There is a phrase that I have been hearing lately and I’m not sure how to take it. If someone said to you “We should give our very best for God or God gave his very best for me, I think we should give our best for him” what would you think?
My initial thought when I heard this was Isaiah 64:6 “All our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment (filthy rags).” Our ability, or offering to God, will never measure up. When we live our lives as if we are independent of him, and he is expecting us to bring him something of ourselves that is worthy, we are deceived. To me this strikes at the heart of why God sent Jesus here in the first place. We could do absolutely nothing in ourselves to make ourselves pleasing to God.
If you look all the way back to the beginning you will read where immediately after Adam sinned he and Eve made for themselves coverings of fig leaves and hid. The fig leaves were not sufficient so God killed an animal in order to clothe them appropriately. This is the first instance in the Bible where we see it’s going to take bloodshed and death to cover for us.
Adam’s first two sons also teach us something about the idea of giving our best to God. Most of us know the story so I won’t repeat it here, but what I wanted you to see is how Cain brought his best to God. He brought the produce from his garden and yet God didn’t find it acceptable. Of course this made Cain upset and he ended up killing Abel out of shear jealousy. When it comes to bringing our best to God rather than bringing what he has provided, it never ends well. Our best isn’t ever going to be any more than “filthy rags.”
Let me wrap this up with one final point from the Gospel of John. Only a little while after Jesus fed thousands with two fish and five loaves of bread the crowd asked him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Wow! This means our best for God, or doing the works of God, is simple faith in Christ. Essentially, like Abel gave to God a lamb which he received from God, our best for God is a lamb also, the Lamb of God himself Jesus Christ. Paul told us in 1 Corinthians 4:7 “For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” As Jesus himself said, “There is none good but God.” In conclusion let me say, doing our best for God is really just living a life of faith and thankfulness for his gift of Christ to us.
Written by Louie