Your welcome, it’s the natural response to thank you, but have you ever thought of it from a spiritual sense? God is worthy of all our praise and gratitude, He deserves each act of worship. Yet, any act of our love, which itself is a response to His, is echoed back by a loving God.
Let me use two examples to show you what I mean, starting with the prophet Ezekiel. In his vision of the temple, near the end of the book, there were four tables of hewn stone. On them were placed the sacrifices for the temple, and all the instruments used to prepare them. However, in Exodus, God told Moses not to build any altar of hewn stone. This meant, no tool could be used to shape the altar itself.
He said that using a one on an altar of stone would corrupt it. There was preparation in the selecting and sacrificing of the gift, but not in the acceptance of it. In the building of Solomon’s temple, no hammering was heard. Each stone was prepared before they brought it to the site. Once there, it was fitted into place, not forced.
There was work in the shaping of the tables, and the gathering of stones. It took labor to select the sacrifice, and to prepare it. Once you presented it, God took over.
God has called us to offer a small handful of the blessings He’s given us back to Him. You must place your gift in His hands, but once you do, He answers as only He can. The response is far greater than the sacrifice.
Fire accepts the offering, The Cloud feels the Holy of Holies, and we see God’s mercy in action. That’s why the four tables were so fascinating. They were crafted by man, for the preparation of an offering, but there, the work ended. Everything in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the New.
The Gospels say that Joseph of Arimathea hewed the tomb out of the rock. He selected it as a place to keep his body. If it had served his intended purpose, the story would have been anything but exciting. Instead it was Jesus’ whose body was carried in, and walked out. Joseph didn’t know it at first, but he prepared a place for God. There, He would accept His own sacrifice for our sins, and rise to silence death itself.
Joseph placed The Lord’s body as an act of love. It was a response to his love for Christ. Jesus gave His life, and accepted His own blood, to redeem us all. He did, what we could not do, and we are forever grateful.
If that were all He did, it would be so much more than enough. However, for every offering of love we bring to Him, He answers us with Heavenly gratitude. It’s not that either gives out of expectation. Out of love we offer what we can, but out of Divine love, He releases blessings that echo throughout our lives.
This Heavenly cycle is about more than just giving. It’s about relationship with God, which, just the fact that it exists, is more than we could hope for. An it is so much more than we could have ever accomplished. No human means could grant us salvation, everything we tried, failed. God was saying, “I expect you to seek me, but only I can save you, and that’s merely half of the good things in store.”
Just as the tables paled in comparison to the altar, and Joseph’s gift was illuminated by a resurrected Savior, so are our lives. What begins with Salvation, continues with every interaction with God. You and I are living today off the blessings from offerings one, five, and ten years ago. Salvation was more than we expected, but it was not the stopping place for God.
He has called us to bring a small portion of our time, our tithes, and our offerings to Him. He knows how hard you work, and how deeply you love Him. He is moved by the heart behind the act, the consistency, and the commitment. It was never about the act of giving, but the deepening of a relationship with Him.
As deep as the love is that you give out of, and as much care as you put in your gifts, He responds. Only His response is like an echo, magnifying and resounding through our lives, and eternity. Every “thank you” of man, is answered by the crescendoing “your welcome” of God.