Do you ever feel like you put forth your best effort to do something but you are disappointed in the outcome? That happens to all of us, does it not?
In serving God, as His children we never will reach a state of sinless perfection (1 John 1:8-10). The Lord’s promised crown of life will not be granted to us based on our merit (James 1:12). Here is the marvelous news: Jesus makes us the best we can be, and God accepts us through His Son as we continue to walk in the light (1 John 1:7).
Do you think God’s children should do their best for Him? If your answer is “Yes,” let me further ask you: Which ones? Which of God’s children should give Him their best? When? Under what conditions?
There is an old spiritual song entitled “Give of Your Best to the Master.” The sentiments of that title harmonize with the teaching of the Bible. Yes, each Christian should give his very best to God.
Why should we? Why should you and I give God the best that we have? We should do it because He deserves it. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. He deserves our praise, honor, and glory, and He also deserves our very best effort.
Second, you and I should give God our best because He demands it. Yes, He deserves our best, but He demands it, too. Under the old law, God set forth this high standard for any animal sacrificed to Him: “. . . it must be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no defect in it” (Leviticus 22:21). Jehovah wanted the best His people had to offer. The Israelites were to love the Lord with their whole being, as are we (Mark 12:30). When it comes to our spiritual development, God’s instruction is for us to “give all diligence” (2 Peter 1:5,10). Giving less than that is unacceptable.
Third, we should give our best to the Lord because the church deserves it. We all know how it upsets us when we are on some type of team and one or more members of the team do not pull their weight. For the good of the Christ’s body, all members need to put forth their best effort (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
Another motivating factor is the influence we have on others. The prophet Ezekiel quoted this short proverb: “Like mother, like daughter” (Ezekiel 16:44). In many cases, a little girl will try to imitate her mother. When she is a teenager and even later in her life, she probably will turn out to be like her mom in a number of ways. What if Mom is a Christian but she does not take it seriously, so she fails to give her best to God? Chances are, her daughter will be just like her. On the other hand, being reared in a home where both parents put God and His kingdom first has a much higher probability of seeing the children grow up to give the Lord their very best like dad and mom did. Yes, being an encouragement to others by giving our best to the Lord can be very contagious.
Although it is possible to be deceived, in many cases we can tell whether or not a person is putting his best into a particular task. Have you ever watched or read about the competitions known as “Special Olympics?” It is so touching to see the effort that the participants put forth, as they really are doing the very best they can. If they can give that kind of effort in their activities, should not God’s people be able to do the same thing when we live and work for Him?
Do not allow the devil to mislead you into thinking that there never has been a person who lived up to God’s lofty standard of giving their best to Him. There have been such people, and there still are some children of God who continue to do that very thing!
Consider a few Bible examples of folks who gave the Lord the best they had: (1) a poor widow gave all of her money (Luke 21:1-4), (2) some risked their lives for the Lord’s name (Acts 15:25,26), (3) saints in Macedonian sacrificially gave even though they were living in deep poverty (2 Corinthians 8:1-5), and (4) Paul gladly spent and was spent for the benefit of others, even those who did not return his love (2 Corinthians 12:15). It is uplifting and exciting to see brethren of our generation giving themselves completely to God!
What are some areas in which you and I can give our best? We can put forth our best effort:
In our example (1 Timothy 4:12)
In how we love others (John 13:34,35)
In forgiving others (Ephesians 4:32)
In our prayer life (Philippians 4:6,7)
In studying God’s word (Acts 17:11)
In encouraging others (Acts 11:23)
In teaching the gospel (Romans 1:15)
In being a friend (John 15:12)
In our role in our family (Eph. 5:22-6:4)
In our efforts on the job or in our studies
In our life as a citizen (1 Peter 2:13,14)
In giving ourselves as a sacrifice (Rom. 12:1,2)
In whatever task we undertake (Colossians 3:23)
It is not enough to give something to the Lord. He desires and deserves our very best . . . every day in every circumstance. The old slogan of Zenith Electronics was, “The quality goes in before the name goes on.” That statement should describe every effort we make for God . . . quality . . . the best we can do.
— Roger D. Campbell