Thursday, June 27, 2013

3 Ways To Respond To God

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
Are there moments when you need some serious reminders?
For me, the answer is yes. It could be my alarm clock reminding me to wake up on time. My grocery list reminding me to purchase certain items. Or my closest friends reminding me that I am dearly loved.

Recently, it was Psalm 116 reminding me how to respond to all of the Lord's gracious benefits:

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 ever feel like life can become so routine that you merely go through the motions of everyday? That is precisely how these recent days have seemed. I carve out much-needed quiet before the rest of the day commences; I read my Bible; I eat breakfast; I blog; I correspond; I get ready for work; and on and on it goes...

What I do not like to see happening is routine turning into rote activity. Especially when it comes to God's Word. It is living and active, always relevant, always revealing something new about God and the gospel. But at times, I feel that responding to the Word, to God's goodness and character, is difficult. Because my scope is limited and my desires are innately self-focused, I can easily turn a very good routine into something rote. 

But it does not have to be this way!

The psalm reminds us today of three ways we can choose to respond to the Lord's benefits:

ONE: Thank the Lord for salvation in Jesus Christ. "I will lift up the cup of salvation." Nothing compares to this benefit. Where would you be apart from knowing the love of Christ? Think about it! Our new life in Christ should produce gratitude that lasts into eternity! Life, both here on earth and in eternity, will never be the same--and all because of Christ.

TWO: Call on the name of the Lord. Our sinful nature should remind us daily of our desperate need for a Savior. Our lives are but a breath--here today, and gone tomorrow. Thank God for Jesus Christ! In our weakness, He is strong. His reign never ends, and we can trust in all of His promises. In Him, we have total victory of sin and death!

THREE: Walk as a living sacrifice amid a broken world. The light of Christ shines through God's people when we walk in humble obedience to Him. To live as a sacrifice, submitted to the Father's will, is a daily choice we can make in response to God's love and grace. Not our will, but His be done. "I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people."

When I consider what Christ has done for me, never do I wish to respond in rote ways to His love and benefits! May the love of God compel us to respond to Him in reverent gratitude, desperate need and willing submission. 

Dear Lord, You are most worthy of praise! Thank You for all Your benefits, including the sending of Christ to save us from sin. Remind us daily of how very magnificent You are, that we may respond out of love and reverent awe. 


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