Part 12 - "The Gift We Give"
What can we give to the One who has everything?
"The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof. The world, and they that dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).
"Offer unto God thanksgiving… In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (Psalm 50:14; I Thessalonians 5:18).
We cannot give our things to the Lord. They belong to Him. We cannot give ourselves to the Lord. We belong to Him. We cannot give our children to the Lord. They belong to Him. In the commands of the Psalmist and the Apostle, however, we discover there is something we can offer to God. We can give Him thanks. We can bring Him something He does not and will not enjoy until we gratefully express our appreciation to Him. In response to the Holy Spirit's moving within us, born again believers possess the spiritual capacity to form something in our hearts fostered by the Spirit, but also by ourselves in response to Him. As the Psalmist mandated, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord" (Psalm 100:1). Thus, we can joyously produce a gift, we can "make" something to lay before our Lord, even as the word suggests: thanksgiving.
Carefully considered, the profundity of this truth will overwhelm us with wonder. In this moment, for instance, you can stop reading these words - I suggest you do - and approach the Throne of grace with an offering of thanks that God will view as a gift from you (I'll keep writing in case you return after your visit to the Throne). Moreover, He will emotionally respond to your bestowal. "The Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4). Pause for a moment to consider the possibility. Through Christ, we possess the capacity to give something to God He will not have if we refrain from availing ourselves of such a marvelous opportunity. How can we possibly contemplate such wonder and fail to give the gift - our gift - to the One who has so lavishly loved and given to us?
"Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness, to the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever!" (Psalm 30:11-12).
A final thought. The gift we give, this gift of thanks to God, is completely personal to each of us. You can give thanks to the Lord in a way I cannot. Paul's gratitude was different than Peter's, as was Mary's than Martha. Our genetic heritage, our upbringing, our history, our experiences, our personality, and our particular callings mean that when we genuinely give thanks, we bestow something no one else can produce. I cannot give your gift. You cannot give mine. And so, we each must determine to look deeply within for the personal components that will form the beauty of our offering. Thereby we bless the Heart that so blesses us as we give the one thing He does not possess until we bring the gift we make within our grateful hearts.
"I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD."
Weekly Memory Verse
I will remember the works of the Lord. Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old."