The first. The best. These are the qualifications for the offering to be brought at Firstfruits. An offering from the second harvest wasn’t acceptable. It wasn’t okay to bring your leftovers, or what you didn’t want. This is also true for my service, my offering, to Him. Ephesians 6:7 says: Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. That means I can’t just do a halfway job. Everything I do has to be done with everything I have. I must give my best effort.
As we turn our eyes and thoughts to Memorial Day here, we consider our soldiers who gave all for our freedom. They didn’t stop when it got hard. They didn’t decide that our country wasn’t worth the cost. They fought, and died, for something they believed in. They were willing to give their very lives in service to their country. There’s a line in the Battle Hymn of the Republic that goes “As He died to make men holy let us die to make men free”. These men and women gave the ultimate price for our freedom.
But Christ is the ultimate example of this kind of sacrificial effort. He didn’t go halfway. He didn’t stop when the going got tough. Scripture says He was the firstfruits of the resurrection. But He couldn’t rise again without having died on the cross. That’s sacrifice.
It puts it all into perspective when I feel like my efforts are getting too hard. When I feel like the effort I put in is too great or is being overlooked, I remember that greater effort has been done for less recognition. I remember that I am called to give my all, not to my family, but to God. In His service. For His calling. I give my best effort, the first of my ability. Halfway isn’t acceptable, “good enough” is not adequate if it’s not my best.