Giving Our Best

Susan Medenblik Kooima

READ : Exodus 23:14-19a

The choicest of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring
into the house of the Lord your God. (v. 19)

Think of how you prepare for guests in your home, especially before holidays such as Thanksgiving Day. You clean the house more thoroughly than usual. You may finish that decorating project you have been putting off for months. And you probably prepare the finest meal you know how to make. You want your guests to feel special.

Nigerian culture is not much different in this regard. The times I was a guest in a Nigerian home, the women of the household had spent all day preparing. Moreover, Nigerians often buy food for their guests—like beef or chicken—that they could never afford for themselves.

In most cultures it is important to provide the best for guests. Doing so seems natural to us. Why then does it not seem natural to give our best—“the choicest of the first fruits”—to God? Perhaps it’s because we sometimes see God more as a tax collector than an honored guest. Try thinking of God as a guest in your heart and life, and offer him your finest.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, be the most important guest in our lives. We give back to you the choicest of our first fruits this Thanksgiving Day, and remind us that you deserve our finest every other day as well.