"What do we have that we did not first receive from God? What do we have that we should not be willing to give back to him in worship?" - Thabiti Anyabwile
We are working through Anyabwile's What is a Healthy Church Member? Sunday mornings at Grace. The above quote followed a statement about financial giving, but it applies to so much more: to gifts such as teaching, leadership, and prophecy; to resources such as time, energy, and education; to passions, preferences, and personality.
What do I have that I did not first receive from God? What do you have that you did not first receive from God?
The answer, obviously, is NOTHING.
Everything that we have, we have received from God. Everything.
When I consider that "everything" - the "everything" which I should be willing to give back to God in worship - I tend to think of good things. Positive things. Things that appear valuable and helpful. Things like gifts and abilities and resources.
But considering the above questions Sunday morning - What do I have that I did not first receive from God? What do I have that I should not be willing to give back to him in worship? - I realized: everything means everything. Not just the pretty things or the things others value, but everything.
That means - even the hurt places, the unlovely things, the parts deep inside of me that are broken. Everything.
I have been living in a very broken place for a very long time. I am beginning to realize that brokenness, like everything else in my life, is a gift from God. It, too, is a gift I need to give back to him in worship, for the edification of his body, to the praise of his glorious grace.
It is possible to know sound doctrine, and yet to know nothing of the love of Jesus and to share nothing of the love of Jesus with others. I can prophesy, serve, teach, exhort, give, lead, and show mercy (Romans 12:6-8) - I can do many good things - and still completely miss the gospel.
When I am broken, however, I have no good thing at all with which to sustain myself or to share with my brothers and sisters but Christ.
Even brokenness comes to me from the hand of God. It is a gift. Is brokenness a gift that I will bury, like the foolish servant who buried his one talent in the ground? Or, is brokenness a gift that I will invest for kingdom work?
How can I not give this, too, back to God in worship?
3 weeks ago