You cannot give God anything that is not already His; and you cannot buy anything from Him. No matter how faithful you have been, even if you can say with the psalmist, who in Psalm 119:57 wrote,"Thou art my portion, O Lord; I have said that I would keep Thy words,'' you have not earned anything. The strength and desire to serve God comes from God. He kept your heart beating and worked that desire in your heart. You owe Him thanks, and He owes you nothing. In fact you owe Him for the opportunity to walk on His earth, to breathe His air, drink His water, and eat His food. Do then what the psalmist says in verse 58, "I have entreated Thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to Thy word."
Our versification has it thus (PRC Psalter):
Thou art my portion Lord;
Thy words I ever heed;
With all my heart Thy grace I seek,
Thy promises I plead.
Notice that though the KJV of our Bible has ''be merciful,'' the versification has "Thy grace I seek.'' There is no conflict here. In God's grace we receive His mercy. His mercy displays His grace. Yet the word grace is closer to the meaning of the Hebrew word. In fact, in the text we read, "I entreated Thy favor," and grace is favor.
You can keep God's word perfectly, but you will need to pray for a blessing that Christ earned for you. Notice that the psalmist pleads for mercy that is according to God's word. That means according to Christ, God's Word become flesh. We must ask for blessings that are a pure, unmerited gift which Christ bought for us by His blood.
Our portion of the blessings that are in Christ are free gifts of God. And with our whole heart we must say that not simply with our lips for to ask for anything on any other basis is to add to our sins, and would be a reason for us not to get the gift. A sure sign that we keep God's word is that we seek salvation as a pure, free, unmerited gift, confessing that in ourselves we do not deserve it, but deserve the opposite. Even our desire for salvation is a gift of God's grace. Praise Him for it.
Song for Meditation: Psalter #310
Why not sing along??
“Faith in election and faith in creation hang inexorably together, and by nothing so much as by letting go one’s hold on the Creation is the faith in God’s election undermined.” -- Abraham Kuyper
- Date: 10-July
Rev. John A. Heys was born on March 16, 1910 in Grand Rapids, MI. He was ordained and installed into the ministry at Hope, Walker, MI in 1941. He later served at Hull, Iowa beginning in 1955. In 1959 he accepted the call to serve the South Holland, IL Protestant Reformed Church. He received and accepted the call to Holland, Michigan Protestant Reformed Church in 1967. He retired from the active ministry in 1980. He entered into glory on February 16, 1998.