Going Deeper …




Scripture Readings for the Week:




Proverbs 3:9; I Chronicles 29:14; Malachi 1:9-14; Matthew 19:16-22





Last week I mentioned that I played baseball in high school.  I am fascinated with the game and all that it takes to be able to excel as a player. For me one of the most exciting things to watch is a pitcher who is on the verge of throwing what is called “a perfect game.”  For those not familiar, that means that the pitcher records 27 outs without giving up a hit or base runner.  The official definition states that no batter reaches first base either by a hit, walk, hit-batter, or fielding error.  Instead the pitcher faces the minimum number of batters (27) and gets every one of them out. That is perfection in the game of baseball for a pitcher.  In the 140 years that MLB has been keeping records, they have played over 210,000 games and there are only 22 recorded perfect games.  That is how rare it is to see perfection in baseball.


I find it interesting that when God established the Levitical code for offerings, God demanded perfection.  I always wondered why?  Maybe because perfection is what we humans prize the most.  If we are prone to give anything away, we would give the least or the most undesirable of our possessions.  We do not think to give perfection away first and as our finest gift.  Yet, that is what God demanded from the covenant community of Israel – perfect gifts. If we truly appreciate what God has offered to us in God’s perfect Son, Jesus then we should be inspired and moved to respond to God with our very best offerings.


I encourage you to take time and read each of the scriptures above and then reflect on the questions below.  I hope that they will encourage you to consider what you give to God and to answer the question, is this the best I have?  I also pray that God bless the reading of God’s Word and the meditations of your heart.








When have you felt richly blessed by God?  How did you respond to this moment of blessing?


What would it look like for you to give the perfect gift to God?  What would it take for you to offer your very best gift to God?



Where do you give your very best in this world? Who or what inspires you to do so?




How do you define a perfect gift that could be given to God?






Daily Prayer


Loving and merciful God.  Thank you for the best gift that you have given to me and that is the gift of mercy and redemption.  Your son, Jesus, was your best gift to the world and he still is because people today are still being persuaded to give their lives to follow him. Because of your love and mercy, I pray that you empower me to strive to give my very best gift to you.  Whether it be of time, talent, or treasure doesn’t matter – just that it be the very best I have.  May your Spirit give me the strength to live into this covenant prayer.      AMEN




If you have thoughts, comments or questions about Sunday’s service or this week’s devotional, please e-mail them to jimh@stjohnsumc.org