We certainly love God for who He is, but we also love God for what He gives. It’s never advisable to think only in terms of the abstract in theology. It may sound pious to say that we simply love God for who He is and not what He gives, but such piety will not stand in the face of Scripture. We are grateful daily for all of God’s benefits. We serve Him with joy and gladness for the abundance of everything (Deuteronomy 28.47).
Who He Is
God is merciful, gracious, and steadfast. The extension of God’s mercy teaches us that we deserve nothing but His wrath. The extension of His grace indicates that He watches over us and delights in giving us good gifts we will never deserve. His steadfastness helps us to realize that He will always be present and never neglect us. The mercy, grace, and steadfastness of the LORD are realities which spur active service.
What He Gives
The response and worship of God’s children ought to be personal, committed, and continual. David writes, “Bless the LORD, O my soul” (Psalm 103.1). We owe a debt that we cannot possibly pay. Even if we are struggling to make ends meet, we are better off. The richest of men who know nothing of God’s gifts live is spiritual squalor. This drives commitment to obey the LORD’s primary command: Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. He forgives, heals redeems, crowns, and satisfies. Therefore we continually bless and praise Him.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
We are reluctant to bless the LORD because it doesn’t feel genuine. The reason this is true is that we fail to remind ourselves of His character and all His daily benefits. There is no greater joy for the Christian to be genuinely and continually committed to his God. Be thankful for who He is and what He gives.