WHAT HAVE I GIVEN TO GOD?
When I stop and think of all that my parents have done for me throughout the years, I cannot help but ask myself, “What I have done for them in return?”. All the late nights when I couldn’t sleep, the long hours when I was sick, the cuts and scrapes, runny noses, teary eyes, and the many other times my parents were there for me when I needed them makes me wonder what I have done for them to show my love and thanks. For nineteen years, my parents have raised me and provided me with food, clothing, shelter, love, and safety. My parents have given up much of their time, wants, and desires so that I could be happy and grow up to be who I am today. And for that I am thankful; but each day I still have to ask myself how thankful am I really?
There is a song that we sing entitled “I Gave My Life For Thee” that makes me ask these same questions about God our Heavenly Father. At the end of the song are three questions: “what hast though giv’n for Me?”, “hast thou left aught for me?”, “what hast thou bro’t for Me?” These three questions are asked in light of what Jesus did for us. With all that God has done for me, what have I done in return to show my love and appreciation to Him? First, He says “I gave My life for thee, What hast thou giv’n for Me?” Jesus laid down His own life for me so that I could live. He gave His “precious blood” that I may be saved from death. What have I given to God in return for His indescribable gift? Paul knew this very well when he told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 5:15 that Jesus “died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” Wouldn’t I be selfish if I was unwilling to live my life for the one that loved me enough to lay down His life for me?
Next, He says “I left it all for thee, Hast thou left aught for Me?” What did Jesus leave? “My Father’s house of light, My glory circled throne” the song states. Jesus left His throne of glory to come to this “earthly night” with “wandering’s sad and lone” so that I could live in peace with Him one day in heaven. Philippians 2:8 says that Jesus “being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” If Jesus was willing to leave His home in heaven to live as a man on this earth and to die a miserable death so that I could live, what am I not willing to leave so that I can serve Him? Will my job, family, recreation, wants, or desires hold me back from giving my life to Him? Jesus asked in Matthew 16:26, “what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” It would be a terrible thing to stand before Jesus on the Day of Judgment and tell Him we were not willing to live our lives for Him even though He left heaven to die for us. I couldn’t imagine the pain in my parents’ hearts if I were to tell them, after nineteen years of caring for me, that I did not love them and wanted to go on and live my own life with no regard for what they did for me.
Finally, He says “I bring rich gifts to thee, What hast though bro’t for Me?” Jesus has given us “salvation full and free,” His “pardon” and His “love.” He has brought us forgiveness of sins so that we can overcome death. Have I been bringing Him the first fruits of my labor? In Romans 12:1 Paul says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” My “reasonable service” to God is to serve Him and dedicate my life to Him because He has done so much for me. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). We need to stop and think about all that God has done for us, and then ask ourselves if we have truly been showing our love for Him on a daily basis in our lives.