We’ve recently signed a lease on a furnished apartment. The owners of the apartment are friends of ours so the lease agreement comes with greater expectations as to how we will care for the property. We have both a legal and friendship “covenant” (agreement). Being legally bound to an agreement is one thing, respecting a relationship is a matter of the heart.
For example: What if we break a drinking glass? The agreement has no language regarding our responsibility however in my mind without a doubt, as a friend, we know what is right.
To add a twist to the theme, what if the owner of the apartment was a billionaire and owned a factory that made this glassware? If their financial resources were seemingly infinite and the one broken glass could be replaced by the snap of their fingers, should we still care about the one glass? Absolutely! This isn’t about the glass itself, it is about friendship, respect, honor, and integrity.
“Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” (Psalm 50:5)
In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1 Corinthians 11:25)
Similar to the covenant and relationship with our landlords and friends, as children of God, we are part of an eternal covenant. We have the responsibility to give sacrificially of our resources (time and money) and to love others unconditionally in the way that Christ loves us.
for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it. (Psalm 50:10-12)
In giving we must acknowledge that God has literally infinite resources. Everything belongs to him therefore when we give to him, we are merely giving back what was his in the first place. We’re not doing him any favors. He doesn’t need our gifts, he wants our attention, he wants our hearts, he seeks a relationship with us.
In this relationship my main failure is around the tendency to “forget” God. Going about life on my own, doing it my way, and somehow taking credit for the good things that happen.
“Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: (Psalm 50:22)
Since forgetting him is a sin (and I’m quite sure none of us want to be torn to pieces), let us remember him through continuous gratitude for all he has given and for what Jesus has done. Our thankfulness is a sacrifice, it is us humbling ourselves before him, putting him in his rightful place.
The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!” (Psalm 50:23)