Psalm 23: A Model for Living! (5)

In the past few posts, we’ve been considering Psalm 23 as a Model for Living. There are at least four values in this Psalm by which David patterned his life. This post brings us to the fourth and final value.

At the close of Psalm 23, David stuns us with a novel thought. He writes, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Notice all the ways David sites in which the Lord graciously served him. This particular value recognizes, “It’s not about my service for God, but about His service for me!”

This is a difficult value for many of us to swallow. We may feel like we “owe” God big-time. Obviously, we do owe Him our lives and everything He gives us to enjoy. But we do not “owe” Him in the sense that we can pay Him back or even attempt to do so. Why? Because salvation (complete forgiveness and restored relationship with Him) is God’s gracious gift to us. To even suggest that we should try to pay Him back is foolish and would diminish the magnitude of His free gift. God is not the beneficiary of our beneficence; we are the beneficiaries of His.

Jesus underscored this principle when He said that He came, “not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Elsewhere in the Scripture it says, “God is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.” (Acts 17:25)

You see, it’s only when we recognize and accept what God has done for us that we can begin to honor and please Him. “It’s not about my service for God, but about His service for me!”

In Titus 3:3-7 we read, “Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

King David patterned his life after these four values: “I find my satisfaction in the Lord;” “He leads, I follow;” “I want to represent You well, Lord, by pursuing righteousness;” and, “It’s not about my service for God, but about His service for me.” How about you?

© 2012 Rob Fischer