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 Yesterday on the blog we discussed God’s displeasure with His people in the days of the prophet Malachi. His concern? They were offering blemished sacrifices (Malachi 1:6-8).They were offering God their scraps. They refused to worship God with their best.  

As Christians, we know the whole sacrificial system was pointing to Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice. That’s why God required sacrifices without blemish, to point to the cross where God did not offer His scraps.  

But on this side of the cross, how are we supposed to apply these lessons from Malachi? We learned from 1 Peter 2:5 that when we gather, we offer “spiritual sacrifices” to God. In other words, our worship gatherings are a New Covenant expression of the Old Covenant sacrifice.  

So here’s the question, dear brother or sister: Do you worship God with your best when you gather with God’s people?  

In high school, I spent several years in a church tradition that regularly emphasized offering your best when you came to worship God on Sunday. But unfortunately, the way they applied this was almost always about how you dressed. Wear a suit and tie, doesn’t God deserve your best?  

I want to suggest a different approach. Rather than merely worshiping God with your best on the outside, what if we applied this principle to the inside? To our hearts?  

Consider prayerfully asking yourself the questions below as you prepare for this coming Sunday. But be careful. There is the potential for great blessing here, but also great legalism. I want you to ask yourself if you are worshiping God with your best. Not someone else’s best.  

You may be in a season of life that does not allow you to do some of these things. Maybe you’re in chronic pain, which keeps you from doing things you would otherwise gladly do. You may be a young mom wrangling a gaggle of children and you’re quite understandably more distracted than you would’ve been ten years ago. You may have a disability that makes one or more of these things hard, if not impossible.  

So again, ask yourself “am I worshipping God with my best?” If not, confess it to Jesus and rejoice in His sure and steady forgiveness! Then, with His help, concentrate on one or two areas for personal growth.  

Application Questions:  

Do you offer your best before you arrive?

  • Do you plan ahead on Saturday nights so Sunday mornings aren’t so hectic?
  • Do you pray in advance, asking God to speak to you?
  • Do you read the Scripture for the sermon in advance?
  • Do you pray for those who will minister the Word to us through preaching, prayer, and song?  

Do you offer your best as you arrive?

  • Do you consistently show up late—not because something unforeseen has happened—but because you’re ill-prepared
  • Do you simply rush to your seats without interacting with others, or do you come looking for opportunities to stir one another up to love and good works?

Do you offer your best when we pray?

  • Do you nod off?
  • Are you focused, intentionally praying alongside the person leading us?
  • Are you saying “amen,” voicing your agreement with what was prayed?  

Do you offer your best when Scripture is read?

  • Do you follow along in your Bible if you’re able?
  • Do you bring your Bible?  

Do you offer your best when we sing?

  • Do you moan and complain in your heart (not this song again!)?
  • Do you criticize?
  • Do you only sing out when you like the song?  

Do you offer your best when God’s Word is preached?

  • Do you listen carefully throughout the sermon?
  • Do you take notes if it’s helpful?
  • As you listen, do you look for particular truths to discuss with your family or fellowship group?
  • Do you look for particular applications to focus on in the week ahead? Or are you too busy applying it to someone else?  

Do you offer your best as you leave?

  • Are you out the door as quick as you can be, or are you looking for opportunities to respond to God’s Word and love the people around you?
  • Are you regularly engaged in some sort of service to the church? Do you ever look around to see if there’s help that’s needed around you?