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12 What shall I render unto Yahweh for all his benefits toward me?
Any service, kindness, or favour creates an obligation and whenever we receive any privileges or benefits, we assume a corresponding responsibility. We speak, of course, in a moral, not in a legal sense. The obligation may not necessarily be to the person who has done the kindness. In fact, the higher the degree in which this law finds expression, the further this becomes from being the case. The source of all good is God.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above."
-- says James (James 1:17), and again (1 John 4:19):
"We love, because He first loved us."
It comes from God to us, and then from us -- if we fulfil our proper part -- it radiates and diffuses in ever-widening circles. He teaches us not to do things for those who can reciprocate, but for those who cannot -- they will bless His name, and He will complete the chain by blessing us. Not that we do these things for reward, but it is the working out of the great law that as we sow, so shall we reap -- He that rolleth a stone, either good or ill, it will return to him, to bless or curse.
It is upon this law, in its highest form, that God's relation to us is based. He freely pours His blessings upon us, involving us in an obligation that we can never repay, but which is a lifelong incentive to effort, and a powerful stimulus to love.
He does not say, "If you do this and that, then I will reward, or bless you." He says rather, "I have redeemed you, I have given you life and hope, I have made you sons and daughters, I HAVE LOVED YOU -- therefore do these things to give Me joy and to show your love and appreciation."
Bro Growcott - Holy and Blameless in Love
17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of Yahweh.
The two words that should always be on the tip of our mind's tongue are "Thank God." Not just "God," but "THANK God." This is the atmosphere and environment in which our inner heart must constantly dwell.
It is wholesome, holy, beautiful, and serene. But cannot Love exist without prior benefit? Is it not purer so? Must Love be built merely on thankfulness for something received? Well, are we speaking of theory, or reality? And are we speaking of the primary Root, or of the subsequent Flower?
"We love BECAUSE He first loved us,"
John says. Could we do it, if He hadn't? No. We are mere flesh. We would not have either the knowledge or the power ourselves. Let us get a true picture of the flesh: not the proud human fantasy of it. God had to show us, and motivate us.
Our thanks are for the power and enlightenment of His Love -- the essential root of all we can ever be. Once He has set in motion this glorious process, once He has lit the Lamp and kindled the fire, then Love indeed can go forth and initiate goodness without prior benefit, because its living roots always reach back to this, and to Him.