I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. (Psalm 116:17-18)
The psalmist has given a word of both instruction and inspiration for those who have ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts that beat for nothing smaller than Jesus.
In God’s economy, vows are serious things. Better to not vow at all than to make a vow and break it. The psalmist gives us insight as to how he will fulfill his vows to the Lord out of a heart of thanksgiving. The psalmist is thankful—not only for what God has given to him, but for God’s claim on his life.
That is what is meant by calling on the name of the Lord: To call on the name of the Lord is to give yourself completely to Him. To call on the name of the Lord is to hold absolutely nothing back from Him. To call on the name of the Lord is to surrender control of every aspect of your existence to Him. And make no mistake, to call on the name of the Lord is to respond to His claim instantly, not after repeated requests.
- How many times has your Lord requested your time?
- How many times has your Lord requested your talent?
- How many times has your Lord requested your treasure?
Instantly yielding to His claim on any aspect of our lives is the way of the true disciple of Christ. We should neither question Him nor hesitate in our response. Does not the One who laid down His life for us have the right to make a claim on our time . . . our talent . . . our treasure? And how should we pay our vows to our God? With a heart overflowing with thanksgiving. God loves cheerful givers who give freely, unhesitatingly, and gratefully of their time, talent, and treasure.
Where does this message find you today? Are you one who calls on the name of the Lord? Have you surrendered control of your life to Christ . . . or just a portion of it? Or perhaps you have surrendered control of your life to your Lord out of a sense of duty rather than devotion? To be sure, we have a duty to give everything we are and everything we have in service to our Lord. But it is far better to give out of a sense of devotion; when we do, we can be sure we are giving with a heart of thanksgiving.
Remember, it really is no sacrifice to give what we have in return for what we have been given. We give our Lord the stuff of this life while He has given us the stuff of the next. God forbid that we might ever compare or confuse the two!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!