How Shall I Repay The Lord?
17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people,” Psalm 116:17-18 NKJV
The Psalmist asks a question that we probably fail to consider in our daily walk through this life. In verse 12 of this same Psalm, He asks how he should repay the Lord for all the benefits the Lord has blessed him with. We have even more to be thankful to Jesus for today as new covenant believers. Think of all the good things He has provided us through His sacrifice for our salvation. A grateful heart should always be asking how we could demonstrate our love and appreciation to Him.
The Psalmist who asked this question answers his own query in the above verses. He had known the answer to the question before he presented it, but he wants us to see the question and consider it ourselves. He wants us to see the answer and act appropriately from our grateful hearts.
To begin with, he says that he will pay his vow to the Lord by offering Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving. If I am truly thankful to Jesus for all that He has done for me, for all that He has provided me, for all that He has promised me, there should be evidence of that deep appreciation from the praise offering that comes from my lips and is lifted up to His hearing. If I am not offering Him praise on a continual basis than I am probably not fully appreciating all the amazing things He has done for me. A grateful heart expresses praise!
He then says that he shall repay the Lord by calling upon His name. This is his statement of trust and reliance upon the name of the Lord. Once again we have even more reason to call upon Him daily because we have the name that is above all names. When we struggle through life on our own efforts, trying to work things out by ourselves without calling upon Him, we are exposing ungrateful hearts. He paid the highest price imaginable so that we could call upon His name and yet this is often an afterthought at best.
Finally, the Psalmist says he will repay the Lord with his praise for the Lord in the presence of other people. Truly if I am walking with a joyful heart that appreciates the favor of the Lord, it should be a natural thing for praise to just continue to come from my mouth to Him. People should ever be hearing my praise spoken to Him. It is not enough for a grateful heart to just privately say “thank you” to God. The soul that has understood all that he has received (and does not deserve) cannot help but express praise publicly.
While we can never repay Jesus for all He has done, we should be quick to demonstrate the joyous gratitude of our hearts to Him. We are not endeavoring to pay Him back. That would be impossible. However, we are responding to our great thankfulness in a way that glorifies His name to others. When we do this, our words become like modern day psalms in the ears of those around us.
J Todd Hostetler