Scripture Reading: Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
What shall I return to the Lord
for all his bounty 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.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful ones. –Psalm 116:12-15
We are called, commanded to love the Lord. How do we love God? The Psalmist guides us in loving God. Thanksgiving is always a good place to start. A toast is offered in God’s name to recognize the gift of God’s abiding love. I am a terrible card sender. I have a drawer full of cards I have purchased for people special to me that I have yet to send to anyone. But the lesson of sharing thanksgiving is not one to be ignored.
Keeping our commitments to God is another way of expressing our love for the Lord. What vows have we made to God? Worshiping and following God is always a choice. That may come as a surprise to some whose concept of God stems from others trying to cram faith down their throats choking them from knowing a loving Sovereign. When we choose to accept Christ as our Savior we commit to a life-changing way of being. Some of us have taken the additional step of committing our lives to full-time Christian service as a means of loving God. Many exchange wedding vows before God to solidify the sacredness of the institution of marriage. Parents dedicate their lives to taking on one of the most important jobs anyone can have raising new generations of God’s children.
I recently attended the memorial service for one who indeed was a good and faithful servant. I thought of my own mother as I listened to the service. My mother died at the age of 98. She had served as a Deaconess in the Methodist Church during the depression in the mountains of West Virginia working with people in abject poverty before she met and married my father and raised three children. Even then her church work continued, teaching Sunday school, serving as secretary of the board, working with the quilters. She, unlike her youngest daughter, was an excellent card-sender. She spent the last year of her life unable to walk in a nursing home but her ministry continued as she prayed for everything and everyone.
The Psalmist says loving God is through thanksgiving, promise keeping, and loving others. It is a simple formula but tried and true.
Prayer: Thank you Lord, for saving our souls, let your love poor through us as we keep our commitments to you loving others all along the way. Amen.