View print-optimized version

Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 116:1–2, 12–19       

I love the Lord, because he has heard
   my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
   therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

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.
O Lord, I am your servant;
   I am your servant, the child of your serving girl.
   You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
   and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
   in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
   in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! (NRSV)

The author of Psalm 116 outlines a variety of ways he plans to repay God for God’s mercy and goodness—lift up the cup of salvation, fulfill his vows to the Lord, dedicate his life to being the Lord’s servant, and sacrifice a thank-offering. Notice the psalmist doesn’t plan to do these things to earn mercy and goodness; the psalmist does them to say thank you for the mercy and goodness already received.

I am so grateful that the gift of God’s grace means I don’t have to earn God’s love, mercy, or forgiveness, because I would undoubtedly fall short. Instead, I find myself searching for ways to say thank you for those gifts and blessings God has given me. Like the psalmist, for me, saying thank you almost always means doing something. It means things like serving on committees, volunteering, and pushing myself to fulfill my call as a Deacon even when it’s outside my comfort zone.

I’m a doer. But it dawned on me earlier this year that I was spending a lot of time doing and virtually no time in relationship with God. Was I spending my time and energy the way God wanted me to? I honestly wasn’t sure. Somewhere along the way I had forgotten that I need to spend time listening too. After all, what better way to show my thanks for God’s blessings than by doing what God asks of me?

Gracious and merciful God, forgive me when I get so caught up in doing that I forget to quiet myself and listen. Help me remember that the best way to show my gratitude for your love and blessings is to heed your call and to follow where you lead. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Devotion index by date | Id like to receive daily devotions by email