Summary: The Psalmist’s questions: “How can I repay the LORD?” We can all answer “We cannot repay!” Indeed, we cannot even pay the interest on our debt.


“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. ” Psalm 116:12-14 NKJV

The Holman Christian Standard Bible translation reads, “How can I repay the LORD all the good He has done for me? I will take the cup of salvation and worship the LORD. I will fulfill my vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people.”

The New International Version also reads “How can I repay the LORD?” We can all answer the Psalmist’s question: “We cannot repay!” Indeed, we cannot even pay the interest on the great debt we owe Him.


1. Life itself:

“Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3 NASB

Often we take life for granted like it is something we own in our own right. The story, entitled “Chemo-Man” that appeared in the July 18, 2006 internet edition of the Sermon Illustrator pictures life in a far more accurate way. It is well worth taking the time to read…and reflect. The article is entitled “Chemo-Man”.

“The first close friendship I ever had began when I was fifteen years old. Chuck and I went through high school and college together, we double-dated together (and got rejected together); we were confidants and counselors and chums through every important event of life.

Several years ago Chuck called to tell me he had cancer. The initial prognosis was very good, although he did have to undergo difficult treatment. In typical fashion Chuck shaved his head before the chemotherapy began, covered it with glue, sprinkled it with gold glitter, and walked around the house in his underwear, calling himself "Chemo-Man."

Chuck and I lived more than two thousand miles apart at this time, but we talked every Saturday morning during the time he was undergoing treatment. The chemotherapy destroyed his appetite; he was unable to keep food down; he became so gaunt and emaciated that he was almost unrecognizable even to his children. At one point an infection set in, and his condition was briefly touch-and-go because the chemotherapy had so weakened his immune system. But Chuck pulled through, and eventually he completed treatment. Chemo-Man had prevailed.

A month later, Chuck had his first post treatment checkup. He called me that night: The cancer was back, the doctor told him, at levels as high as they had been before treatment. Being a doctor himself, he knew that the return of the cancer this strongly, this quickly, meant that he was going to die. It was a death sentence.

I was numb. When I went to bed that night, I couldn’t even pray. "It’s some mistake," I protested. "They’ll find out it’s okay." I marveled at how quickly denial sets in.

At 6:30 the next morning, Chuck called again. "You won’t believe this," he said. Someone in the lab had mistakenly switched his results with those of another patient, who had not yet even been through treatment. It turned out that Chuck’s cancer was gone and has not reappeared, these many years later.

"I’m going to live,” my friend said. "I’m going to see my kids grow up. I’m going to grow old with my wife. I’m going to live." For a few, moments we just wept on the phone like a couple of characters out of a Hallmark commercial. Chuck told me he was filled with a gratitude he had never known. He couldn’t stop touching his kids or hugging his wife. Things that had bothered him before faded into utter insignificance. He was going to live-and suddenly he did not just know intellectually but actually experienced the truth that life is a gift. We don’t earn it, can’t control it, can’t take a moment of it for granted. Every tick of the clock is a gift from God. Every day is a Dee Dah Day.”

Ortberg, John. Life You’ve Always Wanted. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002, p. 64-65.

2. A beneficent creation:

“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:12

3. An illuminating revelation:

”Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

4. A personal manifestation:

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Galatians 4:4-5

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion