What kind of gift do you give someone who is hard to buy for? What do you give someone who has everything? We often ask ourselves these questions when special occasions arise. There is always someone who we have no idea what to give them. How does this apply to what we return to God. Romans 6:20-32 gives us a glimpse of what God has given us and the cost He undertakes on our behalf. Much of the Bible records God’s plan to respond to and negate the effects of sin – even including coming to this world as man to be offered up as a perfect sacrifice, atoning us from sin.
It’s natural to want to give something back to One who has provided so much for us. What do we give in return? God provides all things. He created all things. What can we give Him that He doesn’t already have?
What We Can Give God
- Our Love. God does not inherently have our love, nor does He force us to give Him our love. We can choose to accept Him or reject Him. We can intellectually “love” God because we feel expected to, and Matthew 22:34 does say to love is the greatest commandment – loving God and our fellow man. THis is not a compulsive love, though. It comes from our gratitude. I John 4:19 reminds us our love is a response to His.
- Our Obedience. Just accepting God’s gift entails obedience. He gives us the ability to choose whether or not we will submit to Him. Titus 3:4-8 reminds that Christ came, not because our righteousness, but because of our inability to save ourselves. The natural reaction, the natural gift, for such sacrifice is obedience. It is a gift of appreciation.
- Our Worship. Romans 12:1 calls us living sacrifices in our worship. This can be a collective gift or an individual gift. We can show our appreciation together, offering something more substantial in our unity. It is something He wants of us that only we can provide.
We should be concerned that we are not selfish in the gifts we give God. We can know what He wants from us, and He gave us the best He had to offer in His gift of salvation. We should be willing to give Him our best in return, and we can be confident that He will accept our gift and appreciate our efforts when we do our best in our love, obedience, and worship. Psalm 116:12 asks what the psalmist can do to repay God’s gifts. He offers love, obedience, and sacrificial worship. He praises the Lord. What can we give God today? We can give of ourselves, offering our gift to a God who has given so much to us.
lesson by Ben Lanius