Nehemiah 12:27-13:31Malachi 1:1-2:9Malachi 1:7-8, “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on My altar. Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?’ You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”
You’ve been vying for a chance to get your boss’s ear because you have an idea that you just know will help business thrive, and today’s the day! Your boss has accepted a dinner invitation to your house. Everything looks clean and pristine, you’ve selected the perfect low-key playlist, you’ve set the lighting to emit a welcoming vibe, and you look dressed for success. As everyone sits down to eat you say, “Well, I hope you like leftovers! I can either reheat my pizza from lunch or last night’s pot roast... (Insert sound of a record player screeching to a halt!) What?! The thought of inviting an honored guest over for leftovers – especially the one who you respect and who signs your paycheck – is unfathomable; it’s absurd!In today’s reading, Malachi is admonishing the very people who work in God’s house, the temple priests, for defiling God’s name by offering sacrifices with animals no one wanted — and it’s something we, too, must consider. In almost a mocking tone, he cuts straight to the heart with a comment and a question that should cut straight to ours as well: “Go ahead and beg God for mercy! But when you bring Him your ‘leftovers’ — that which was merely lying around going to waste — instead of giving Him your best, how can you expect Him to show favor to you?” Malachi sure gives us a lot more to chew on here than even a freshly cooked gourmet meal!What are you serving up to the Most High? Do you pray for blessings and favor but offer Him table scraps when it comes to obedience, time, talent, and resources? Don’t defile the Lord’s name! Honor Him above all else because He sacrificed His best for you — His one and only Son. Today, glorify God with your best, and you will indeed be blessed!
Lord, I praise Your name and give thanks to You for sending Jesus to die for my sins and secure my eternity in heaven. Nudge my heart if I begin to serve You “leftovers” because I want to honor You with my best. Amen!