A few years ago, while on holiday in another european country, I ordered spaghetti bolognese for my daughter. It was unfortunately topped with grated cheese which she did not like. I informed the waiter who then told me that it was normal for them to serve the spaghetti with cheese, without first asking if it would be okay. I told him that I found that surprising and requested a fresh dish. To my surprise, he came back quite quickly, having 'cleared' the cheese off of it, presenting it as a new dish! My husband and I realised what had been done but decided not to make a fuss. Being aware of what the waiter had done and the look of this 'new dish' had turned me off my meal!
In the gospel of Matthew, chapter fifteen and verses twenty-two to twenty eight, we are told of a woman who wanted Jesus to deliver her daughter from demonic possession. Jesus basically told her that she was not qualified to receive this blessing as she was not a Jew. Her response was that “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” This of course moved Jesus to respond favourably.
Her acceptance that she did not qualify for the blessing was one thing but comparing herself to a dog was quite something else. Dogs by nature, will eat anything out of anywhere, if possible. Human beings have more dignity and are certainly not supposed to feed on fallen crumbs. If this is beneath us, it's certainly faaaaaaar (no typing error!) beneath God.
When we eat and have leftovers, WE can always eat them later. I certainly would not want to eat somebody's leftovers - would you? Well, God is not too pleased either if all we can offer him are our leftovers! Our church offering is our 'leftover from our weekly shopping', our seeds are whatever 'coins we found in our purses/wallets', our tithes are what's 'leftover after our lifestyle has been paid for', our communication with God is 'when we can squeeze him in', our service to God is 'whatever we can still manage to do' and the Word of God moves to 'the bottom of our daily schedule'.
I also belong to the list of the guilty - you're not alone! If God were to treat us like we treat him, we'll be much worse off than we think we are. Imagine if he were to place us at the bottom of his daily schedule and when we need his help, he does only what he can manage to do for us. When we call, he listens to us only when he can squeeze us into his schedule and instead of abundantly blessing us, he holds back the blessings of the tithes. He then withholds the increase of our sown seeds and provides for our needs according to his leftovers. We would stop calling him God and refer to him as another human being!
To get the best from God, we should give him our best, our very best. It still could never measure up to what he already gave and can still give us but it shows him that we appreciate and love him. The crumbs and leftovers belong to dogs but the honour and praise belong to God and this is what we offer to him, when we give him our best. Till next week, keep on walking in Christ.
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