By Joel Fannin
If we stop long enough to think about it, we will realize that we live in an age of pleasures that seem to make life come close to effortless. We have cars, cellular phones, ATMs, plastic checks, television sets, computers, the Internet (information easier to access), you name it! However, in such an age, we as Christians cannot afford to become effortless in our service to God. We must always be giving our best to the Lord. We have good examples of people in the Old Testament who gave their best to God. Following are some other good examples of those who did just that!
Most of us know the story of Cain and Abel. “Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions” (Gen. 4:4). We can read on in the same chapter and see that God had regard for Abel because of the very fact that he decided in his own heart that he would bring his best before the Lord while Cain failed to do so.
We can also marvel at Caleb’s trust in the Lord when he asked Joshua for the land of Hebron as an inheritance saying, “I am still as strong today as I was in the day Moses sent me . . .” (Josh. 14:11). Caleb gave his best to God; all that he could offer. It sometimes seems to be that some think the older they get, the less active they can get. The simple answer seems to be to just pass it off to those who are younger. However, Caleb’s zeal for pleasing the Lord did not diminish with the passing of time.
Josiah, the sixteenth king of Judah is also another great example! After discovering a lost book of the law in the temple during its restoration, it was read before him by Shaphan, the scribe. Up until this time, Josiah did what he could to please the Lord. 2 Kings 22:2 describes him as follows: “He did right in the sight of the Lord and walked in all the way of his father David, nor did he turn aside to the right or to the left.” After hearing God’s word, Josiah knew what he had to do. He went on an aggressive campaign to “clean up” Judah of all the idolatrous influorts. In doing this, Josiah also strived to give God his best.
In our worship, and in our lives as well, we cannot afford to get lazy or passive. There are so many distractions, whether it be at school, at work, or at home, that we forget to take time out for the Lord. This includes studying his word, prayer, and meditation. As a goal for each and every day, let’s determine within ourselves, no matter our age, to refresh our hearts in Christ, thus always being ready to give God our best!