After David had been told by God to build an altar and worship God on the threshing floor of Araunah, this Jebusite offered the king the threshing floor and everything necessary to worship God. David refused the offer with these words: “Nay, but I will verily buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto Jehovah my God which cost me nothing” (II Samuel 24:24).
Would that all Christians had the attitude of David. Instead, they often show the very opposite disposition. David realized that an offering which cost him nothing was worth exactly that to him—nothing. God has always demanded the best that each person has—not what somebody else has (Leviticus 22:21).
All we have has been given to us by God to use for His glory and in His service. We are but stewards of these things (1 Pet. 4:10). The Lord expects us to be good stewards, but giving what comes without cost to us is not practicing faithful stewardship. The measure of our devotion, reverence, and love for God is in direct proportion to how much we are willing to commit to the service of God, or how much we are willing to sacrifice (John 12:3ff). Those who take the easiest, cheapest way to serve God are, in reality, servants of self, not God.
There is to be nothing cheap about our religion. It is to be the best we have—the same attitude that characterized David. “I will not offer... unto Jehovah my God [that] which cost me nothing.”