Select Wisdom Brand

An Out-Pouring

Deuteronomy 16:16
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.”

The mandate to ‘not come before the LORD empty-handed’ is another paradox of the life of faith. On the one hand, we must come to Christ empty-handed, right? To come with anything more in our hands than His strength and purity and righteousness and virtue is to both bring too much and too little. Before Heaven’s throne, we must decrease until His glory is all that remains upon which to marvel. Think of it: can that tithe you gave on Sunday and that offering you made to a foreign missionary and that expense you perhaps set aside to adopt an orphan atone for your great debt before the Perfect One? Even if we had all the money in the worth to give, even if we gave every last dime to the poor and made ourselves wretched in the process, would it be enough to pay back our sins’ debt? No! For the Scripture teaches, “Our righteousness is as filthy rags to Him.” That’s why the cry of so many of our cherished hymns goes like this: “I lift up my empty hands!” and “I am nothing without You!” and “I need Thee, O I need Thee, every hour I need Thee!” and “All I have is Christ!” To live by faith is to live in utter dependency on Christ for every good work. If we aren’t coming to the Father everyday as little children, with arms outstretched, asking for Him to lift us up, we’re forfeiting the blessing of that fellowship in more ways than we can count.

Yet, in a practical sense, how can we come before our God and Savior, draped in His righteousness, crowned in the splendor of His merit, with no gift of gratitude, no sacrifice of praise, no expensive perfume to pour out over His feet? How can we come to the end of a twenty-four-hour day with nothing to offer Him? Oh may our lives be overflowing with gratitude today! May our road to Heaven’s throne be lined with gifts that spilled out on the way, because our hands couldn’t carry them all.