In this part of the chapter Mr. Chan really challenges us to re-think what we are offering to God. Are they leftovers? Or are what we offer truly given out of a heart solely wanting to give the best of everything we have to God, our first fruits? Is it the best we can give? I know I was really convicted when I read this! I am examining everything. I was thinking about when I get up in the morning, Do I quickly pull out my Bible and give God the first minutes of my day before everything comes crashing in? Or I do I think about what’s on my plate today and put it off ’til later when I think I might get a minute? (Honestly, I never find that minute!)
I grew up in a family of seven people. Because my dad grew up on a farm, dinner was always a big meal. Lots of meat, boiled potatoes and veggies. Most of the time both parents had to work and we had five growing kids. There was always a little something left over to put in the refrigerator for another day. Once a week at our house was “leftovers night.” YUK! I hated leftovers! Not all things you warmed up the second time tasted good. In fact, I didn’t like most of them. It was always a race with my brothers to get the best of them. Dry meat, soggy vegetables and fried potatoes were not my favorites. Sometimes I just skipped dinner because I didn’t really care for anything on the table. To this day I try to cook just the right amount of food, so there won’t be any leftovers. Can you tell I’m not a fan??
If I am giving to God the kinds of things I don’t like or skip because I don’t even like them, what does that say about how God feels about them? What does it say about me? I think it says that I’m serving Him things that are sub-standard. OUCH!!! It calls into question my commitment and love for Him. Do I really love God and put Him first in all I do and say? Or do I feel like a liar, as Mr. Chan says? If I am to represent what love is to other people, how can I truly do that when I haven’t first given the best to the Author of love? It’s very humbling when you think that God has already given us His sacrificial best in Jesus, doesn’t it?
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 we read the example of what God means by real love. Francis Chan challenges us to put our names in place of the word “love.” How do we measure up against these words? I’m afraid I fail miserably at times in this. I am committed, though, to work at this more and more. I want to love like God loves me. With an abandon and an unreserved feeling! I want ”Perfect Love” to reflect out of me…so people know it’s God.
Mr. Chan also shares a line from Mark Buchanan’s writings. He says, “Physical sickness we usually defy. Soul sickness we often resign ourselves to.” Did any of you get the flu this winter? How many of you got a flu shot? There is no vaccine for soul sickness. I had the stomach flu for a week and a half. By the time I was done I was weak, tired, and just wanted to be done with it. I fought it every step of the way. I didn’t want to be sick! Why don’t I fight “soul sickness” with the same resolve? Why don’t I come out with my spiritual dukes up and fight it with all my might? I don’t want to be like the church in Laodicea, I need to acknowledge that I desperately need what Christ has offered. And what Christ has offered is a real commitment, real love—no leftovers! It’s the “shot” for soul sickness that is there for the asking. Can we ask Him for it? Who knows what could actually happen when we are giving God all the first fruits of our life without holding anything back? It gives me “Holy Ghost Shivers” just thinking about it! Now to put it into practice….
In Christ, Donna
Father God, today we pray for our hearts to be willing to give You our first fruits not our leftovers. We pray for Your cure for our Soul Sickness. We dedicate ourselves to truly love and show love to others the way You have authored it. Touch every woman reading this today and help us all to renew our commitment to You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Substitute your name in the verses in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Pray over it and have God reveal to you how you can change the way you measure yourselves in these verses. Ask Him to show you how it can be done. It could be life changing. Share with us, if you wish, how God is leading you.
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If you would like to email a private message to Donna in regards to this blog, please email her at: Donna@girlfriendscoffeehour.com.