Repay By Receiving

Good morning. It is Tuesday, September 8, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is largifical. This chiefly British adjective means, “Liberal, generous, bountiful.” It is generally used in humorous contexts.

Today is Iguana Awareness Day. Not quite sure what to say about that. Other than if you’re thinking about getting a reptile for a pet, you’d better be ready to also have a cricket farm.

Yesterday went pretty much as we expected. We did leave to house to pick up some lunch and a couple of movies at the Redbox. We watched This is Where I Leave You, which we both really liked, and The Boy Next Door, which was very silly, but mildly entertaining. If I were giving stars, I would give This is Where I Leave You five stars and The Boy Next Door a half of a star. If that.

We had our roast and mashed potatoes for dinner, but something didn’t set well. We aren’t sure what happened, because the roast tasted fine, but who knows. Christi was sick afterward, and I felt weird for a little while. I got over it by bedtime, though, and feel okay, this morning.

Today, it’s back to work, but for a short week. And then Friday, after work, we’re heading to Oklahoma, to Winstar Casino, where we will see Jim Gaffigan’s show on Saturday night. We’ll be picking up Rachel and Justin on the way up.

Oh, and it’s also Huddle night. I need to make sure I remember that, because it will feel like Monday all day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Today’s Psalm, from Heart Aflame, is Psalm 102:25-28.

Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.

“True believers are taught to consider with all humility, when they come into the divine presence, how frail and transitory their condition is, that they may bring nothing with them but their own emptiness.” (p 252)

(From Solid Joys)

What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD,
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

Psalm 116:12-14

Today’s reading is “How to Repay God.”

Your first thought might be, “Wait a minute! We can’t repay God!” And you would not be wrong. I believe that is the gist of the reading.

What we find, here, is that the paying of vows, to which the Psalmist refers, is not quite like a normal debt. In fact, it appears to be more receiving, “receiving which magnifies the ongoing grace of God.”

The Psalmist asks a question, which could be paraphrased, “How can I repay God for all he has done for me?” His answer is, essentially, “that he will go on receiving from the Lord so that the Lord’s inexhaustible goodness will be magnified.”

The first part of his answer is that he will “lift up the cup of salvation.” Consider that this means the same as the modern phrase, “raise a glass.” In other words, he will continue to drink deeply of the salvation that God has already provided. He will drink and then expect more.

Then he says he will “call on the name of the LORD.” How can I repay God for answering my call? I will call on him again! “I will render to God the praise and the tribute that he is never in need of me, but is always overflowing with benefits when I need him (which I always do).” I will repay God by returning to him with my seemingly infinite needs.

Finally, he says, “I will pay my vows.” But how will he do this? By lifting up the cup of salvation and calling on the Lord. It’s a circle. The Psalmist has declared that we repay God by continuing to return to him for more. Our “vows” will be paid by our faith in future grace.

Father, we acknowledge that we cannot truly repay you for the benefits you have given us. To attempt to do so would be an insult to your grace, and would render it not grace. Nevertheless, we can, in a way, “repay” you by continuing to drink from the cup of salvation, and continuing to call on your name. So let me do that today. Whenever trials cross my path, may I drink deeply from your cup, raising a glass to your glorious grace and mercy, and then call out to you for more. Let me do this, rather than curse the trial. May my faith in you grow stronger and stronger each day, as I see the great salvation that you have provided. May I “repay” you by drawing in more.

I pray for this day, that we will have safe travel to and from work. I pray that Christi’s leg will continue to improve. Especially this evening, as her work bowling league starts back up, let her not re-injure the muscle. I pray that our work day will be free from anxiety and stress. I also pray that you will give us opportunity to show your kingdom in our lives. May your grace fall on the rest of our family, this week, giving provision and protection to Stephanie, Rachel, Justin, and Mama.

I continue to lift up R.J. and his family, as they grieve the loss of his father. May you be ever close to them during this time, and be their comfort and peace. I also pray for Brandon and his family, as they continue to deal with the mess of his dad’s house burning down. May you be his strength through this.

Come, Lord Jesus.

We cannot truly repay God, this is truth. However, we can, in a way, repay him, by continuing to receive from him. Lift up the cup of salvation today; raise a glass and drink deeply from the infinite grace of God.

Psalm-116

Grace and peace, friends.

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