What gift do you get someone who already has everything?
As a kid, there’s not much that I could buy my parents that they didn’t already have. But there was one thing money couldn’t buy that was the most valuable gift of all.
My parents weren’t hoping for an elaborate gift that cost me a lot of money, but a card that expressed the love and joy that was found in our relationship. All this cost me was about $5 and a trip to Angus & Robertson!
The Israelites began to approach their relationship with God as if they had to offer something He didn’t already have, so they offered countless special ‘gifts’ and sacrifices to God. All these elaborate ceremonial performances and offerings made them feel good about themselves. Surely God would be pleased!
But God already had all of the things they so enthusiastically gave Him:
“I do not need the bulls from your barns or the goats from your pens. For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills… If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for all the world is mine and everything in it” – Psalm 50:9-12 (NLT)
Rather than empty religious ceremony and mindless duty, God wanted the one thing that money couldn’t buy. An intimate relationship with His people was far more valuable to Him than any gift they could offer Him:
“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God… giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me” (50:14 & 23)
Our greatest gift to God is our thanks for His love and kindness to us. This can be expressed in many different ways (worship, obedience, prayer, praise), but ultimately God’s heart is warmed when we lift our eyes off ourselves and delight in who He is and what He has done for us.
Some of us can discount ourselves as ever being able to offer anything of value to God. But no matter how rich, poor, smart or popular we may be, every one of us can offer Him the one thing that money could never buy.
Rather than empty religious ceremony and mindless dutiful observance, open up your heart to Him and give Him the one thing for which He gave everything!