“What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me? Psalm 116:12 (NLT)
Some people are really good at giving gifts. Some people know just how to pick out something that uniquely and perfectly suits the recipient — in a way that reveals just how well they know them and what they appreciate. I always admire people who give good gifts.
Then comes the question: What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?
How do I say ‘thank you’ to the One who has given me life and breath … who sustains me daily … who has given all to save me from my own undoing … and who is preparing a future for me that I cannot imagine? What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?
In a word: everything.
I can offer the Lord everything that I am.
I can offer God my heart and my affection. I can offer God my aspirations and hopes. I can offer God the work of my hands, the sweat of my brow, the purpose of my lifesong. I can offer God all of me — body, mind and spirit — the totality of who He made me to be. (See blogpost entitled All of Me dated June 3, 2014.)
So I do. I offer God everything that I am. I offer God my mind/heart … my soul/spirit … and my body/temple.
And even on the days that I mess up and momentarily reclaim a part of me for myself, I resurrender and start over … remembering that all that He has done for me includes the truth that even when I lose a battle, I cannot lose the war. Jesus has already won the war, and I cannot mess up what He has already done.
4:13 Fitness Club is an expression of offering everything to God. It is a place where I can bring all of me to the Lord. It is a place to bring all of who you are alongside others who are bringing all of who they are … and offering it to God. It is an oasis. It is a sweet aroma. It is a sacrifice of praise.
4:13 Fitness Club is where we offer of our lifesong to the Lord. Won’t you join us?
What can you offer the Lord for all He has done for you?
“This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by’ you, ‘the builders, that has become the cornerstone.’ And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:11 (NET)
I am not a yogi. But I do practice yoga. Once a week, on average. Yoga is great for my body, but it also teaches my mind and my spirit things. One of the things it is teaching me is to let go of self. Because sometimes I make mistakes in my yoga practice. Sometimes I have an off-day, for example, and I have trouble finding my focus and my balancing series suffers. On those days, I have a choice: to get frustrated and upset with myself or to let it go. To accept my frailty and imperfection, learn from it, and let it go. Or to beat myself up and continue in the falsity that I can do all of it right. Because I cannot focus on this posture if I’m still beating myself up over the last one.
And so it is with the rest of life. I make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. I make mistakes and I fall down and I sin. At that point, I have a choice: to beat myself up because I am “better” than that (Ha!) … or to accept my fallenness, turn to the love and grace of Jesus, let it wash me clean, and move on. You see, even self-flagellation about mistakes and sins and missteps is an exercise of self. Yoga reminds me to see my mistakes — to accept them and learn from them — to bury them in Jesus’ wounds — and to move on with deep, deep gratitude. Deep, deep gratitude, profound humility, and exorbitant praise.
You see, the God of the cross is not a God who then demands perfection. He knows me better than that. He is a God who loves me, who knows all about me, who knows my story, and loves me anyway. He loves me enough to provide me with a way out of my mess. He loves me enough to give me Jesus. And Jesus gives me the chance not to rely on myself, but to rely on Him.
And so, as I rely on Jesus — on Christ alone — I am choosing to let it go. Not to reside in the past, but to pursue God and focus on Him more and more in each present moment.