During that difficult day, I still remembered well, I cried out to GOD, ‘Save me Jesus.’ And I made a covenant with God and said to Him, ‘If you spare and save me from the Killing Fields, I will serve You all the days of my life.’ I spoke with a honest and humble heart. God heard my cry and He did spare and save me from the sickness, the torturing, and killings. The Holocaust ended on January 7, 1979; it was the first day of deliverance from the hands the communist Khmer Rouge. I was so moved with deep gratitude to God who rescued me from those terrible acts of the wicked people. I am glad and grateful for the gift of life He has given me to live again with Him and for Him.
In early December 1979, I followed the Lord Jesus and began to read the Bible. Guest what, I found a passage that David the Psalmist spoke to God and made almost the same covenant with God. In the book of Psalms 116:12-14, 17 (NCV), it reads, “12 What can I give the Lord for all the good things he has given to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation, and I will pray to the Lord. 14 I will give the Lord what I promised in front of all his people. 17 I will give you an offering to show thanks to you, and I will pray to the Lord.” According to this passage, David has made the important covenant with God, as he declares, demonstrates, and deepens his gratitude.
DECLARE GRATITUDE – “12 What can I give the Lord for all the good things he has given to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation, and I will pray to the Lord.” Psalms 116:12-13. This is God’s will for us to remember what He has done in us, for us, and through us. The simple words David said, ‘What can he give to the One who has done great things in his life.’ He declares his gratitude to by lifting the cup of salvation and leaning on Him day by day. Don’t you think that we, as believers, should live this way to declare our gratitude to God who desires for us to live each moment wholeheartedly and dependent on Him? The answer is ‘yes’ we should live to declare our gratitude. The bible teaches us to give thanks to God always and in all things, this is God’s will for our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The apostle Paul reminded us in his own words, “10 But God’s grace has made me what I am, and his grace to me was not wasted. I worked harder than all the other apostles. (But it was not I really; it was God’s grace that was with me.)” 1 Corinthians 15:10 (NCV) You and I have come this far and have become who we are because of God’s amazing and abundant grace. Thank you Jesus! Pause for a moment to say, ‘Thank you God for what you have done for me. Thank you God for what I have now. And thank you God for what you will do in my life.’ “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.” Psalms 92:1 (NAS)
DEMONSTRATE GRATITUDE – “14 I will give the Lord what I promised in front of all his people.” Psalms 116:14. In the ancient days when people made a covenant or promise with God, they were serious about it and so was God. When David made a promise with God, he wanted to do it in front of people. We have to bear in mind what David’s motive was in doing that. It was not for his pride or boasting, but he wanted to do it so that the people would be his witnesses and be encouraged by what he did, giving God the glory and praise. This is a good and great lesson for all of us. We demonstrate gratitude to God by serving Him and living for Him with reverence and fear. “28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.” Hebrews 12:28 (NAS).
DEEPEN GRATITUDE – “17 I will give you an offering to show thanks to you, and I will pray to the Lord.” Psalms 116:17. Noticed that David deepens his gratitude by giving the best offering to God and calling upon His name continually. What a testimony to all of us. What offering do you give to God? Here is something that we all can give: Give God our time, our talents, and our treasure. We should give gratefully, gladly, and generously. “7 Rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” Colossians 2:7 (NIV) As the tree deepen its roots so it will be able to bear fruit above the ground, in the same way, when we deepen our gratitude to God we continue to bear witness for Him who deserves all the glory.
Let us continue to declare gratitude, demonstrate gratitude, and deepen our gratitude to God day by day. This is the way of life God designs.