better was within our means.

David’s words to Ornan, the Jebusite, in today’s Manna are well-worth our consideration and implementation in our own lives.  Although Ornan had also seen the angel of the Lord and sincerely wanted to give David the threshing-floor, his oxen, threshing equipment, etc., as a free-will offering (vv.20, 23), the Godly king refused to accept them.

He wasn’t being ungrateful; he was simply expressing his great love for the God of Abraham.

David knew the place would be used by God in a special way in the coming days.  He knew the place (Mt. Moriah) was the very place where Abraham had attempted to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22:1-18) and, therefore, was quite noteworthy in Israel’s history.  He also knew the Lord wanted him to set up an altar there (v.18)—although he may not have realized that would be the place for God’s Temple in the coming days.

Regardless, the point is clear:

Our gifts to God reveal the depth of our love and how we view Him.  Lukewarm worshipers are content with attending church regularly and doing what’s expected of them.  Likewise, they may even give money to charity and the church—so long as it doesn’t threaten their standard of living.  If there’s a little extra on-hand and doesn’t cost them too much, they’ll give.

But, such giving/living doesn’t capture the essence of “denying ourselves, taking up our cross and following Him” (Lk. 9:23-26).

Instead, it’s an affront to Christ, the King of kings, and makes Him nauseous (Rev. 3:15-16).

Never forget the saddest “soil” of all in the Parable of the Sower and the Soils is “he who hears the Word, but allows the ‘thorns’ of the world to choke out any fruit in his life” (Mt. 13:22).  The potential was there for a mighty harvest; yet, the “cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches” prevented this from happening.

It’s only when we “seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness that all these things will be added unto us” (Mt. 6:33).  This doesn’t refer to the “things” of the world; it refers to the Father’s bountiful Supply (Phil. 4:19).

Therefore, give of your best to the Master today, Pilgrim.  Do not grieve His Holy Heart as Cain did by offering just any old offering; instead, follow Abel’s lead and give “of the firstlings of the flock and the fat thereof” (Gen. 4:3-4).  Amen and amen.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated June 25, 2010

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