I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me!” The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living. I believed; therefore I said, “I am greatly afflicted.” And in my dismay I said, “All men are liars.”
How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people. Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. O LORD, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains. 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, in the courts of the house of the LORD—in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD.
How can we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? He doesn’t need anything we have. We can’t buy Him a gift or give Him money. We can’t perform some special project for Him like washing His car or painting His front porch.
Someone once asked the Prophet Micah what he should bring to the Lord. Burnt offerings? Thousands of rams? Ten thousand rivers of oil? How about a first-born son? Micah’s reply was as simple as it was accurate. “Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:6-8)He’s not interested in what we bring so much as how we live.
“Act justly.” Treat people honestly. Don’t take advantage. Stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Tell the truth, even when it’s not popular.
“Love mercy.” Celebrate when someone gets a break. Thank the Lord for saving people who don’t deserve it, even if you don’t particularly like them. Even if they’re your enemy.
“Walk humbly with your God.” Recognize who the Senior Partner is in your relationship. Consult Him about everything. Get permission before acting. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Be fearful of nothing, pray about everything, be thankful for anything.
Remember, we are the body of Christ. And it’s not just true in the spiritual sense. During the age of the Church, we literally are His eyes and ears, His arms and hands. When He wants to help someone out, He uses us. When they need comforting, it’s our arms He wraps around them. When they’re down and can’t get up, it’s our hand He reaches out with. When they cry out to Him against persecution and injustice, it’s our ears He hears with. When He’s looking for someone to bless, it’s our eyes He sees with. When He wants to wipe the tears from their eyes, it’s our hand that holds the cloth. Through us He feeds the poor, comforts the sick, shelters the homeless, defends the cause of the fatherless, pleads the case of the widow, and so on.
“Whatever you do for the least of these, my brothers,” He said, “You do for me.” (Matt. 25:40) I guess we can give Him something after all.