Grove, Oklahoma, US
Via ASSIST News Service

Giving tomatoes

God instructs us to be generous. PICTURE: Elaine Casap/Unsplash

"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand” - I Chronicles 29:14 (NIV).

My hairdresser and I were recently discussing her experiences cutting hair at local nursing and assisted living facilities. Two days each week Rachel gives her time to make the elderly residents feel better after getting a haircut. The recipients are grateful, and Rachel enjoys being able to give of her time and talent to others.

"I’m positive our Heavenly Father is disappointed with His children when we give Him our leftovers. How often do we give Him our leftover time and money? What about half-hearted praise? A 'ho-hum' commitment. A last-minute effort."

Our conversation led to my sharing stories of my grandchildren and me baking cookies and delivering them to some of the same local facilities for the elderly. My two oldest grandchildren, now teenagers, were only two and three-years-old when we started sharing baked goods with them. At the time, the facilities would allow us to walk down the halls and in the common areas to distribute the goodies. To assure my grandchildren would part with the cookies, I reminded them they had leftovers at home to eat.

Several years later, we included their cousin, who was around two at the time, in our monthly baking and sharing lesson. Driving to the first nursing home, all three children were in the backseat. Each held a bag containing cookies. I chuckled when my oldest grandchild told Cash he couldn’t eat the cookies intended for the elderly. Instead, she told him there were leftover cookies at home. As the three handed out the cookies, I overheard my youngest grandson telling each of the recipients, “We get to eat the leftovers". That was 10 years ago, but we still laugh when I share that story.

I’m positive our Heavenly Father is disappointed with His children when we give Him our leftovers. How often do we give Him our leftover time and money? What about half-hearted praise? A “ho-hum” commitment. A last-minute effort.

Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, delivers messages as reminders to the Israelites who had returned from exile, rebuilt the Temple, and re-established worship. However, they had become complacent again in their faith, the very things leading to their exile in the first place.

The Lord had been good to the Israelites, but their complacency had led to unworthy sacrifices and God was not pleased. In Malachi 1:14, He warns them. “Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord.”



Why do we cling to our best and expect God to accept less? He has given us His best. Even after Adam and Eve sinned, God didn’t desert them. They discovered their nakedness. God provided clothing. Man had sinned. God sacrificed.

Why does God always give His best? Because He is a loving God. John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

God didn’t give us His leftovers. His gift was extravagant. Consider the price Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, paid for our salvation.

God’s generosity, His faithfulness, His goodness should bring us to our knees in praise. It should remind us we can’t outgive God, but we can give Him our best.

I Chronicles 29:14 is a great reminder as to why we should give generously. It all belongs to God. It comes from His hand. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.”

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