PROVING OUR GRATITUDE
Dr. Tom Berry
It is remarkable
how many people are unaware of the benefits they receive from God.
Jesus pointed out that the heavenly Father "Makes His sun rise
on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the just and the
unjust." Matthew 5:45. If we tried to count all
the benefits mankind enjoys from the sun and the rain we would be
counting a long time. Usually, it is only after entering
into a relationship with the heavenly Father through faith in
Jesus Christ that we become aware of the blessings that He showers
upon us. It is also at this point that we are hit with the
thoughts like "How can I pay God back?" or "How can I prove my
One of the Bible
songwriters raised these questions and also gave his answers:
"What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits toward
me? I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the
name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD now in the
presence of all His people. . .I will offer to You the sacrifice
of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD>"
Psalm 116:12, 13, 17.
WHAT SHALL I RENDER UNTO
THE LORD FOR ALL HIS BENEFITS TOWARD ME
In these words the
psalmist reveals an "attitude of gratitude." This is
certainly different from the griping, disgruntled and ungrateful
attitude displayed by the average person today. As the
psalmist meditated on his benefits from God he was impressed that
it would be impossible to repay God for these blessings but he
could at least be thankful.
everything give thanks. . ." (1st Thessalonians 5:18.) wrote
the Apostle Paul and he followed his own advice. He praised
God for physical, material and spiritual blessings and everything
else, but he went further.
Paul Praised God
When He Was Persecuted.
He and Silas were arrested, beaten, and placed in stocks in
maximum security at Philippi. "But at midnight Paul and
Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,..." (Acts
16:25, 26._ No wonder God sent an earthquake to throw open
Paul Praised God
When He Was Hungry.
Yes, the greatest Christian of history experienced hunger.
But he could write, "...For I have learned in whatever state I
am to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to
abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned
both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer
need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens
me." Philippians 4:11- 13.
Paul Praised God
When He Bore Affliction.
Paul had one affliction that was so physically irritating that
he called it a "thorn in the flesh." Paul asked Christ to
remove this affliction three times, but found out that Christ had
a reason to not take it away---to show Paul "My grace is
sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Consequently, Paul exulted, "...Therefore most gladly I
will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may
rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Paul Rejoiced In
Seeing People Saved.
He wrote to his new converts in Thessalonica, "For what is
our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you
in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For
you are our glory and joy." (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20).
Paul Could Look
At The Grave And Rejoice In Ultimate Victory Over Death.
"So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this
mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the
saying that is written: "Death is swallow up in victory."
"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your
victory?" The sting of death is sin, and the strength of
sin in the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the
victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1st Corinthians
We have the key to
unlocking the mysteries of the Christian life in Romans 8:28, "And
we know that all things work together for good to those who love
God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
Even the bad things are producing eternal good results in the
believer. When we know this we can be thankful for all
i WILL TAKE THE CUP OF
The psalmist is
saying in effect, "I'll show my gratitude to God by taking
something else." At first that seems a little strange.
After we think about it the psalmist is saying, "After I have
enjoyed all these other benefits from God I'm going to receive the
gift which cost God the most."
Every material and
physical gift man receives from God costs God relatively little in
proportion to His great riches and power. He was able to
create worlds with His spoken word. Yet, the gift of
salvation cost God nothing less than the sacrifice of His own Son.
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we
might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2nd
Corinthians 5:21) The accumulated sin of the human race was
placed on Jesus and He experienced the eternal punishment for our
sin as our substitute. This was the price God paid to make
salvation available to the human family.
The psalmist says,
"The best way I can show my gratitude to God is to take God's gift
of salvation." To accept God's material and physical
blessings and reject His gift of salvation is an insult to God.
"The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord..."
and "...the plowing of the wicked (is) sin." Proverbs
15:8 and 21:4). Here is a lost man offering a sacrifice to
thank God for material and physical blessing and going out to his
field to plow in anticipation of God's blessings of sunshine and
rain. God considers it abomination and sin. The real
test of our gratitude for God's material and physical blessings
are what we do with God's gift of salvation purchased for us by
the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary. Until we receive Christ
as Savior we are taking God's physical and material blessings
while living in rejection of the one gift that cost Him the most
and the one gift He most wants us to receive.
i WILL CALL UPON THE NAME
OF THE LORD
P. W. Philpot was
out on the street one cold January evening in Canada. A
woman sang the hymn, "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" and she
added to each verse, "O Calvary! Dark Calvary! Speak to some heart
from Calvary." As P. W. Philpot listened and watched,
Calvary became real. He went home and knelt beside his bed
and prayed for the first time, "My heavenly Father..." When
we take the cup of salvation God becomes our Father and we become
His child. We begin to realize that every blessing is a
loving gift from the hand of our loving heavenly Father and
gratitude begins to flow from our heart.
I WILL PAY MY VOWS UNTO
THE LORD NOW IN THE PRESENCE OF ALL HIS PEOPLE
It follows that a
truly saved person will be unashamed of his faith in and love for
Christ. He will openly confess Christ before man, follow
Christ in believer's baptism; become identified with the people of
Christ and begin to serve Christ with his time and talents.
After a round of
drinks some baseball players of the Chicago National League Club
were idly sitting on a curb. A Christian group gathered
across the street and began to sing hymns. One of the
players remembered how his mother sang those hymns to him as a
child and told him of Jesus. He began to sob. One of
the Christians stepped across the street and asked him, "Wont you
come with me to the mission?" He stood and said to his
teammates, "I'm through, boys. I'm going to Jesus Christ."
Some of them mocked and some remained silent. That day Billy
Sunday came to Christ. The next day he went to the
club house expecting mockery, but to his surprise every player on
the team came around to shake his hand. Before long he was
serving God by working with young men. Later he became the
assistant of the great evangelist J. Wilbur Chapman, and then went
on to become a flaming evangelist who witnessed a million
professions of faith in Christ.
Do you really want
to show your gratitude to God" Psalm 116 shows you how!
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.