January 27, 2013

With Gratitude to God

Psalm 116:1-14

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.
—Psalm 116:12-13


Twelve years ago today I retired as pastor of a local congregation. The verse I chose for the occasion was Psalm 116:12. Another version says, “How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me?” I wanted to express something of all the things God had done for me in my vocation as a minister.

The writer of this psalm gives many reasons why each of us should take the time to look back and say, “How can we possibly repay the Lord?” He is the God who, again and again, hears our cry for mercy. He continually turns his ear to us, listening to our prayers. When we are overcome by trouble and sorrow, he stands next to us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ he has delivered our souls from death, our eyes from tears, and our feet from stumbling. When we, because of sin, were in great need, he saved us.

Of course, the psalmist knows that we can never repay the Lord. And we don’t have to, because the Lord Jesus paid the price of salvation and new life for us. The only thing we can do is express our gratitude to him. That’s what the psalmist does. He promises to “lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.”

Be sure to take some time today and every day to call on God’s name and give him thanks.

Lord, thank you for the gift of your Son, and for the many other gifts you have given us. Help us always to be grate-ful. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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