No Bull

Read Psalm 50

Featured Verse: Psalm 50:9

“I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens.”

To paraphrase King David, God will take no bull from you, but he does want your gratitude!

When it comes to your worship, what you give to God is fine, but he really doesn’t need it. Why? He already has it all. He created it. As the psalmist said, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), so sacrificing a bull or a sheep wasn’t necessary to pleasing him.

But there is something that God didn’t create that he wants very much—your gratitude and your integrity. Psalm 50:14 says, “Make thanksgiving your sacrifice to God and keep the vows you made to the Most High.”

Gratitude is something that you form in your heart as a response to God. It is perhaps the most genuine acknowledgement or recognition of God’s goodness and sovereign Lordship over your life that you can give to God. It is an act of appreciation for what God has done. It is an act of loving obedience that makes your worship genuine. It is an act of faith that recognizes God’s constant and continuing care for you. Thanksgiving shows a heart that truly belongs to God. It is an act of trust so powerful that it accesses God’s desire to be intimately involved in the day-to-day affairs of your life, according to Psalm 50:23.

And here is something else to think about: Thanksgiving catalyzes your integrity. G.K. Chesterton said, “Gratitude is the mother of all the virtues.”

Like gratitude, your integrity is something that God didn’t create. He created you with the capacity for integrity. He gives you the courage and the strength to live out your integrity. But at the end of the day, you alone have to live a life of integrity. You have to make the difficult choices that are congruent with your most deeply held values. You have to resist the temptation to compromise and to gratify your flesh. God can’t do it for you—you have to do it. And when you choose integrity, you have recognized God’s sovereign Lordship over your life. Your integrity is an offering of obedience—something that is always the far better sacrifice (see Psalm 51:16-17, and also I Samuel 15:22). And by your integrity, you have proven the authenticity and depth of your love for God. As Jesus said, “if you love me, you will do what I say.” (John 14:16)

God doesn’t want any bull from you. He wants your heart! The psalm ends with David repeating this again for emphasis, “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you my salvation.” (Psalm 50:23, NLT)

Watch your step today. Your integrity is a pleasing offering to God. And take time to be thankful. It reminds you of how good God has been. And it makes him pretty happy, too!

A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.”
—Charles Finney

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