His Gracious Bounty To Us

Words from O Little Town of Bethlehem, So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of his heaven illustrating the bounty we have in God.

What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his bounty to me?

Psalm 116:12 NRSV

Christina Rossetti’s poem, A Christmas Carol, ends with this famous stanza:

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him?
Give Him my heart.

Christina Rossetti

We hear that same question echoed in The Little Drummer Boy, “I have no gift to bring that’s fit for our King.” Interestingly, the Psalmist asked this question as well! And scripture provides the answers, our gifts – worship, obedience, rejoicing, and singing!

The Lord acts in extravagant bounty towards us;
we respond in worship!

I love the Lord because he has heard
    my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
    therefore I will call on him as long as I live. …
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
    our God is merciful.

Psalm 116:1, 2, 5 NRSV

The Lord acts in extravagant bounty towards us;
we obey out of gratitude!

Deal bountifully with your servant,
    that I may live and keep your word.
Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law.

Psalm 119:17-18 ESV

The Lord acts in extravagant bounty towards us;
we rejoice and sing!

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
 I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:5-6 ESV

The Lord acts in extravagant bounty towards us;
we are blessed with rest!

Return, O my soul, to your rest,
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:7 NRSV

Words from It Came Upon a Midnight Clear ... And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
whose forms are bending low,
who toil along the climbing way
with painful steps and slow,
look now! for glad and golden hours
come swiftly on the wing.
O rest beside the weary road,
and hear the angels sing!

We find rest for our souls in God’s bounty towards us. Too often we miss out on this rest. Instead we seek control as if everything depends on us.

We work hard.
We strive to perform well.
We put forth effort to sustain ourselves.

If we are not aware, we will find ourselves exhausted even in doing good.

Today Jesus invites us to experience the bounty of His grace!

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. 

Matthew 11:28-29 MSG

Father, you are gracious, righteous, merciful and your bounty to us overwhelming. Teach us to respond in worship, obedience, rejoicing and singing. And as we focus on your bountiful grace to us, may we experience the satisfaction of rest, learning the unforced rhythms of your grace. Amen.

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