The Trap Of The Minimum Daily Requirement

  By Bob Brubaker  |  

No matter what food your purchase you’ll find on the labeling the percentage of the minimum daily requirement (MDR) the product provides.  But where did this minimum daily requirement come from and how was it established?   Actually, the MDR was introduced during World War II as a means of providing the troops what would be needed to keep them healthy.  Eventually, it became a standard for all and even though new data has meant the MDR has changed a bit over the years, the interest in it has not waned.  In fact, people pay attention to the MDR of food products and often make decisions based upon the what is on the label. However, as you break down the MDR, you’ll find the word MINIMUM.  This indicates this is what is needed to “get by.”  So if a product provides 100% of the minimum that may not be saying all that much about the product.  After all, who wants to be satisfied with the minimum?

Before you answer that, let’s move on to something bigger where we all fall into the MDR trap.

Mark 12:28–31 (ESV) — 28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The religious leaders were interested in what Jesus thought would be the MDR of fulfilling the commandments of God.  Since the leaders in Jesus’ day had added interpretations onto interpretations so that the 10 commandments were not only missed but the people were totally confused, as you might imagine they would be.  So the question was boiling down to the essentials of serving God, or the MDR if you please.  In other words, if we want to “just get by, what is the minimum required of us?”

What they really meant was, “what is the minimum to which we can just get by when it comes to serving God.”

Notice how Jesus answered.  The minimum is a “sell out to God with ALL your mind, ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and ALL your strength.”  And that is the minimum.

Too often, we get trapped in the “just get by” attitude and we offer to God our interpretation of our MDR to which God says, “that is offensive.”  And we wonder why we live a powerless Christianity and lack fellowship with Him.

Malachi 1:13–14 (ESV) — 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

Revelation 3:15–19 (ESV) — 15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

Instead of offering to God a MDR type of a sacrifice, offer to Him that for which He is looking from each of us, a total “all in” sacrifice” like the burnt offering in the OT is offered to be totally consumed.  There should be none of this MDR for Him because offering Him an MDR is to rob Him and rob ourselves.  Instead, offer Him a total offering of ourselves, ready to be consumed.

Romans 12:1–2 (ESV) — 1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

That means whatever we do, we do it with all we have.  No more “just get by” for Him.

Colossians 3:23–24 (ESV) — 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Ecclesiastes 9:10 (ESV) — 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

It’s time to assess yourself.  What are you giving to God, ALL or MDR?  Just as you can’t really live on the MDR in food, you need more to grow and thrive so your service to God needs to be more than MDR.  He is looking for ALL from you.  And you’ll find the reward of being ALL in with God to be a place of great fellowship and blessing as you avoid robbing Him with an MDR.


Bob Brubaker

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