Andy Stanley tells a story about giving guests leftovers. Imagine the family that buys all freshest ingredients, spends hours cooking from scratch, sets out the best wine, and eats its fill. Then, the next day, warms up the leftovers for guests that were invited to dinner the week before. We would never do that to friends! Sounds backwards, doesn't it?
Now the question is, "Do we give God the leftovers?" The Bible teaches that God gets the "first fruit," that is, the best, the prime of our life. We live off the substantial remainder. It seems many have decided to go the other way around, letting God be the guest with what (if anything) is left over. Does not God deserve what friends get?
God gets the leftover Sundays, the leftover money, the leftover volunteer time, even the leftover moments required for prayer and attention to scripture.
Do you give God leftovers? If so, do you want that to continue? This is the God who loves you unconditionally and waits for any morsel of your loving attention. He will even take what we give friends. Disciples serve the best to God first, knowing that they will have more than enough leftover.
Honor the LORD with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops; Proverbs 3:9 (NIV)
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. Malachi 3:10 (NIV)