“And Ornan said unto David, ‘Take it to you and let my lord, the king, do that which is good in his eyes; lo, I give you the oxen also for burnt offerings and the threshing instruments for wood and the wheat for the meat offerings. I give it all.’ And King David said to Ornan, ‘No; but I will verily buy it for the full price—for I will not take that which is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offering without cost’.”
I Chronicles 21:23-24
When love is our motive and surrender our method, we can rest assured the Heavenly Father is pleased with our gift.
“What will it cost me?”
That’s the question we often hear or ask nowadays, whether it be in the area of purchasing something or making a commitment of time and resources. Only the foolish rush headlong into a situation without “counting the cost” ahead of time—blindly “taking the leap of faith” without knowing where they’ll land.
And, so it is with following Christ (Lk. 14:25-33).
When Jesus called His earliest disciples, He simply said “Follow Me and I’ll make you fishers of men” (Mt. 4:19). And, “they immediately left their nets and followed Him” (v.20). They didn’t know where they were going, but they knew with Whom they were going. They didn’t sit down and do a detailed study of the pros-and-cons of following Christ; they simply knew they wanted to be wherever He was and He would take care of the details.
Later on He’d further flesh out what it meant to follow Him (Lk. 9:23-26). And, it wasn’t long thereafter that “many of his disciples went back and walked no more with Him” (Jn. 6:66). When He asked His closest followers if they’d also go away, Peter spoke up and said “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the Words of eternal life” (v.67). Glory!!
Even so, we don’t follow the Lord because of what He can do for us; we follow Him “because He first loved us” (I Jn. 4:19). And, it is His Love that “constrains (compels) us to answer His call” (II Cor. 5:14).
That’s why we can never be satisfied with secondhand or second-rate offerings for Him. Just as Abel knew the heart of God and offered “the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof” (Gen. 4:4), so must we give Christ the “first-fruits” of our lives, not the second or third or fourth-fruits. Never forget that leftovers and lukewarmness always travel together and indicate that we’ve “left our First Love” (Rev. 2:4; 3:15-19).
King David knew he couldn’t offer someone else’s gift to the Lord as an offering; neither could he offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. Ornan demonstrated a magnanimous spirit by wanting to give everything to the king—and David knew he could ill-afford to do less for the King of kings.
Dear Pilgrim, how goes it in your walk with Christ? Are you fully surrendered to Him or holding back in your time, talents, resources, etc.? Jesus deserves our best and any less than that is an affront to Him and reveals a lack of love for all He’s done for us (II Cor. 8:9). Spend some time alone with Him today and then do what He says. You’ll be glad you did.
September 11, 2011