Jump Start # 3269
Psalms 116:12 “How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me?” (CSB)
Our verse today is a question that runs through the mind and the heart of every disciple. God has been so good to us. God has been so good to me. How can I ever repay the Lord for what He has done for us.
First, there is salvation, the ultimate gift. It cost the blood of Jesus to provide this. Financial advisors will often talk about a person’s net worth. What they do is add up the value of everything you own and subtract your debt and that final number is your net worth. Jesus had another way of calculating your net worth. What does it prosper Jesus said if you gain the whole world and lose your soul? The value of your house, cars, investments, and all those things are not close to what your soul is worth. Forgiven. Free. A second chance. Redeemed. Reconciled. Justified. Saved. Line those words up and how can you and I ever repay the Lord? We could never save ourselves. No one else could do what Jesus did. How can I repay the Lord?
Second, there is our talents and abilities. I was talking with someone the other day about music and the difference between reading music and having an ear for music. One can be taught what the notes on a score mean, but to have the ear to recognize pitch and to play a song based upon what you hear is a special gift from the Lord. All of us have different talents. The ability to lead. The ability to sing. The ability to draw. The ability to solve. The ability to plan. The ability to speak publicly. The ability to write. The ability to encourage. We are all very different, but one thing we have in common is that the Lord has gifted each of us in our own unique way. It is easy to want the gifts of someone else, but God has placed in you what He wants and what works best for you. How can we ever repay the Lord for that?
Third, there are special people in our lives. There are people who have pointed us to Jesus. There have been encouragers and teachers and shepherds that have helped us know the Lord. We would not be where we are today had it not been for these people, God’s people. They have meant so much to us and are so dear to us and it is easy to assume that we simply made friendships with them on our own, but many, many times these intersections came about because of the Lord. God put these people in our lives. They were there when we were hurting and down. They were there when we were straying. They were there when we needed them. How can we ever repay the Lord for these dear, dear people in our lives?
Fourth, there are answered prayers. This Psalm begins with that concept. I love the Lord, the chapter begins, because He has heard me. How many times has God answered your prayers? How many times have you asked for forgiveness and God forgave? How many times was God there when you needed Him? How can we ever repay the Lord for answering our prayers? How can you ever repay God for that?
Obviously, the answer to all of these is the same. We cannot repay the Lord. We cannot afford what it costs to repay these gifts. And, if we could repay, especially in salvation, then salvation would no longer be a gift, but something we earned. We paid for it. We repaid the Lord. That’s not possible, EVER.
So, since repayment is not possible, what are we to do?
First, we are to be thankful and use these gifts to glorify God. We can become like a spoiled child who opens a present and runs off to play without ever saying, “Thank you,” to the one who gave the gift. Our hearts ought to be thankful to the Lord. Look what the Lord has done for us. Gratitude is a hallmark of the people of God. Thankful people appreciate. Thankful people become good stewards. Thankful people are a joy to be around. Thankful people recognize the help that comes from the Lord.
Second, we ought to live a life faithful to God. Stop trying to push the envelope with what the Bible teaches. Stop trying to be unique, different and one of a kind. Stop looking for an explanation that no one has ever thought of before. Be satisfied and content with God’s word as He gave it to us. Be faithful to God in all things. Noah did all that God commanded. Joshua left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. Some like to play spiritual dodgeball with God. Jumping here, jumping there, looking for loopholes, dodging this command, ducking from that responsibility and as they do this they are not doing all that God said.
How can I repay the Lord? By following Him and obeying Him.
Third, by telling others about the Lord. Look what the Lord has done for me. When Jesus sent the demon possessed man home to his people, it was with the message, look what great things the Lord has done. Personal. He didn’t need a quarter class on how to evangelize. He hadn’t studied all the “isms” that the church faces. No tracts in his hands. No sermon CD’s to pass out. He likely didn’t know much about baptism, church finances, organization, but the one thing he did know was he was once possessed by demons and now he wasn’t. That’s all he needed at that moment. And, maybe that’s all we need. The Lord has been good to me.
God has saved our lives. God has changed our lives. God has given us a purpose and a hope. Great things have come from the Lord. How can I ever repay Him? Do you even feel that you need to repay Him?
It begins with a prayer. It begins with a thankful heart.