“The Best that We Have”

The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, July 25, 2022 comes to us from Esther MacDonald of Quebec, Canada

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else's territory. 17 But, "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord." 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. 2 Corinthians 10:12-18 NIV

 

“The Best that We Have”


I tend to fall into the trap of comparing myself with others quite easily. Usually, I’m comparing my spirituality or level of ministry involvement to that of others. The other day on social media, I came across a photograph that corrected my perspective. The picture was of a breakfast-in-bed tray that a three-year-old daughter had prepared for her mother. It contained two slices of unbuttered raisin bread and a beautiful mug filled with cold water. Not very appetizing, to say the least! But the little fingers gripping the sides of the tray were enough to melt any heart.


Exodus 40 describes the building of the tabernacle by the Israelites in the wilderness and the glory of the Lord descending on it. The contrast between this structure and the temple built later by Solomon is striking (1 Kings 6-8). The first was humble compared to the second, but God did not consider it too lowly to inhabit. He came to it in his full glory. Why? Because it was made from the best the people had at that time. God doesn’t need the finest gifts the world has to offer. God wants us to offer the best that we have. If that’s what we’re giving to God, then God is indeed pleased.

 

Friends –

Like Esther MacDonald, I often compare my effectiveness negatively to the accomplishments of others around me. This reflection reminds about a saying that I often offer to others, and should probably remember more often myself: “Do Your Best, and God will do the Rest”. Obviously, this is not some kind of excuse to do nothing, but instead it is encouragement to try our best, trusting in God for the results. I invite you to remember moments when you felt inadequate, but tried anyway and the result was very good.

--Pastor bea

 
Prayer:

Dear Lord, forgive us when we compare ourselves to others. Help us keep our eyes focused on you and to use the gifts you’ve given us for your glory. Amen.

--Esther MacDonald


Prayer Focus:

Those addicted to social media


Thought for the Day:

It is enough to offer my best to God.

 

Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34 (NIV)