What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and praise the Lord's name for saving me. I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all his people. Ps 116:12-14 NLT
Sometimes we need to step back and ponder all the ways the Lord has blessed us. Yeah, I know, we should always consider how we have been blessed, but if you’re like me, things happen in life and I tend not to consider all the blessings of the Lord; and I’m a preacher! But I think it is human nature to forget the blessings we are given, and concentrate on the negative things the world, by also focusing on all the things that happen in our personal lives. We think to ourselves, “When I get through this part of my life, this obstacle, I will take some time to think about God in my life.” That is thinking backwards in our Christian faith. No matter what obstacles we are going through, we need to consider how the Lord provides for us, guides us, protects us, and gets us through all life’s situations. If we keep that thought first in our minds, we can make it through the toughest of struggles, and come out stronger in our faith in the end (Romans 5:3-5).
Now, we know what the Lord does for us throughout our lives, but what can we do in response to His care? “What can I offer the Lord for all He has done for me?” We can help others in need or have better attendance when the church assembles or maybe we could put more in the collection plate as if we could pay back the Lord in these ways. These are not services that we do to pay back the Lord. We do these things because it pleases the Lord and helps build up the church. They are all good things, but what does the Lord really want from us? What does a god really need from his worshippers? David says he will “lift up the cup of salvation”, but what does that mean? If used literally it could be a drink offering to God for saving him, which the Lord did many times in David’s life. If David is using it figuratively, it could refer to his portion of being part of those who are saved by the Lord, like we are part of the saved through Jesus Christ. How often do we thank God for making us part of the saved, that we will not only spend our days in this life serving the Lord, but we will also be in the presence of the Lord for eternity – saved from eternal torment?
We need to spend time praising the Lord for all the many blessings He bestows on us throughout our lives. We need to praise Him in our prayers, when we sing praises to Him, and when we encourage others in the Lord. We all like to be praised for the things we do, how much more important is this to do to the Lord who provides all the good in the universe? To give God all the praise and glory that we can bring ourselves to think about. The Lord never tires of giving and providing for us and only looks for us to acknowledge Him as our Lord and Savior. To share with others the many blessings we have been given and tell them of the God we serve. Not to tell them how we are right and they are wrong, but to tell them of all the magnificent blessing we have been given by a God that is the definition of love, “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:15-16. We need to truly believe and understand that the Lord loves us and wants the best for us.
The other part in David’s psalm, is that he will keep his vow or promise to the Lord in the presence of everyone around him. It’s pretty easy to keep our promises to the Lord when we assemble as the church, but how about in the other parts of our life? What did you vow to do when the Lord touched your heart and you gave your life to Lord in baptism? Well, not only did you confess that Jesus is the Son of God (that belief is essential), but also to obey all of God’s words and His will. So, not only what He has commanded, but also obeying the examples given to us in the Bible. But wait there’s more! We are to study to understand the implied inference of His word, or to search past the black and white of Scripture, and find what God really meant when He allowed that portion of Scripture to be written and used for all generations. So, we have command, example, and implied inference; used together it should take out all the loopholes that man is always trying to find. What God, through His Spirit, said, showed, and implied, these we will keep to honor the Lord in our private and public life.
If you are really serious about being a child of God, and follower of Christ, you will repay/render to the Lord your whole life, not just part of it, but all of it. Our life has been given to us by the Lord, He has provided for us in this life, He sent His Son to die on the cross for us, and He has offered us eternal life with Him, if we will follow and obey His word and will. In everything, the Lord should be first in our private life, as His church, and as one living in the world where the devil is so prominent. We can’t do this alone, it takes working together with others that are like-minded and to share our hope of eternal life with as many as possible. May we always look for ways to give back to the Lord, to praise His name for the salvation we have, and to live a life that honors the Lord no matter where we are. May God bless you all richly, I know He will, Doug.