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"You will be accepted if you respond the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it."(Gen. 4:7 NLT)

Have you every watched when children line up to run a race. The very first time a group is together they will all go pretty much all out. Some of them are determined to win every race. Some decide that they probably will never win and others will keep working hoping that they will win sometime. Some are just so fast that they can win without giving it their best effort. The challenge then is to keep the children who do not win from being discouraged and giving up, to keep the ones who work so hard to keep working hard, and to get the ones who do not have to work hard to understand that it always best to give their best effort.

This of course applies to everything, not just athletics, but this is something that nearly everyone has experienced or at least witnessed at one time or another. I can vividly remember my first experience with track in school. The coach took us out to see who could run the fastest and furthest. I do not remember the distances of the first three races. I only know that I ran them just as fast as I could. When it cam time for the fourth race, they could not find me. I was passed out by the fence! I had given my best effort and felt like it was going to kill me! The coach liked it, but I sure didn’t! I am sorry to say that I probably never practiced that hard in track again. I gave my best at meets, but my best was probably not as good as it could have been because I protected myself in practice.

God calls for our best. As we work at giving our best, our best becomes better. Quite often, the kid who never wins a race to start with, but works hard to do so, ends up passing all the kids that use to leave him or her in the dust. The key is to keep giving our best.

God told Able that he would be accepted if he responded the right way. How do we respond to the idea of giving our best? We determine what is best by considering what God wants. We do not measure our best by what someone else is doing or even by what we think is good enough to qualify for our best. We need to measure everything according to what God says.

Are we giving our best effort? Are we giving our best love, joy, and peace? Are we giving our best offering? Is our best becoming better? Do we love God and seek Him with all our hearts? Are we determined to grow until we will not even consider giving God less than our best? Jesus always did what pleased God, because He was totally convinced that God could not fail. Because of that no temptation to hold anything back could ever win Him over. He never spread branches before God; He always gave His most valuable garments. He gave His life. That was His best. Let’s give Him our best!

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