Psalm 116 and 1 Peter

Turn again to your rest o my soul, for the Lord has treated you well. Have you instructed your soul in this was to be restored? Have you ever read Psalm 116 in terms of your relationship with the LORD God Almighty?

Gracious is the Lord and righteous;
    our God is merciful.
The Lord protects the simple;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
    for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

Psalm 116:5-7 NRSV

When I take time to review my life and my relationship with God I am brought back to a place of rest. Not do-ing, but be-ing with Him. When I peel off my complaints I realize He HAS treated me well, dealt bountifully with me. This fresh realization brings me to a point of wanting to serve Him more, in any ways that He asks.

Have you ever made vows to the Lord? We often hear of people in painful situations trying to bargain with God along the lines of “If You will just do what I want here and now, I will serve You forever.” We are really not in a bargaining position with God. But if You have made a vow to Him from the depths of your being, have you paid the vow?

I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will pay my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,

Psalm 116:17-18 NRSVUE

As an Associate of the Convent of the Transfiguration in Glendale Ohio I made a vow to pray for the Sisters daily. I promised to support the Convent and their work as I am able.

When the verse says “I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people,” to me it means there will no longer be just me and Jesus. I will live out my commitment to Him publicly, in the presence of all His people.

Are you living out your faith before the Lord only, or also before His people. Have you vowed to be a living sacrifice? That is my word for the year ( you can read back in January when I was impressed to choose that.) There are times this living sacrifice does not want to climb up on the altar, does not want to be a living stone.

Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you’ll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.

1 Peter 2:5 The Message
and like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 

1 Peter 2:5 RSV

As a building stone I want to be like Jesus, ‘a chip off the old block’, similar in yieldedness and willingness to obey His Father and my Father.

“Lord help me to pay my vows to You in the presence of all Your people. Help me to serve you with joyous willingness. Show me Your chosen paths for me and I will walk there with You. Amen.”

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