OK, sure your works won’t save you, but neither will doing the minimum to get by. Are you all in or what?
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, January 22, 2015
Based Upon John 14
While speaking to His disciples, Jesus was very clear about the level of commitment that He required of them. His teachings on this subject are also for us. In the commandments, He said that He is a jealous God. He refuses to compete with anything else that we may love more than Him. If we love our parents, spouses, children, or our own ideas more than we love Him, we are not worthy of being His disciple. Jesus has given us His all, therefore He expects us to reciprocate. This is reasonable.
Have you ever heard that the Lord requires only one seventh of your week that should be set aside for Him? How about this: He requires only one tenth of our increase as a tithe, and He will be satisfied? Some say that all He requires of us during a day is morning and evening prayer. Jesus was trying to erase such minimalist thinking when He said that we should forsake all for Him. If we were to give Him these portions of ourselves as a tip for His services, it would be offensive. He told Moses to gather the jewels of the people for the building of the sanctuary. He said that if they were unwilling to give freely, that He should reject the offerings. The same is true today. If we give only of necessity or in neat little portions merely to meet the requirement, we have missed the point all together.
If I give the Lord merely one seventh of my week for worship, what kind of relationship would we have? Should I then live like the devil the remaining six days? If I gave the Lord control over one tenth of my increase along with a generous offering could I squander the remaining portion? If I prayed twice per day only, would I be prepared to face the enemy? How well would I know the voice of God? The point is, if we do not sacrifice all that we are and all that we have, dedicating all to Jesus, these required portions are meaningless. In that case, we could dedicate eighty percent of our income to the poor and still come up short in the eyes of God. On the other hand, if we are fully surrendered to the Lord, and all that we have is His, we could offer two mites as the widow did, and heaven would rejoice.
Our priority should be pleasing the Lord. He wants entire commitment and service. He provides both the power and the means for us to do this. It is reasonable to return to the Lord all that He has blessed us with. He gave unreservedly, and we should do the same.