"The Gift We Can Give"
Our capacity for thanksgiving offers a blessed and fascinating opportunity in our relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
"O give thanks unto the Lord" (Psalm 107:1).
"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).
What do you give to the One to whom all things belong? In tangible terms, we can give nothing to God that He does not already own as "the Possessor of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:22). He made all things, He sustains all things, and and while not everything presently flows according to the course of His perfect will, all things remain the possession of their Creator. Thus, we cannot give anything to our Heavenly Father in the normal sense of transferring ownership that characterizes our human experience.
We can, however give thanks. In the grateful offering, we present to God something He will not have if we fail to open the treasuries of our Christ-filled hearts. Such opportunity originates in the thoughtful, intelligent gratitude commanded by Scripture, as opposed to the mere rote expression - "vain repetitions" - often practiced without heart, mind, and authentic spiritual reality (Matthew 6:7).
"Give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness" (Psalm 30:4).
When we gratefully respond to the Holy Spirit's movings in our inner depths, as guided by the Scriptures He inspired and by His involved working in our lives, we literally give something to God He would not otherwise have. In the mystery of Divine-human relations, we join the Psalmist in his holy determination: "I will freely sacrifice unto Thee. I will praise Thy name, of Lord, for it is good" (Psalm 54:6). While utterly dependent on the creative moving of the Spirit within us, we nevertheless bring something to the table that flows from our own personhood. God made us as persons rather than mindless, programmed computers. To spiritually, intelligently, and lovingly give thanks therefore means that we can actually bestow something upon our blessed Lord He would not otherwise have.
Personally, I know of few more thrilling or motivating thoughts. Perhaps this is one reason David so passionately determined to express himself to his Lord. "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice" (Psalm 55:17). Indeed, if it is possible to give something, anything, to the glorious One who provides our life, breath, and very being, then we must, we can, and we will! What an opportunity and gift from the God of whom the hymnodist exulted, "Out of His infinite riches in Jesus, He giveth and giveth and giveth again." He does, and let us be found in holy response, giving and giving and giving again that which our Lord will not have unless He hears the voice of our heart and our lips giving thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.
If my voice is sweet to you,
as Your Word declares,
and if somehow You find delight in my prayers,
then my voice, Lord, You will hear.
My voice You will hear.
"O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever!" (Psalm 30:12).
Weekly Memory Verse
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.