Have you ever given someone you love a gift, only to find that it has been stashed away unused? How hurt you would feel that your friendship was so little valued that the gift was tossed aside!
How does God feel when we value His gift of salvation so little that we neglect to appropriate everything He has done for us?
The psalmist asked the question, “How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?” Psalm 116:12.
Sometimes we think that we have to do something to repay God or work to earn His salvation. We try harder to be good; we work harder to serve Him because it is our way of “repaying” Him for His love to us. Is it possible to “pay” God for His love?
Imagine if your friend, to whom you have lovingly given something that has taken you thought and planning, decides that he or she must repay you by working hard for you. He or she does everything they can to please you, to repay you for your generosity.
There is something wrong here. Does one have to pay for a gift? If so, then it is no longer a gift. How pleased would you be if your friend tried to pay for your gift? It would no longer be a gift, and the motive for giving – love and friendship – would be destroyed.
We find it difficult to receive God’s gift of salvation because we cannot imagine someone doing something so big for us without some kind of payment. What did God give us? He gave us Jesus, His only Son, not just as a person but as a bloody sacrifice to save us from our self-inflicted destruction.
I think the psalmist understood God’s heart and His intention when he went on to say, “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfil my vows in the presence of all His people.” Psalm 116:13-14.
What better way of showing gratitude for a gift than to use it for the purpose it was given. The psalmist affirmed his gratitude to God by drinking deeply of all the benefits of God’s salvation and by living out what God made him to be in the company of God’s people.
Instead of forgiving those who have offended us, we hang on to our grievances and refuse to let go of our “stuff”. Jesus made it possible for us to forgive and be free.
When we embrace Jesus and all He has done for us, we are saying a big” thank you” to God for all His goodness to us.