Author: Sallie Ross (wife of our Bishop Ken Ross) wrote a full lent devotional a few years ago. We’ll be using a few selections from it during our church’s observation of lent.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. Psalm 96:8
What is due the Lord? Everything. So that pretty much modifies any plans to go through our treasures and find some “really nice” offerings that we can bring the Lord, while keeping others for ourselves. We saw that in Genesis 4: “Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering He did not look with favor.”
The nature of love is response. When we first fall in love, we are clamoring to find ways and things to give to the one we love. If we find ourselves thinking of God and not wanting to pour out everything, then chances are that there is distance, that we are not close to Him.
We read in this verse: “bring an offering and come into His courts”–there is proximity. If we read scripture from a heart distance, see what we’re do to and begin to be about it, in time we will begin to feel resentment. It is a duty and not a delight. But when we are there in the presence of God, when we see his otherness, when we see Him, then we want to give Him everything and keep on giving.
The way to know the glory due to God is to know Him and to be with Him. It is to pour over scripture and see who He is and what He has done throughout all humankind. And as we remain focused on Him, the offering will be no less than all of us, which He will take and make into His own, in a way that allows us freedom and delight.
–Father, there is much that I hoard. There is much that I hold onto, not believing that to give it to You is to find a fullness greater than I’ve ever imagined. I know that the only way for me to become open-handed is to keep my eyes and heart fixed on You. Father take me beyond myself, that I might not remain captive to my own ways of living, but so that I might fall into the hands of the living God.