July 6, 2017

July 6, 2017

PSALM 115-118

Focus Verse: What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me?
I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the Lord.
I shall pay my vows to the Lord,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
Is the death of His godly ones.
O Lord, surely I am Your servant,
I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.
To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the Lord.
Psalm 116:12-17


What could we possibly give to God to repay Him for everything He has done for us?


The answer: nothing.


Well that’s depressing.


Here it is again: you can’t, but Jesus did, and now through the Holy Spirit, He will do it through you.


Jesus Christ was the only human who gave God what He truly deserves – a life completely surrendered to Him. And because of Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension, we can now do the same thing.


So what shall we ‘render’ to the Lord for everything He has done for us?


First, through our salvation purchased with the cup of suffering that Jesus drank from, call upon His name. Without that first step you cannot do any of the rest. WE CAN’T. But Jesus did. And He will through us if we surrender and ask.


Second, we give God what we’ve promised to give Him. “Well I’ve never promised to give Him anything” some of us may be thinking. Wrong! When you come into this relationship with Jesus Christ you are coming into a covenant with Him. It’s most commonly compared to (because it most closely resembles) a marriage. And just like in a marriage covenant, you are making certain promises to your spouse. You are promising to belong to that person and that person only. The same goes with Jesus. .When you enter into this covenant, you are promising to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and to obey everything He commands you.


Third, and lastly, you devote your very life to Him. It’s an odd verse in this passage, verse 15, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” It almost seems like it doesn’t belong. But look at the life that Jesus gave to give God what He deserves. He was obedient to His Father even unto death on a cross. When we follow that verse 15 with the talk of being God’s servant, we are giving Him complete authority over our lives. That means that He even has the right to send us to our death if that’s what His will would have for us.


I apologize, this isn’t a bright and cheery devotional today. But it is the truth. And you know the crazy thing? It doesn’t make the least bit of sense, but God gives such joy in the face of adversity. I look through the Bible at some of the people who were persecuted and there is such joy in the midst of the persecution. I’m not saying it wasn’t painful or that they were happy to be put to death. I’m sure they thought of how much they would miss their families and how bad it was going to hurt.


Yet I’m also sure that the Holy Spirit was ministering peace over them through these trials. That they knew, without a doubt, that the God they were giving their lives for was on the other end of this storm, and they would get to lean into His everlasting arms for all of eternity.


So what do you give God to repay Him for all He has done for you? YOU. You are all that He wants.

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