God Deserves the First and Best
"And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem." (Exodus 13:15)
When the Pharaoh – the supreme ruler of Egypt – was oppressing the Jews and refusing to let them leave Egypt, God gave him many chances to change his mind. But eventually God was done giving second chances to Pharaoh, and He told the Hebrews put lamb's blood on their doorposts. This act of faith would protect the Hebrews from the Lord's judgment that would visit the land of Egypt. The Bible tells us that since the Egyptians did not have the blood on their doorposts the firstborn Egyptian sons and animals died. But right next door in Goshen where the Hebrews lived, all the Hebrew firstborns were safe because they believed God and obeyed His command.
After the Hebrews left Egypt ("the exodus"), God told them that from then on He wanted the first of everything. That meant that if they had a cow, the first calf would be sacrificed to the Lord. If they had a sheep, the first lamb belonged to God. This was to be a constant reminder throughout the years that God had gone to great lengths to rescue the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. These "firsts" came to symbolize the best or most important, which God deserved.
Even though we no longer sacrifice calves or lambs, God still deserves the best that we have. Whether it is the talents He has given to us or some money that we earn, God deserves the first and the best. Every boy or girl, man or woman who has trusted in Jesus for rescue from sin owes his or her soul to the Lord. Because of the gratitude in our hearts for this amazing gift of salvation we should give God the first and the best!
Because God has rescued us, He deserves our best
» Do I keep the first and best for myself and give God the "leftovers"?
Truth In Real Life
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Many thought it was a waste of a good life when Jim Elliot announced he was going to spend his life on a foreign mission field. His life and death, however, encouraged thousands to follow his example. Was his life a waste? You decide….
Philip James Elliot was born on October 8, 1927, in Portland, Oregon. His father was an evangelist, and his mother was a chiropractor. Growing up, Jim and his three siblings were introduced to countless missionaries who visited in their home and told them exciting stories about Gospel work.
In 1945, Jim went to Wheaton College. He became a star on the wrestling team, and roomed with Pete Fleming. Together, these two friends dedicated their lives to whatever Christ had for them.
During his junior year of college, he met a godly girl named Elisabeth Howard. They had a long courtship, and then were married on his 26th birthday. Following their marriage, the Elliots continued to form detailed plans on how they could best reach the most unreached Ecuadorian natives with the Gospel. They knew the Aucas were a hostile tribe in Ecuador, but the added risk did not matter to them. They enlisted the help of four other men – including Elliot’s old college roommate, Pete Fleming – and made plans to take the good news specifically to the Aucas.
Little did these five men and their families know that their mission to the Aucas would be the last thing they ever did. On January 8, 1956, some misunderstandings and hostility came to a head, and the Aucas turned against their would-be friends and evangelists. All five of the missionary men were speared to death by those whom they had endeavored to reach.
Through their own family members and those back home who heard about their testimonies, though, the men’s mission to reach the Aucas eventually came to pass. Elisabeth Elliot stayed on and Nate Saint’s sister Rachel came to help. Many more young workers were inspired to give their lives to missionary endeavors worldwide as a result of the Ecuador martyrs’ sold-out dedication to spreading God’s Gospel.
As Jim Elliot wrote, “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
What are you doing for God right now? Are you doing your best in the responsibilities God has given you right now? Your school work? Being in your family and in your church family what you ought to be? Do you take your work and your studies seriously? Wherever you are right now (by God’s grace), “be there” with your whole heart!
1 Corinthians 10:31 – Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.