It’s the day after Christmas. During Christmas, we spend this time remembering and celebrating the Lord coming to the world. Yet, instead of reading the Christmas story, I found myself continuing to read along in my daily study through the Bible. As I was reading the Bible on Christmas Eve, I came across an interesting passage. The passage asked a question that really provoked something inside me to need to answer it. It’s funny (or really divine providence) that I came across this verse the night before Christmas. I had read this passage many times, but never really thought about it.
Psalm 116:12 (NKJV) — What shall I render to the Lord For
all His benefits toward me?
What shall I render the Lord for all His Benefits toward me? What a question the psalmist asks. It seems that we say Christmas is all about giving. Personally, I think it is all about receiving! Christmas is really all about a single gift. It is all about the Lord giving to us and about us receiving His gift. But the psalmist does still ask an interesting question. Is there something I can give back to the Lord? Before I could answer the question, I had to start thinking about all His Benefits.
It’s interesting; Over the years, what I consider the top benefits from God towards me has changed. I once thought it was success in a career. God has blessed me there, but I don’t think that is the top one. I even thought it was a wonderful family. I have a great family. I have a wonderful wife who is my help in this world. I have beautiful daughters that are grown now and ready to start lives of their own. Growing up, I’ve been blessed with a great family that lead me in a life that was always full of Jesus. I have great friends who are the kind that are lifelong who have walked this walk of faith with me.
I think all these things are way up there on the list of the blessings of the Lord. But they are not the top. All of these things are dear to me, but all would be meaningless without the very top thing. Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians the following:
Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV) — Blessed be the God and Father
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual
blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
Spiritual blessings are the real blessings. Paul goes on to say we have been adopted into the family of God as heirs. We are blameless before Him in love. We have redemption through Him. We are forgiven our sins. And, in all this, we have the Holy Spirit as a seal of this promise.
All these blessings are but the manifestation of the greatest blessing of all. Salvation is the real gift He has given us. There is nothing greater. “My grace is sufficient for you,” He once told Paul. And it is sufficient. We need nothing else.
So, what shall I give the Lord in return? What would be my Christmas gift to God. The psalmist goes on to answer it.
Psalm 116:12–18 (NKJV) — 12 What shall I render to the Lord
For all His benefits toward me? 13 I will take up the cup of
salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord. 14 I will pay my
vows to the Lord Now in the presence of all His people....17 I will
offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the
name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord Now in the
presence of all His people,
The first thing the psalmist says is he will Take up the Cup of Salvation! What an answer! The one gift we can give to the Lord is to accept His salvation. The Lord paid a high price for me. The very least I can do is accept it. I will take part in His great salvation.
I will then pay my vows before all His people. I will call upon Him. I will carry the cup of salvation and make sure that others know about it. The cup is freely offered to every person on the earth. And with that cup, we can offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving. This is the only thing we can render to the Lord. Amen.