This just in from our global tribe of 1.4 Million online followers: I am confused by the “payment to God” we are to make in Psalm 116. I thought Christ died for our sins and we can never repay that debt.
The writer of Psalms 116 does ask the question of repayment:
“What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.” Psalm 116:12–14
This question emerges from the very real PROMISE of God’s GOODNESS.
God’s GOODNESS starts with his forgiveness of our sins that he “remembers no more” (Hebrews 10:17). It extends to the open line we have to call on God for help, strength, and protection. And it showers us with his never-ending and amazing grace.
No wonder the Psalmist is asking how to repay God. But he also gives us the answer in three parts: 1) Accept our SALVATION; 2) Give God continual PRAISE; and 3) Honor his WORD (re-read Psalm 116:12–14 above).
We will NEVER BE ABLE TO REPAY GOD. There is not one thing we can do for God that he has not first done for us. But that does NOT mean we can ignore his call for us to live with gratitude and make our life a living testimony to his GOODNESS.
Nothing we do can ever be a payment to God because anything and everything we would do for him would have to be a GIFT from HIM! That just INCREASES our debt to him.
The reason why Psalm 116:12–14 is not talking about us making a “debt payment” is because our “payment” is magnification of God’s grace and has NOTHING to do with us.
We make that payment by activating our salvation. By trusting, obeying, and calling on God. And by having faith in his PROMISE that an endless stream of GRACE is being piped into our life.
I know there is not a single thing I can do for God that he has not first done for me. But I do want to live with gratitude and make my life a living testimony to his GOODNESS.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
When was the last time you expressed your faith in—and thankfulness for–his PROMISE that an endless stream of GRACE is being piped into your life?
“…and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Luke 14:14