Malachi 1:14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
The prophet Jeremiah said: “Cursed [be] he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully…” (Jeremiah 48:10). It is no light thing in the eyes of The Lord when we say we will give Him our best, when in reality we keep the best for ourselves and give Him our second best or leftovers.
Do the names Ananias and Sapphira ring a bell? They wanted to give the impression to others that they were giving God the first fruits of the sale of their land when in truth they were not. The people of God were rebuked by Malachi because they were reluctantly offering unto God the kind of gifts that they would not dare give to a political figure. They thought they were fooling God! “ ‘When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Malachi 1:8 – NIV)
God does not require perfection of service, but He does expect us to give Him the best use of the gifts and talents that He has given to us. This is giving unto God our first fruits. Our great King deserves our best. 1 Peter 4:10,11 says that we are to use our God given talents to bring glory and honor unto Him.
But we are living in days when the people of God are giving God leftover service, leftover talents and leftover giving. We spend more time in the gym than in The Word, more time in front of the television instead of in front of The Lord. The vast majority of churches are filled with people whose God-given gifts and talents are rarely, if ever, used to serve and bless the body of Christ.
The norm today is that we will serve Jesus when it is convenient and time allows. We will attend to bible study and times of prayer personally and in the local church whenever we can fit them into our crammed schedules. When Jesus gets our leftovers instead of our first fruits, that is nothing less than dishonoring Christ as Lord God and serving Him deceitfully. Read Malachi 1. Selah