What do you get as a gift for someone or a couple who has everything? While there are possibly some unique gift ideas that could be considered, they can seem inadequate. We compare what we are hoping to offer with what the individuals already have and if we are not careful, we could get quite anxious and stressed about it. If the person or couple is special or has been very kind to us in the past, we probably feel even more pressure. We do not want to offend; we want to get it right. Because we must make a decision, we resolve to do the best we can and hope the gift will be appreciated in the same spirit of generosity with which it was given.
These thoughts came to mind as I reflected on the words of the psalmist: “What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12, KJV). The Message Bible puts the verse this way: “What can I give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on me?” It is interesting to me that he started the psalm with the words, “I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live” (vv. 1-2). What do you give to the Lord who leaned His ear in your direction so He could hear your voice, and your earnest and humble requests? How do you repay Him?
If we had something that God needed, then giving that to Him would be a no-brainer. However, we serve a God who is complete in Himself. There is absolutely nothing that we have that He needs. In fact, He has no need as we understand it. Contrary to what some would have us believe, God does not need our worship and/or our praise as in heaven there is angelic praise and worship happening “day and night” (Revelation 4:8; 7:11). And their worship is far more sincere. What about our righteousness? On our best days, “all our deeds of righteousness are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6, AMP) so that would not do. What about giving Him things? He said of Himself, “I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 50:9-12; see also Psalm 24:1-2). In other words, everything and everyone belongs to Him.
Clearly, we have nothing to give Him, nothing to bargain with. Yet He loves and keeps on loving us anyway, a demonstration of His grace and mercy more than our own merit. In the words of Bible scholar Albert Barnes, “What can be an adequate return for love like that – for mercies so great, so undeserved?” From the pen of the psalmist, “I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! I’ll pray in the name of God; I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with His people” (Psalm 116:13-14, MSG). It was all he could do. It is all that I can do. What about you?