How do you pick out a thank-you gift for Someone who (literally) has everything?

schoolcolorsblackJust before the end of 2012, the Lord helped me to complete two multi-year writing projects (1000 pages in all) plus two other big papers. It was a major answer to prayer.

Now, I’m a believer in divine grace, and  fully appreciate that I can’t repay or earn his goodness toward me. Nor can my actions please him beyond the total acceptance I already have in the Beloved, [1] so anything I give him will by definition be “re-gifting”: “All things come of thee, O Lord; and of thy own have we given thee.”

Still: I wanted to give God a special thank-offering.

  • Something he wasn’t already commanding me to do anyway.
  • A gift that would cost me something, following the example of King David in 2 Sam 24, who refused to give the Lord a gift that had cost him nothing.[2]
  • Something personal.
  • Not a gift card.
  • I didn’t want to just send him a check, although there’s nothing wrong with that per se.
  • Not just “LIKE” God on Facebook.

I didn’t ask the Lord to send me a revelation of what he’d like. I wanted it to be my idea. So, for some time I’ve been asking him to make we wise as I searched for “just the right gift.”

I finally found just the thing, and it’s on top of my other work, fundraising, writing, teaching full time online. I wish I could give you details – it involves translating a stack of material from Spanish to English, giving real help to Christians who don’t have certain opportunities that I have. That description will have to do unless you come hear us speak at your church this year and then you can ask me.

I’m thanking God, by helping his people in a way that will take me many hours, and doing it to say “Lord, that was altogether wonderful; this small gift is my way of saying thanks.”

Related post:

Bring Him the Sacrifice of…Paint??


[1] Eph 1:7-9 –

we exist “to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace…”

[2] I refer the reader to 2 Sam 24:20-24 –

And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. And Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague may be averted from the people.” Then Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the Lord your God accept you.” But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

“How do you pick out a thank-you gift for Someone who (literally) has everything?” by Gary Shogren, PhD in New Testament, Professor of New Testament, Seminario ESEPA, San José, Costa Rica

5 thoughts on “How do you pick out a thank-you gift for Someone who (literally) has everything?

  1. Gary, as usual, I find your creativity refreshing. And humorous. I’m still smiling as I think about God having a Facebook page, and the sudden cognizance that our “gifts” to God are “re-gifts” … well that just has me pondering the wonder of God once again.

    All in all, I’m intrigued and hoping my curiosity about the Spanish to English project will be satisfied at some point — even if I don’t get to hear you speak. 🙂

  2. I love your attitude toward God, it makes Him so….personal. 😀
    Can’t wait to find out what has been available in Spanish, we English speakers are used to getting things first, so this is a different sensation.

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