By David Thomas
Devotional Scripture: Exodus 23:19a
Central Thought: God requires that His followers give Him the best of everything they have to offer.
God wants your best, just as he wanted the Israelites' best in Exodus 23. God established three yearly festivals during which the Israelites paused to celebrate God's goodness in supplying their every need.
Verse 19 tells us that for the festivals, God expected the Israelites to bring 'the best of the firstfruits of your ground.” By bringing their firstfruits, God's people publicly recognized God as their provider. By bringing the best quality from their harvests, they declared God as the source for all things their soil had produced. God's expectations spoke as much to the attitude He desired as anything else.
That principle applies today. God wants us, in all we do, to offer Him our best efforts to demonstrate that he is number one in priority. We should apply the firstfruits principle in every way possible, whether it be our time, our finances, our careers, our families, our leisure time, etc.
John 3:16 tells how God first gave us His best when He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Our best can never match that sacrifice, but having received His best should motivate us in turn to give God the best of everything we have to offer.
Devotional Prayer: May all that I do, Lord, reflect that I place You at the top of my priorities each day.
Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 23:14-25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalm 30:1-12; Proverbs 7:24-27