Can we give anything to Christ?

6 Apr

In light of my revelation the other day, I found this article by John Piper (you can find it here and I have pasted it below). He says it so much better than me, but these have been my realizations the other day and this morning while reading Romans 8:33-34.

Can we give anything to Christ?

When the psalmist cried out, “What shall I render to the Lord for all of his benefits to me?” the reply was, “I will lift the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord” (Psalm 116:12-13). So, translating that into Christmas: Jesus gives us the gift of himself and we ask, “Now what can I render to Jesus for all the benefits of his fellowship?” Answer: Ask him for his help. That’s the gift he wants.

The reason Christ wants this is because he always wants to get the glory while we get the benefit. Glory comes to him when we depend on him rather than try to enrich him. If we come to him with gifts—as though he needed something—then we put him in the position of a needy person, and we’re the benefactors. He always wants to be the one who is infinitely self-sufficient. Therefore the only gifts that we can bring Jesus are gifts of praise, thanks, longing, and neediness.

A fountain is not glorified by us hauling buckets of dirty water up the mountain and pouring them in. A fountain—a spring in a mountain—is glorified, rather, by us lying down at the edge of the stream, putting our face in, drinking our fill, and getting up and saying, “Ah!” That’s called worship. Then we take a bucket, dip it in, walk down the hill to the people in the valley who don’t know that the spring exists, and we say, “Taste this! It’s right up there, and his name is Jesus!” The kind of gift that the fountain wants is drinkers, because then he looks truly overflowing, rich, and self-sufficient. And that’s exactly what he wants to look like.

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Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Together with Romans 8:33-34, this verse shows that our response to having the Father on our side and the Son interceding for us should be…asking for more grace and mercy! Not service, sacrifice, or payment but lifting up the cup of salvation and calling upon the name of the Lord.

In my quest to overcome my sins and failures, I have been striving for self-sufficiency. I thought I should be able to get to a point where I felt like I finally had it all together. I am realizing more and more that I will NEVER get to that point–and that itself is a mercy from God. For if I did get to that point, I would have no need for God. Like Piper writes in his article, “Glory comes to him when we depend on him rather than try to enrich him. If we come to him with gifts—as though he needed something—then we put him in the position of a needy person, and we’re the benefactors. He always wants to be the one who is infinitely self-sufficient. Therefore the only gifts that we can bring Jesus are gifts of praise, thanks, longing, and neediness.” I only have to bring Jesus praise, thanks, longing and neediness.

I can do that.

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