I Will Pay My Vows
Psalms 116:12-14 ESV
“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.”
Do you know that this is taught in the New Testament, too? What are his benefits to us? Certainly, they are his grace to us, his mercy, his forgiveness, his delivering us out of our slavery to sin, and him giving us new lives in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, and including the hope of eternal life with him for all who love and obey him.
This is talking about our salvation, but salvation is not a one-time experience in our lives, we then live our lives, and one day we go to heaven when we die. When we believe in Jesus we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are raised with Christ to live to God and to his righteousness. And now we walk, no longer according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Do we make vows to God when we believe in him? Sure, we do. We are now his bride, and he becomes our husband. Our relationship with him now is compared in Scripture to a marriage between a man and his wife. We commit our lives to him to no longer walk in sin, but to now walk in his righteousness, in obedience to his commands, in his power and strength.
That is what faith is. Faith comes from God, it is divine persuasion from God to put our trust in Jesus Christ, and therefore it submits to him as Lord (owner-master) of our lives, to live holy lives, pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but now transformed of the Spirit of God away from living for sin to now living to God to do his will.
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God” (Rom 8:12-14 ESV).
I Am Your Servant
Psalms 116:15-16 ESV
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, we die with Christ to sin and we live to Christ and to his righteousness, for this is why he gave his life up for us, and so that we would no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15; Rom 6:1-23).
Our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, for we were bought back for God (redeemed) with the price of Jesus’ blood so we would honor God with our lives. And Jesus said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him (1 Co 6:19-20; Lu 9:23-26).
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints because we are daily dying with him to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, following him wherever he leads us, and doing what he commands. We don’t see our lives as our own to be lived however we want, but we see our lives as belonging to Him to do his will.
We now serve the Lord with our lives. Our desire is for him to obey his will. Whether we work a full-time job outside the home or not, our lives are still to be his 24/7, all the time, and he is to be the one directing our steps, leading us in what to do, and giving us the words he wants us to say to others. We should be ready and willing to obey him at all times.
And this is because he has loosed our bonds (our chains) and he has set us free from our slavery to sin so that we will now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. We are to live our lives fully for the Lord, and we are to be sharing his gospel (the whole counsel of God) with the world around us so that many will hear the truth, and so they will be saved.
A Sacrifice of Thanksgiving
Psalms 116:17-19 ESV
“I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!”
So many people today who profess faith in Jesus Christ live no differently than the people of the world. They have made no commitment to the Lord to serve him, or if they have, they are not honoring it. Many are being taught that they don’t have to submit to Christ as Lord, or obey his commands, or leave their sinful lifestyles behind them.
But we are called out of the world to live holy lives pleasing to God. Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. God said if we make sin our practice, and if we don’t obey him, we don’t know him, and we don’t have eternal life with him (1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10).
We, as followers of Jesus, are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth, and we are to proclaim the excellencies of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. When we believe in Jesus and the Spirit enters into us we become his witnesses, and we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ of people all over the world.
As followers of Jesus, we are also to be those who are using the Spiritual gifts we have been given for the nurturing, the encouragement, the instruction, and the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ so that none of us will be tossed back and forth by various winds of false doctrines which teach a false Jesus and a false gospel (Eph 4; 1 Co 12).
And the house of the Lord is not a physical building. It is not a church denomination. It is not an institution of men, or a business being marketed to the world like any other business. And it is not incorporated under the state. It is the body of Christ, who are believers in Jesus, who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh (Rom 8:1-17).
We should be ministering God’s love and grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ, sharing with them the teachings of the Scriptures, and encouraging them to walk in faithfulness and in obedience to our Lord, for many are being led astray by charlatans who are feeding them lies, and many are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake and they need encouragement.
Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897
Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.
Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.
O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.
O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.
Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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