I was reading in my bible last week and came across this passage in Malachi: “Bring the whole tenth-part to the storage house so there might be food in my house. Please test me in this, says the Lord of heavenly forces. See whether I do not open all the windows of the heavens for you and empty out a blessing until there is enough.” (Malachi 3:10)
The context of this passage reveals that the Israelites were giving God their leftovers instead of their first fruits. They gave God only what they didn’t want or need. My mind went back to a toolbox I wrote five years ago on leftovers, and I decided it was time to share it again. Its message spoke to me, and I hope it speaks to you too.
When our children were younger we never knew who would show up at dinnertime. We learned to prepare to serve anywhere from two to twelve at a moment’s notice. Our dinners may not have been fancy, but we had plenty of food that was good to eat. Because we prepared large meals, we maintained a steady supply of leftovers in our refrigerator.
We still fix large meals and eat lunches from it for many days. I enjoy eating leftovers. I love leftover spaghetti, lasagna, chili, meatloaf, and pizza. Every so often we put them all together like a potluck dinner.
I wouldn’t scrounge through our neighbor’s refrigerator, but I don’t mind eating them from our own. We probably also would not like being served leftovers at a restaurant. Our leftovers are okay because I know I was served from them first. Leftovers are more acceptable to us when they are our own.
I doubt if we would consider serving leftovers to guests, especially if they were special guests in our homes. Why then do we so often expect God to be happy with the leftovers from our life? We all owe God everything we are and everything we have yet we tend to serve God our leftovers.
We usually serve ourselves first, then our family, then our friends, and somewhere mixed in with community and people we don’t know, we serve God. Then when nothing is leftover, guess whom we leave out completely? No matter how much we have, we will never have enough until we learn to serve God first.
If we serve God first, then there will be enough for everyone. God wants to be first in all things. On November 6th we are turning in our Faith Promise of how we will serve God first.
I challenge everyone to join together in a great adventure of faith and serve God first. Trust God for our future. I will see you in church, and remember, God loves us more than we can ever imagine, and I love you too.