July 5, 2020

So Filled with Gratitude

But surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will repay my enemies for their evil. In your faithfulness, put an end to them.
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your Name, O Lord, for it is good.
For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.
Ps 54:4-7

Let me paraphrase something Calvin said about today's passage from the psalms:

Most people make promises to God when they're experiencing a crisis. But as soon as the crisis is past, they forget all about God's goodness, and relapse into their old ways. But David worships God in freedom—he's not responding to affliction, nor is he being bullied by anyone. This is completely different from the hypocrite whose cringing prayers are the product of coërcion. So this passage teaches us that we shouldn't bother coming into God's presence if we do not serve God with a willing mind.

Is my worship based on fear, or do I serve God freely? Are my promises to God made as part of deals I think I'm making in order to get myself out of a crisis, or do they spring forth from a loving and willing heart, intent upon serving God through good and bad?

May my offerings be made in freedom, and may my heart be so filled with gratitude that I love God, not because I fear punishment, but simply because God first loved me.

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous; teach me to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for reward save that of knowing I am doing your will.
 Ignatius of Loyola
I pray in his Name who taught me: Our Father...

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