Therefore, I urge you, brothers [and sisters], in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. (Rom. 12:1)

“WHAT SHALL I RENDER to my God for all his mercy’s store?” Charles Wesley echoed the question posed by the psalmist (116:12) in one of his typically truth-packed hymns. Wesley and the psalmist shared a common ability to express God’s truths through music and verse. The songs of God’s people throughout the generations have challenged multitudes to live out their faith in the Lord and to put His gifts to use.

The apostle Paul answered the question after eleven chapters of theology-packed explanation. With his gifting as preacher, teacher, and theologian, Paul more closely resembled Charles’ famous brother John, leader of the great English revival of the eighteenth century. John Wesley extracted and proclaimed God’s great truths through exposition, preaching, and writing. Yet all these men would come to the same conclusion, each through their unique gifting given to them by the Holy Spirit.

It seems that we live in an era where many people are asking, “How little can I do and still be a Christian?” The Bible and the historic church know of no such question. The spirit of the church (that is, the Holy Spirit’s work), when it is staying faithful to the Lord, has always been to ask with the psalmist, “How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?” (Ps. 116:12).

Determine what specific work you can do today in thanks for what God has done.

Bill Beck lives in the Black Hills with his wife, daughter, and dog. He and his wife have two grown sons.