This week, SaraGrace got to go to baking camp (I’ll post on that another day), so Cade and I got some time together. One of the things I was asked to work on at the church was the food pantry, so Cade and I tackled that this week.
My work crew
Our postal service hosted a food drive several weeks ago, and our church was blessed to receive some of that food for our food pantry. There was SO MUCH FOOD!!! What a blessing! Our first task was to separate the food into like kinds, all while checking for expiration dates and severely damaged packaging. We developed a little system and got busy.
As the hours went on, it seemed like we were taking more food to the dumpster for being expired that what we were keeping for the pantry. Cade would load the wagon with the expired goods and he and Emmy would take turns throwing it into the dumpster. As we continued with this process God really spoke to me.
Let me begin by saying that I did not even participate in the food drive, meaning I gave NOTHING as a donation. Shame on me!!! So I was immediately convicted there. I realize that I am included in the intended audience for this post.
As we pilfered through the endless bins of food, it amazed us that people gave food that was so extremely expired. I’m talking 2006, 2010, 2012. I guess as long as we give something, even if it’s something we don’t use (or something that’s been sitting in our pantry for years), we have done something good for “the least of these” and we can go to bed feeling good about ourselves. How often do we treat our offerings to God in the same manner? After all, He gave us His all when He sent His son to die for us. He bore the punishment for us as a blameless, perfect man. The least we could offer Him is our very best. The first fruits of ourselves. So many times He gets the leftovers. It may be the leftover of our day spent in a quick prayer or devotion. It may be our leftover energy as we serve in a ministry just to check the box that we’re doing what we have been asked. It may be that we tithe out of our leftovers after all of our bills have been paid and we have bought everything we want. I am certainly guilty of all of these things.
Genesis 4: 1-7 (NKJV)
1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
So what are we to do?
Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)
9 Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty,
And your vats will overflow with new wine.
I have been challenged this week to give my all to my Savior, just as HE gave it all for me. My prayer is that you will be challenged in the same way.