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Returning the Favor

By Dene Ward

In the past few years people have done things for me that I could not even have imagined.  They have cleaned my house, they have put up my garden produce, they have brought meals, they have taken me to the doctor over and over and over, putting about 120 miles on their cars each time.  They have shopped for me and then conveniently forgotten how much I owe them.  They have walked up to me and in the midst of a hug slipped a hundred dollar bill in my pocket to help pay for surgeries, medicines and medically necessary trips that were not covered at any percentage by insurance because they were too “experimental.”  Many, many more have told me that they get down on their knees and pray for me every day, and many of those knees are frail and aching.

What do you say to people like that?  What can you do for people like that?  “Thank you,” seems so lame. 

And what can we do for God and Christ?  Most of us understand that nothing will repay the debt we owe Them.  That is what grace means–you receive mercy you don’t deserve and cannot repay.  Then why do we still act like our “service” is indeed plentiful payment for our salvation?  Why do we question our trials as if God is letting us down “after all we’ve done?”

Just think for a moment about the absurdity of this:God had the power to create the complexities of this vast universe; Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in Him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through Him, and unto Him; and He is before all things, and in Him all things consist, Col 1:15-17; and so, dear Father and Jesus, because of all that, I will try real hard not to sin today.That is my idea of service?

God deserves all of me, not just a few little commandments I try to keep. He deserves my service everyday, not just on Sundays.  He deserves my heart, not just my outward posture.  When I give myself to God there should be nothing leftover for me or anyone else.

And He deserves this even when things in my life are not particularly good.  God is the Creator, He is the Almighty, He is the Ruler of the Universe.  That is why He deserves my service, not because He has been good to me.  We truly do not stand in awe of God if we think otherwise.  Today, think about the power of God and what it should mean in your service to Him.

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness. The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders… over many waters.  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.  The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness. The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry,”Glory!” The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. Selected verses from Psalm 29.

e-mail from 6/12/09