Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
It is common for us to look for noble, even heroic ways that we can gain God’s favor. What should we do to be saved? If only I could bring bigger offerings. If only I could do something that cares for other people enough to impress God. Maybe I could build an orphanage. Maybe I could provide water for a needy village. Maybe I could become a world leader, or a great evangelist. Maybe I could become the richest person alive and give the money away.
Psalm 40 brushes this all away. It is futile. God does not desire our offerings. He is not impressed by our good deeds. He honors the heart which fears him. The great offering we can make is to proclaim his goodness. He is the one who has multiplied good deeds to us. He is the one who can deliver his people through all their trials.
Some would focus on this free grace of God too little. They would say that we’d better get busy about doing the work of the Lord as if we could repay God for his deliverance. Others would focus on the free grace of God too much. They would say that God never actully makes demands on his people. But he does. He tells us how to behave in society. He tells us how we live in families. He has an appointed order. What’s the right balance?
God, the deliverer of his people, has done all that is needed for salvation. He has accomplished it all. Our role is to acknowledge his great power and good deeds. Because we live around other people who need to be reminded of God’s goodness, we go ahead and do whatever good we are able to do. This is the primary way that we proclaim God’s goodness. This is the way we refuse to hide God’s goodness. It is how we show His praise in the assembly.
Rejoice in the Lord! Let that rejoicing show through all your works. Give praise to God.
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