Our God is the God of Creation, larger than large, greater than great, the author of the universe and the author of our salvation. He is all that is good. He is the very definition of Good.
In Colossians 1, Paul says of Jesus, that "all things were created through him and for him" and "that in everything he might be preeminent". So Jesus is to be first in all things, and all of creation, including me, was created through Him and for Him. Jesus is literally the force that binds all of Creation together.
So my question is then, what can I offer to Jesus? What can I give to God?
Matthew 16:24-27 "Then Jesus told his disciples,“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?"
He gives this gift of salvation to us. In His death, we lost our life, and in His resurrection, we found our new life. "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation", and we know that all of Creation is through Him and for Him. So here Jesus says that I cannot buy my salvation, I cannot purchase eternity. I have not given anything for this gift.
I show the intentions of my heart not only with my actions, but also with my words. It is also clear that eventually, I will answer for not only my actions but also for my words. (Luke 6:43-45, Matthew 12:33-37) The truth of what is inside me will undoubtedly be evident by my words. How shall I speak of my relationship with God then?
Over and over in the Psalms, David spoke of gifts that he wished to receive from God, whether the gift be protection, sustenance, mercy, or victory. But whenever David spoke in response toward God, invariably it was a response of praise, and glory, and honor. David understood the words of Samuel to Saul, that "to obey is better than sacrifice, to listen than the fat of rams". David's physical response to God was the one thing God required; his obedience. His actions were not something he gave to God, his actions were simply obedience to God. And when we read the words David used in response to God, they are full of praise and glory and honor.
So our question was "What can I give to God?". This question came to my mind because we so often speak of giving to God, but it's hardly a gift when it's already His. What do you give someone who has everything? What do you give someone who created everything? What do you give someone who's very existence holds all of Creation together? If my words speak of giving to God, be it my time, my money, my will, my very life...what's the common denominator there? I refer to these things as "MINE", as if the God who created them all didn't already own them. "[O]ut of the the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks".
As I think about giving to God, my heart turns to trying to understand exactly what my relationship to Him should look like?
In Psalm 37:3-5, we are entrusted with three keys to a right relationship with God. Believe, Receive, and Follow.
In The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence wrote this:
“I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King; touched with a sensible regret I confess to Him all my wickedness, I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands, that He may do what He pleases with me. This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favourite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence. “
God gives me EVERYTHING, all of it good, in spite of who I once was. He sacrificed all for me. He has good plans for me. My words should be words of praise and honor and glory, like David's words. My words should not be "I give to You" but rather "Lord I believe in You. I receive your grace and mercy. I will follow You. I abandon myself in Your hands." In short, "I surrender".
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. -- Psalm 19:14