We live in a time and culture that is generally selfish. For many it appears to be all about me. All about self. I need cite only one example. Go to Facebook and look at the pictures. This generation has even coined a word for the phenomenon, the selfie picture.
While going to church, I sometimes hear the following frustration expressed, “I just don’t get much out of the service.” Maybe it is because we are not putting much into the service. The bottom line is this, the worship is not designed for us to get something out. Oh sure, if worship is done correctly we will get plenty out of the worship. We will be uplifted and encouraged. But the design of worship is for us to put something into it, for us to give something. We are to give honor, glory and praise to our Father in heaven. Worship is not meant to entertain us. We are not the audience. GOD is the audience. Worship is meant to be pleasing to Him!
The phrase “give me” is often an indication of a serious heart condition. Consider Matthew 14:8 when the daughter of Herodias said to the king, “Give me the head of John the Baptist.” Or Matthew 26:15 where Judas said “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?”
The parable of the Lost Son in Luke 15 has an interesting use of two phrases. The prodigal son begins in verse 12 by saying to the father, “Give me…” But later in verse 19 his attitude has changed when we hear him say, “Make me.”
There is a verse in Psalms 116 that addresses the idea under consideration. Verse 12 reads, “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward me?”
All too often we turn the phrase around. And by so doing we have the attitude described earlier. That is, by turning the verse around, it reads, what will the LORD give me for all my service to Him?
It reminds me of the speech by President John Kennedy in which he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
In Psalms 116:12, the Psalmist begins with a very personal approach. What shall I? Please note this is not a time to examine your neighbor, your friend, your spouse, etc. This is personal!
What shall I render? The word render means to yield, to dedicate, or to give. Again we are the givers. The reader is encouraged to read the account of David in the closing verses of 2 Samuel 24. Here David said he would not offer to GOD that which cost him nothing.
What shall I render? What can I give to GOD? For all His benefits toward me…
Just consider all the benefits, the blessings, we have from GOD.
For the spiritual benefits, the reader is encouraged to begin with Ephesians 1:3. Here we find that all spiritual blessings are found in Christ. Consider the following as spiritual blessings received from GOD:
His son – John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Titus 3:3-4
the church – Ephesians 1:22-23, Acts 20:28
the Bible – 2 Timothy 3:16
all the promises – II Peter 1:4
the hope of heaven – Titus 1:2
Have you counted your physical benefits lately? For starters consider:
family – Proverbs 19:14, Psalms 127:3-5
health – 3 John 2
food, clothing, shelter – Matthew 6:25-33
peace – Philippians 4:7
freedom – Galatians 3:28
So what can I give to GOD in return?
my unqualified love – Matthew 22:37
my time – Ephesians 5:15-17
my talents – Matthew 25:14-30, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
my money – 2 Corinthians 9:7
my thanks – Ephesians 5:20
Forgive me oh LORD when I turn it around and make it about me; when I selfishly think “what is in it for me?” When I demand, “Give me.” Forgive me for the “selfie” attitude. Let me be reminded of all the benefits You have rendered unto me and “make me” what You want me to be.