Make Every Effort Your Best (365 Days of Daring Faith — DAY 291)
2 Peter 1:5 (NLT)
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge,
When it comes to neurosurgeons and heart doctors, we want the best. When it comes to marriage counselors and school mentors for our children, we want the best. When it comes to financial advisors and home constructors, we want the best too. When it comes even to churches, neighborhoods, schools, and jobs, we want the best. We look for the best in every situation and opportunity.
Well, God does the same thing. He wants us to make every effort to exercise the very best of our faith and belief in him. This means that we give the best of our lives to God. We give the best of time, our money, our talent, and our resources to fulfilling the call and purpose that God has given to us. We don’t put God last; we give our very best effort no matter what the cost.
In the story, Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, Joseph and Mary entered the crowded city of Bethlehem looking for accommodations. As they traveled the streets, they arrived at one lodge and tell the keeper of their situation. The keeper tells them as all the previous lodge keepers did that he had no room for them in his place. After a few brief pauses, this keeper stares at the ground in deep thought and finally says, “I cannot turn you away. Rabbi, I will do the best I can.”
God doesn’t expect perfection, but he does expect the best we can offer. Giving your best sometimes means that you have to sacrifice your own way and will, and even comfort for the sake of love and grace to be expressed to and reflected in the world. You can do this anywhere you are, in whatever career you have. Sometimes sacrifice means staying let to help an overwhelmed co-worker get through a project instead of hanging out with your friend at the movies.
God doesn’t call us to be super great people or to be perfect in all our endeavors. He does call us to be humble and willing to learn, giving and ready to serve. His grace demands we are excellent in whatever we set our hands to do. Excellence is doing our best, giving our best, and being our best. A solid faith works in conjunction with excellent knowledge of the work of God in our lives so that we do it and be it to the best of our ability.
“Doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”
— George MacDonald