WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JANUARY 07, 2023
TOPIC: GIVE GOD YOUR BEST
BY T. O. BANSO
“Never withhold your best wine from me. You must give me your firstborn son. You must do the same with your cattle and your sheep. They will stay with their mothers seven days, but on the eighth day you must give them to me” (Exodus 22:29-30 GOD’S WORD Translation).
Whatever position you occupy in life, as a child of God, give your best to God. Don’t postpone it. Don’t hope for a better position when you will give your best to Him. Start where you are now.
God does not compare you with another person. He looks at everyone based on who He has created him to be, the gifts He has given him, and the opportunities He allows him to have in life.
Therefore, don’t compare yourself with another person. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says that those who compare themselves by themselves, and compare themselves among themselves, are not wise. Don’t compare yourself with others or compete with them in your Christian service. You may think you are doing better than them but, still, be below what God expects of you. Paul told Timothy, “Run your best in the race of faith, and win eternal life for yourself; for it was to this life that God called you when you firmly professed your faith before many witnesses” (1 Timothy 6:12-13 Today’s English Version). This applies to you, too.
Focus on God and give your best to Him wherever and whatever you are. Use the gifts God has given you to serve Him at your best and use the opportunities He has allowed you to have to give Him your best. Be faithful to God where you are now, giving Him your best. Again, Paul told Timothy, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 Revised Standard Version). You, too, should your best.
Don’t be idle and continue to only daydream about how you would serve Him if you could get a certain opportunity or position. If you can’t give him your best where you are now, there is no guarantee you will do so with a so-called better opportunity or position.
If someone cannot serve God in his current position, there is no assurance that he will serve Him in a higher position. Don’t compete with anyone, but give God your best where you are.
The hymn “Give of Your Best to the Master” is relevant to this message. The first stanza says:
Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave.
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.
Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth.
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.
The other stanzas also talk on the same subject. Don’t wait until you finish your diploma or degree programme, gain employment, get married, and so on before you give God your best. Don’t even wait till after retirement. Give God your best as a youth, married person, employee, or employer.
If you’re still in service or working, or you are retired, give God your best. You may be a bachelor, bachelor girl, spinster, widow, or widower; give God your best whatever your status in life. He knows the challenges you face in your present position. Avoid comparison, competition, or procrastination. Start to give God your best now.
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (New King James Version). Jesus quoted this scripture (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30).
Similarly, Deuteronomy 10:12 says you should serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Also, Psalm 100:2 says, “Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing” (New King James Version).
God told the Israelites, “So you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days” (Exodus 23:25-26 New King James Version). You can appropriate this promise too, as you serve the Lord.
In 1 Kings 18, Obadiah gave his best to God. At the time Jezebel killed the prophets of God, Obadiah didn’t say he couldn’t do anything because he was not the king, but just the Chief of Staff of King Ahab, Jezebel’s husband.
Obadiah, whose name means Servant of Jehovah or worshipper of Yahweh, knew that he was not just a servant of Ahab, but first a servant of Jehovah. He was not a worshipper of Jezebel’s Baal but of the living God. Therefore, he hid 100 prophets of God in caves – 50 prophets in each cave – to prevent them from being killed by Jezebel. He also supplied them with food and water even when there was a famine in the land (1 Kings 18:4, 13).
Obadiah used his official position well. He gave his best. He didn’t claim there was nothing he could do, hoping for when he would get a higher office and would protect the prophets of God.
We see later in the Bible that the number of the prophets Obadiah hid was far smaller than the 7,000 people in Israel that God said He had reserved, those whose knees had not bowed to Baal, and mouths had not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18). Evidently, Obadiah wasn’t aware of those God had reserved and how he did it, but he gave God his best. He didn’t make excuses. Give God your best.
Obadiah took a risk for God. Suppose Jezebel, who was trying to kill the prophets of God, had found out what he did. He would have been labeled a traitor. Jezebel would have killed him.
Give God your best anywhere you are and whatever position you occupy. Are you a pastor, teacher, doctor, engineer, lawyer, journalist, accountant, king, civil servant, politician, student, or any other thing? Give God your best. See yourself as a servant of God whatever your legitimate calling is. “Whatever work you do, do your best, because you are going to the grave, where there is no working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10 New Century Version). Take note of the phrase “do your best.” God wants from you the best that you can do for Him.
Let God use you to achieve His purpose. Let Him minister through you to anyone who comes in contact with you. This is not only by preaching to them; let your life preach to them also.
How to give God your best
1. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31). Give yourself to God first (2 Corinthians 8:5). Be born again (John 3:3, 7).
2. Seek the Lord early. In other words, seek the Lord early in your life and early in the day (Psalm 63:1; Ecclesiastes 12:1-8; Isaiah 26:9; Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42).
3. Offer faithful service in the Kingdom of God (Jeremiah 48:10; 1 Corinthians 9:17; Philemon 14; 1 Peter 5:2; Psalm 100:2). Ultimately, God will test our work with fire and reward us (1 Corinthians 3:10-15).
4. Walk in love towards others and do your work as a businessman, civil servant, professional, or any other thing as if you are serving Christ (Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24; Titus 2:9-10). There is a good reward for this (1 Corinthians 3:8; Matthew 16:27). Jeremiah 31:16 says your work shall be rewarded.
We serve God when we serve others. Therefore, walk in God’s love toward others. Love is the fulfilment of the law. It fulfils the requirements of God’s law (Romans 13:10).
5. Honour the Lord with the first of everything you have, as an act of worship, and offer worthy offerings to Him (Malachi 1:6-14). David said he would not sacrifice to the LORD His God burnt offerings that cost him nothing (2 Samuel 24:24). Offer willingly yourself to God and honour Him with your possessions (Exodus 25:2; Judges 5:2, 9; 1 Chronicles 29:6, 9, 14, 17; Ezra 1:6; 3:5).
God told the Israelites, “Never withhold your best wine from me. You must give me your firstborn son. You must do the same with your cattle and your sheep. They will stay with their mothers seven days, but on the eighth day you must give them to me” (Exodus 22:29-30 GOD’S WORD Translation). From this scripture, we that God wanted from them the best of what they had. In Genesis 22, Abraham did not withhold Issac from God when He commanded him to sacrifice him. He wanted to sacrifice him before the angel of the LORD stopped him. God blessed him for his obedience.
Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine” (New Living Translation). Take note of the phrase “the best part of everything you produce.” Don’t give God an unacceptable offering (Malachi 1:6-14).
The poor widow in the Bible, who gave her two mites, gave God her best. She gave all she had (Mark 12:42; Luke 21:1-4). Also, the woman who anointed Jesus with an expensive ointment, alabaster oil, gave her best (Mark 14:3-9; Matthew 26:6-13). From John’s account, we understand that the woman was Mary (John 12:1-8). These two women didn’t give in competition with anyone.
Give God your best. He gave you His best, Jesus Christ (John 3:16). Don’t be complacent or weary in giving God your best. You will reap it in due season if you don’t give up (Galatians 6:9). More important than the blessings you may enjoy here on earth, eternal rewards await you.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, I receive your help to give God my best. I shall not be weary in giving God my best. I come against any power that hinders people from giving their best to God; it won’t control me in Jesus’ name. I will not compete with or compare myself with anybody; I will give God my best in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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