Is God the main course, or the sidedish?


                And he looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and he saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites.  So he said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had” (Luke 21: 1-4.)


                The heart is the deepest part of every human being.  Truth resides in the heart; but the heart is so deeply buried that it’s difficult to see it’s contents (most don’t even know what is in their own hearts.)  In Jeremiah we read, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.  Who can understand it?”  Only God can truly see the heart.  God is not fooled by appearances.  Jesus watched many wealthy people approach the offering box and give large sums of money.  He saw a widow woman give two mites (one penny.)  Those who couldn’t see the truth would have honored the large donors; but Jesus was looking at their hearts.  The wealthy donors had used up the first part of their riches on themselves, and God received His share from their leftovers.  The woman however, gave from what she needed to live.  She chose to honor God rather than feed herself.  The Lord came first in her life, and for that Jesus honored her. 

                This past Christmas, while sitting around the kitchen table, my wonderful niece Jaden asked me why I talked about God so much.  To help her understand, I pulled a plate in front of me; the plate had a main dish on it, and near the edge of the plate was a smaller portion (the side dish.)  I said, pointing to the main course, “In life most people put the cares of living in the center of their plates, and they make God ‘the side dish.’  But God doesn’t want to be the side dish; He wants to be ‘the main course.’  Do you understand that?”  “Yes,” she replied.  In this scripture, we see a bunch of wealthy men who had filled their vaults full of worldly wealth, and what they didn’t consume or covet, they gave to God.  Because God was secondary in their hearts, He got their leftovers.  The widow woman however was concerned first with pleasing God, and second with pleasing herself; in her heart, God was the ‘main course.’

                Today, God is not fooled by large sums of money; he’s not fooled by crosses around the neck, or bumper stickers that say, “Jesus Saves.”  He’s not fooled by weekly church attendance either.  The world can be easily fooled, but God sees straight in to the heart.  In the heart, God is either the ‘main course,’ or the’ side dish.’  ‘If He’s not first he’s last.’  What is God to you?  Does He get the first of your time, or what’s leftover?  Does He hear prayers from you throughout the day, or only in the last few minutes before you go to bed?  Does God receive the first of your finances, or just the surplus?  Put God first in your life, and withhold nothing from Him; the world may take no notice; they will throw no parades in your honor or name any buildings after you; but the Lord, who sees your heart, will honor you; the one true and living God is watching, and He will write your name in the book of life and raise you up in the last day.

                “Lord Heavenly Father we come before You and lift You up.  You are an awesome and mighty God.  We love You Father, and we love Your Son.  Help us to make You the center of our lives.  Give us genuine hearts; hearts that are submitted to You; hearts that are wholly sacrificed for You.  May we see with Your eyes lord, and not be deceived as the world is deceived.  We love You Father, we praise You and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.  

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